Tag Archives: James Bond

Avery’s Out of Bounds Stout & For Your Eyes Only

Hey there, Drinkers!

It’s almost Thanksgiving so that means it’s time to completely ignore it and watch a random movie! In today’s BAAM, we’re continuing on our unofficial quest to review every James Bond movie ever with For Your Eyes Only and Avery’s Out of Bounds stout. The connection? Skiing! Yes, another James Bond/beer combo tenuously held together by skiing. Some readers may remember that I recap-reviewed this stout a long time ago but I figured it was time to give this bad boy its own post. Also, I just found a liquor store that sells lots of Avery brews out here and I got a little excited. Deal with it.

So let’s hit the slopes, shall we?

For Your Eyes Only (1981) is Roger Moore’s 5th Bond film and is generally regarded as a “return” to Bond basics after the 1979 release of Moonraker (spies in space!). And while nothing about the Bond franchise is truly basic or simple, For Your Eyes Only does have a remarkably simple story and a noticeable lack of fancy gadgetry. Sure there are still motorcycles with machine guns, remote-controlled helicopters and Dick Tracey-esque watch-phones (I guess Galaxy Gear would be a more up-to-date comparison), but more often than not Bond relies simply on his wits and his trusty Walther PPK.

In this film, Bond is tasked with tracking down a British missile control code machine from a sunken ship before it can be sold to the Russians. That’s actually it. Just a good old-fashioned Cold War plot. But like any self-respecting Bond flick, the narrative takes us through the beautiful backdrops of Cuba, Greece and the Italian Alps. And also like any self-respecting Bond flick, the movie features car chases, ski chases, ski jumps, submarine fights, scuba fights, cliffside fights, shark attacks, hockey fights (don’t ask) and, of course, crossbows. I think the main reason this film gets away with such a stripped down plot is simply because the film is largely action sequences. Yes, story is peppered throughout the explosions and chases, but mostly it’s just visual candy. And it’s some sweet-ass candy, if I do say so myself!

Motorcycle ski chase shootout. All done for real.

Motorcycle ski chase shootout. All done for real.

Of course there are the usual logic and emotional bumps along the way. Like why Bond’s enemies always choose the most outlandish and least-effective methods of killing him. Or why a Greek smuggler allies with Bond so readily. Or why a really young figure skater wants to bang every older man she can get her hands on (and why is she even in the film at all?). Or, most importantly, why Bond lets  a Russian general, intent on buying a piece of valuable British military hardware, just turn around and fly home? WHY?! But you really can’t let yourself get bogged down in these kinds of questions of logic or reason or sense, otherwise you’d never enjoy the movie. And Bond movies, at their core, are simply meant to be enjoyed. Nothing more, nothing less.

When movie posters were blunt

When movie posters were blunt

And how about our Out of Bounds Stout from Colorado’s own Avery Brewery? Was it similarly action-packed? Well, it was definitely malt-packed (that’s a thing now, go with it). Pouring a gorgeous chocolate-colored two-finger, this stout is black as night! I held it up to a light (as I usually do) and barely any light passed through. With a sniff, you’ll get strong notes of chocolate, coffee and toffee that will have you drooling. And you’ll get those notes again when you sip, but they’re remarkably well-balanced. Moreover, the mouthfeel is super smooth. Combined with a low ABV 6.3%, the result is a delicious beer that is easy drink and will be reliable over two or three bottles. Definitely a winner.

So there you have it, folks. An out of bounds pairing with For Your Eyes Only and Avery’s Out of Bounds Stout. A big, punchy combo that goes down easy and is perfect for these chilly nights (by Los Angeles standards).

And as always keep drinking, my friends.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Avery’s Out of Bounds Stout:
-Deep black pour
-Bold, delicious malt flavor
-Easy to drink despite the body

For Your Eyes Only
-So much crazy action
-Simple story
-Good fun but not a Bond-best

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Deschutes’ Red Chair Pale Ale & The Spy Who Loved Me

Hey there, Drinkers!

My family is off skiing and I’m working 10 hour days, so I think that means it’s time for another BAAM. And this time around, we’re hitting the slopes with little bit of Bond action and some northwestern beer. Ignoring the fact that there’s only about 90 seconds of skiing in our movie and our beer actually has nothing to do skiing (though, in my defense, the titular Red Chair on the label does look like an old ski lift), tonight is exactly what we needed. Good beer, classic 007 action and some good ol’ fashioned objectification of women. So let’s dive in, shall we?

And yes, “dive in” is proper word play as tonight’s film centers largely around water despite 50% of the film taking place in Egypt. BOOM! CLEVER-BOMB!

For those unfamiliar with Bond film canon, the 1977 The Spy Who Loved Me is the 10th Bond film and third starring the mostly adequate Roger Moore. When nuclear submarines begin to disappear, Bond is tasked with tracking down who is responsible. Meanwhile, the subtly named Russian spy Agent XXX is assigned the same mission. When their missions (and sex parts) cross paths, they team up to take down a crazy-aquaphile who wants to blow up the planet so he can live underwater.

It’s a thin plot. Don’t worry about it.

Though the film showcases some pretty amazing locales, including some very dramatic night-scenes at the Giza pyramids, it’s first half largely moves us between different sexcapades for our hero. Seriously, I don’t remember Bond having this much sex in other films. Usually it’s one or two hotties but this time around I feel like Bond was macking on everyone. Of course his main squeeze, Soviet spy Agent XXX aka Anya Amasova is the fairest of them all in her ever-revealing outfits. And, of course, she’s the worst spy in the world. I’m pretty sure she does nothing cool in this movie, despite being Soviet Russia’s “top agent.” In fact, she’s so bad that Bond regularly chastises while she performs basic tasks…like driving. Silly superspy women, am I right?

Silly lady, spies only wear tuxedos!

Silly lady, spies only wear tuxedos!

What else is there to say about this film? It does have the requisite number of explosions and exotic locales. And it does have its fair share of sweet Q-made gizmos (hello there, submarine car!) but it never seems to all come together. The film is frustratingly long and feels overly segmented. The first half of the film is in Egypt in pursuit of some microfilm and then, suddenly, we’re at sea onboard a submarine-swallowing freighter in the throes of a nuclear power struggle. It’s a bit jarring and silly, even by Bond standards. Not to mention that Bond’s way-too-forward sexual advances almost made me feel uncomfortable. And this is in a Bond movie we’re talking about, where sexual exploitation is pretty much expected. So that says something. Finally, I just have some questions I want to ask our antagonist Mr. Stromberg.

1) Why do you need to try to kill Bond with literally every vehicle type? Motorcycle. Car. Helicopter. Submarine. Mini-submarine. Giant boat. Shark. Can’t you pick one and stick with it?
2) Why does your main henchman have metal teeth? And why is he indestructible? Where did you even find this guy?!
3) Why does your escape pod have extremely expensive champagne and casual reading literature? Do you retire there often?
4) Why is there a bottle of Tabasco on your table next to the crystal goblet that probably cost you $100,000? I’m really just curious.

Jaws just wants a hug!

Jaws just wants a hug!

And how about our totally (un)related beer?! Well, for one, I always love me some Deschutes. They’re a great brewery and I recommend you check out their brews. And tonight’s beer, the Red Chair Pale Ale, is a testament to this brewery’s chops. I’m typically not a fan of pale ales as I find them too bitter without some of the complexity found in IPA’s. But the Red Chair was a nice change of pace. Sure, it had that strong hoppy bitterness you expect from a pale ale, but it is supported by some nice maltiness that balances the flavor profile. In fact, as the beer warmed, I found that the bitterness mellowed out in favor for a smoother, maltier flavor. Very intriguing, I know. Overall, this copper-colored beer, which sported a minimal head and a modest 6.2% ABV was a smooth, delicious drink. Very easy to enjoy and very easy to have more than one. A real winner.

So that’s it, folks. A good beer,  afine movie and a good end to a Wednesday. I should point out that no matter how blech this Bond film was, it was still a Bond movie and thus, by definition, I loved it. They’re just so easy to love. Which can also be said of our Red Chair. Easy. Fun. Lovable. Like any woman Bond lays eyes on (other than Moneypenny. No one likes her).


Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Deschutes’ Red Chair:
-Clean, copper color
-Little head, dissipates quickly
-Nice balance of bitter hops & smooth malts

The Spy Who Loved Me:
-Disjointed narrative
-Beautiful scenery (and ladies)
-Too much womanizing, even for Bond


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Petit La Chouffe & Casino Royale

Evening, Drinkers!

Tonight we’re back saving the world with the 2006 redux of the 007 film Casino Royale and drinking Petit La Chouffe. As you may or may not have guessed, I love me some James Bond and this post-Brosnan reboot of the franchise shows the character at the top of his game. No jetpacks or invisible cars. Just some guns, an Aston Martin, beautiful locations and even more beautiful women. So with a La Chouffe in hand and a Le Chiffre to beat at poker, let’s get started.

For those of you who don’t know, Casino Royale was actually the first James Bond book every written. However, it was never sold with all the others that went into making the original movies. Before 2006, there were actually two other Casino Royale incarnations. The first was a 1954 TV pilot aimed at starting a 007 television series. The second version came out in 1967 and was actually a spoof starring none other than Orson Welles as our bad guy Le Chiffre. With it’s release in 2006, the Casino Royale of tonight’s pairing is actually the last movie to be made out of Ian Fleming’s novels. But enough history, let’s get to the action.

Unlike most action movies, Casino Royale balances intensity with sensitivity quite well. Action punctuates moments of character development and reflection. The writing is sharp, layered with meaning and is carried well by a strong cast (who doesn’t want some Daniel Craig?). On top of that, the visuals are striking (most notably Eva Green) and the plot doesn’t lose track of itself unlike some of the film’s predecessors. I really only have two complaints about the film and they can really be rolled into one. Structurally, the film’s acts are almost painfully distinct. The film is evenly split into thirds and sometimes it’s hard to remember how we got from A to B. Though the film’s narrative makes sense, it feels a bit too rigid and it stands out. This brings me to second point which is that the final sequence (in an unnaturally blue-watered Venice), feels like a tag-on. I’m all for wrapping things up but this sequence is like a short film unto itself. And while yes it does wrap up a few loose ends, it feels as if the filmmakers realized a little too late in the game that they needed to end the movie. But overall these are minor complaints and I will still continue to watch this movie (and Eva Green) over and over.

My mom doesn't love me so I'm going to fund terrorism. Oh and I cry blood.

And now we’re off to Belgium, Land of Beer! Seriously, if you want good beer, buy Belgian. Petit La Chouffe, which sports a darling picture of a gnome on its label, is no exception to the Belgian rule. Brewed with spices and touting a bold 8% ABV, this is a beer that is not to be trifled with. Golden in color and smooth in its delivery, La Chouffe’s ABV can actually sneak up on you simply because this beer is so delicious. It has a strong smell of yeast and it doesn’t shy away from those magical spices with which it was brewed. This bold flavor combined with a surprisingly large head (the foam that appears when you pour) forces you to slow down, sip and enjoy this tasty beverage. And though La Chouffe goes for about $5 a bottle, I have to say that it is entirely worth it for anyone who wants to experience good beer. And trust me, you want to experience good beer.

So that’s about all, folks. La Chouffe and Le Chiffre. A match made in heaven. An engaging and occasionally thoughtful action movie with a robust beer. Doesn’t get any better than that.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:

Petit La Chouffe: 
Rich, golden color.
Big, yeasty head.
Complex, spicy flavor.

Casino Royale:
Action movie with a sense of grace.
Eva Green.
Daniel Craig is one tough man.

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Mission St. Hefeweizen & Dr. No

Hello Drinkers,

Tonight I’m a man on a mission with a Mission St. Hefeweizen and the James Bond original Dr. No.  And even though 007 is more of a martini guy, I think we can let it slide just this once.

Now, James Bond is always a man on a mission and no spy movie is more iconic (or parodied) than Dr. No. This movie really has it all: secret island bases to blow up, random hot women to bang, shark tanks to admire, world domination plots to explain and, of course, the obligatory half-Asian bad guy played by a white guy with robo-hands.

Robo. Hands.

Anyway, to our modern eyes this movie is incredibly cheesy and thin. Bond travels to a single location (Jamaica), follows several fairly simple clues and finds himself face-to-face with very congenial nemesis who works for one of the most poorly named organizations of all time: Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion. Or S.P.E.C.T.R.E. for those who still want to sound cool. Dr. No doesn’t want money or fame. He simply wants to cause the US Space Program a little trouble. No big deal. Now aside from the odd fact that a British spy has to deal with an American problem and the film’s underlying racism towards the Chinese, the movie is fun. It has all the tropes of a great spy movie and can be largely credited with the genre’s popularity. And at the end of the day, who doesn’t love a little James Bond?

Answer: This guy.

So while I was watching my favorite spy on his first mission on screen, I was slowly sipping on a Mission St. Hefeweizen (a beer made specifically for Trader Joe’s). For those who don’t know what a hefeweizen is, this beer is essentially a cool way of calling something a wheat beer or a white beer. Now I’m sure there are some technical differences among them but for our purposes they are all similar at their core. Compared to last week’s wheat beer, Blue Moon, Mission St. is more mellow and less fruity. It’s not less flavorful or boring, the taste just doesn’t jump out at you. It’s got a cloudy gold color (hefeweizens and wheats aren’t filtered) and a pours a thin head. By all accounts, it’s a good beer for the end of summer. It’s still fairly light and floral but isn’t as sweet as something you might want in the middle of the summer. While it didn’t do anything new for me, I wouldn’t mind picking this one up again if I’m looking for a casual (re: low ABV) sip or two.

Although both Dr. No and Mission St. Hefeweizen might feel like familiar ground for anyone accustomed to the genres, they are both solid and enjoyable ways of spend an evening on your couch.

And now for a quick bit of business. I, of course, am a I fountain of wisdom when it comes to arbitrarily pairing beers with movies. At times though, I get a little lonely when it comes time to pick a combo off of my extensive list. So with that in mind, if you ever have any ideas for beers, movies or a combination thereof, let me know and I’ll do my best to get it up quickly.

Keep drinking my friends! That is unless you have to drive home. Then you should stop drinking.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:

Mission St. Hefeweizen:  
Cloudy, golden color.
Mellow, grainy flavor.
Solid beer but nothing out-of-the-ordinary.

Dr. No:
The original Bond. James Bond.
First example of all the cheesy stereotypes we love.
Bond bangs women who try to kill him. All the time.

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