Tonight we’re back with another beer from Anchor Brewery and continuing with our recent trend of discussing American values in cinema (4th of July slasher, death racing as an American pass-time, Team America: Fuck Yeah!). On tonight’s menu? Chicken. And Liberty.
Tonight’s movie is a bit of a throwback, but I think most of you should remember it. Back in 2000, the incredible creators of Wallace & Gromit took a break from their famous characters to bring us Chicken Run. Utilizing their unmistakeable claymation style, Peter Lord and Nick Park recreated the classic film The Great Escape with chickens. It’s a little odd, but that’s kind of what these guys do. In short, the chickens of Tweedy’s Farm work to escape the confines of their farm/prison by enlisting an escaped American circus rooster (improbably voiced by Mel Gibson) to train them to fly. In between the silly setup and the film’s high-flying dramatic conclusion, there’s the usual slew of amusing antics that one would expect of a bunch of British lady-chickens trying to fly. And that’s kind of what this film is. Antics. And it’s great. Sure the plot is a bit predictable and the movie is a bit short (a speedy 82 minutes), but that’s not really why you see this film. If you’re like most viewers, it’s mostly a quick, fun distraction that satisfies both parents and kids. It’s goofy enough for the little ones and has enough sly, British humor for the adults. Not to mention you have Mel Gibson pretending to be funny and carefree. That’s always a hoot. But simplicity or not, you still have to appreciate the creativity and labor that went into this film. As I’ve said with other stop-motion films, just the sheer amount of work that goes into creating one of these feature-length films is alone worthy of praise. But on top of that, you have distinct characters and a plethora of witty chicken-themed puns. What more could you ask for?
Onwords to beer! Now the strangely astute and the hopelessly bored may notice that I’ve actually discussed Anchor’s Liberty Ale in last year’s holiday recap. However, since my review was about three sentences long and my opinions towards IPAs have changed pretty dramatically since then, I figured I owed it to this beer to give it a second shot. And I’m glad I did. This San Francisco IPA is arguably one of the maltier IPA’s I’ve had. It’s actually hard to classify it as an IPA, as the floral bitterness from the hops is very well-balanced caramel-y malts. You also get some fruity hints in there, which takes some of the weight out of the beer, making it perfect for a warm Los Angeles evening. Pouring a hazy gold with a thick, lacy head, this brew is at once easy to drink and multi-faceted in its flavor profile. And while I wasn’t the biggest fan of Anchor’s summer wheat, I have to admit that the Liberty has inspired me to check out some more of this brewery’s creations.
So that’s our evening of Liberty, folks. There were chickens running wild, beer was flowing and I was laughing by myself in my darkened living room. So it was a pretty typical Wednesday for me. Zing!
And, as always, keep drinking my friends!
-The Great Escape as performed by clay chickens
-Sharp, British humor
-Mel Gibson plays a douchey American. Shocker.