Tag Archives: New Belgium Brewing Company

New Belgium’s Rampant Imperial IPA & Mimic

Hey there, Drinkers!

Today we’re running RAMPANT with New Belgium’s Rampant Imperial IPA and the 1997 creature-feature Mimic. Bugs n’ beer! Because if it rhymes then you know its gotta be good. Right? How about we dive into the nasty subway tunnels of late 90’s New York and find out?

Mimic is one of those odd movies that apparently everyone has seen and yet it is never classified as “great” or “terrible” or a “classic.” For such a seemingly ubiquitous film, the general consensus surrounding the film is a resounding “oh yeah, that movie with the bugs.” And that’s actually a pretty accurate assessment. It’s memorable enough but doesn’t seem to stand on its own as a classic creature horror movie. In fact, that seems like the official position of the film. Director Guillermo del Toro (who most recently directed Pacific Rim) apparently disavowed the film after it was released, citing difficulties with the infamous Weinstein brothers. But setting all that gloom aside, let’s just take a look at the film as it is.

For the most part, Mimic is a fun and generally unsettling monster movie in which bioengineered termites/mantises grow into human sized and human shaped bugs that kill people. For those of you who are familiar with del Toro’s work, this sounds an awful lot like Hellboy. And Blade II for that matter. Both silly. Both great. But back to the movie at hand. What makes this movie different from other monster movies is the amount of time spent not combatting the insectoid-enemy. In fact, most of the movie is spent just creeping us out while our hapless CDC heroes find little clues along the way. There are few flashy deaths, no great public panic, no grand plan and no great final assault. Instead, our heroes accidentally find this infestation and through sheer luck (and little bit of balls), manage to destroy the infestation. So, in that regard, the movie is fairly fresh and engaging because it allows our protagonists to feel more human and not superhuman.

Hasn't seen this bug in three years yet totally unconcerned

Hasn’t seen this bug in three years yet totally unconcerned

But in other regards…not so much. For one, like all “science” based horror movies, it makes no sense. Somehow faster metabolism made these all female, sterile bugs reproduce really fast? And these termite/mantis bugs, which look like cockroaches, evolved to camouflage themselves from their human predators? The humans that didn’t know they existed and weren’t hunting them at all? Sure, aptly named “Judas hybrid” look real creepy but it doesn’t really make sense. Also, our heroes assertion that these bugs would have no problem infiltrating our communities is a bit of a stretch. I feel like we might start to notice the freakishly tall dudes in trench coats after awhile but hey, I’m not a scientist so I can’t say for sure. Aside from that, the acting is not stellar. For the most part, the characters are basic archetypes without much complexity but again this is a creature movie. So no one cares. Overall it was a fun movie that is spooky, not scary. Though at times a bit bloodier than you’d expect. Also Josh Brolin is in it, so that’s cool. Oh also Norman Reemus (from The Walking Dead) has a few lines too.

Totally inconspicuous

Totally inconspicuous

And while our on-screen friends were running rampant, was our beer doing the same? While I’m not sure “rampant” is the word I’d use to describe New Belgium’s Rampant Imperial IPA, I’d say it’s a pretty damn good beer. Pouring a nice clear, coppery color with a modest but lovely head, this beer is just a beauty to behold. Off the nose, you’ll get hints of hops with a surprising amount of malt in there too. With your first sip, you’ll definitely get that classic hoppy flavor you’d expect but it won’t overwhelm you. The bitterness of the hops is incredibly well-balanced against the bready, maltiness of the beer. Some sweet, fruity notes also come into play that help keep the beer feeling light and fairly refreshing. And despite the 8.5% ABV, the beer never felt boozy or heavy. Rather, Rampant is remarkably smooth and easy to drink. A definite must buy for those trying to experiment with some hoppier beers. And it’s a good beer for us seasoned hop-heads as well. A real crowd pleaser.

So there you have it, drinkers. A night of beer n’ bugs! So yes, rhyming does make it a good thing. A fun, creepifying movie that is easy to watch paired with an interesting yet easy to drink IIPA. Definitely a successful evening.

Thanks again for reading folks!

And as always keep drinking, my friends!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:Rampant_Credit_Jay_Geisen-e1367522293288
New Belgium’s Rampant IIPA:

-Gorgeous pour color
-Very well balanced hoppiness
-Complex flavor but easy to drink

-Fun, simple, spooky
-Weird science!
-Thematically similar to roughly half of director’s films


Filed under Review

New Belgium’s Somersault & Wet Hot American Summer

Hello Drinkers,

Tonight’s combo was originally going to be something a little…cloudy…but due to some availability problems I shelved the duo and replaced it with a line that I think you’ll enjoy (don’t worry, it’ll be happening soon). So instead I kicked it with some of New Belgium Brewing Company’s Somersault Ale (the makers of Fat Tire) and David Wain’s 2001 classic Wet Hot American Summer. Both are instant summer classics with a lot to offer to any palette.

Wet Hot American Summer, for those unfamiliar with it, follows the inexplicably long and wild last day at a 1980’s summer camp. Nearly every cast member is a well known comedian on the brink of their comedic career and every scene is packed with humor, some of it more subtle than others. While of course the movie is filled with the obligatory sex jokes and the occasional slice of earnest pie, the film relies mostly on its sheer absurdity. Though a number of more recent movies push the boundaries of absurdity with mixed results, Wet Hot American Summer achieves its comedy with such perceived ease and levity that you don’t mind going along for the ride. So when in the last 10 minutes of a film the camp is threatened by a rogue piece of space debris, you really don’t care. You just laugh. Also, the movie features an always perfect Paul Rudd and a hilariously homosexual Bradley Cooper (of The Hangover fame).

Summer camp was awesome.

For a movie about the glory days of summer camp, the counselors do drink a bit of beer. While I’m sure they’ve earned it (as a someone who’s worked at a “summer camp,” I sympathize), I’m fairly certain they weren’t drinking the good stuff like New Belgium’s Somersault. This summery ale is light, playful and very easy to drink for someone who is willing to try new things. Its got a light, golden color and you’ll definitely notice some citrus and fruit with your first sip. Now I know that some people can be a bit thrown off by beers that get described with fruity language (chuckles), but Somersault is still a beer’s beer at its core. It has a distinctive grainy flavor that is supported by those citrus-y flavors I mentioned. Definitely worth a bottle or two.

Simply put, Wet Hot American Summer and Somersault are two things you need to at least try once. Sure you might not be in to them, but you’ll be a better, wiser and more cultured person that can show off to your less awesome friends. Besides, you might even have a laugh or two while you do it.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:

Light, golden color.
Distinctive and unique citrus flavor.
Perfect for a warm summer night.

Wet Hot American Summer:
Easy and enjoyable if you just go for it.
Huge, talented cast.
Bradley Cooper was gay before he was a douche.

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Filed under Review