Tag Archives: Port Brewing

Port Brewing’s Anniversary Ale & Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Hey there, Drinkers!

Sorry for the long delay but the anniversary of our nation’s founding threw my schedule a little out of whack. But with the 4th safely behind us, I thought it was high time we celebrate another anniversary: the 25th release anniversary of Who Framed Roger Rabbit while sipping on Port Brewing’s (10th?) Anniversary Ale. So let’s get celebrating, shall we?!

25 years ago, Robert Zemekis and Steven Spielberg released the incomparable, technically-stunning Who Framed Roger RabbitFor the unfortunate ones who have not seen this film, it’s essentially a 1940’s noir set in a fictional Hollywood in which cartoons are real. It’s a bit of an odd concept (one originally created in the form of a novel actually) but the murder mystery that drives the film is quite clear and easily understood, so the film remains grounded and on-course despite its inherent zaniness. In fact, the noir story in and of itself is quite compelling. The murder mystery is captivating and well-paced and the subplot regarding the reconfiguration of Los Angeles travel (the birth of freeways) is also well-integrated. Moreover, what I learned only a few years ago, the film is a purposeful parable and critique of Los Angeles gentrification and minority-community dispersal. In the film, greedy men and studios wheel and deal to remove Toon Town and remake Los Angeles in their image. In the real world, the creation of the now-infamous LA freeway system split and destroyed historically African-American communities that are still reeling from the negative impact to this day.

zany AND poignant!

zany AND poignant!

Aside from a strong story with a pertinent subtext, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is simply an excellent example of great filmmaking. From a technical standpoint, the hybrid of live-action and hand-drawn animation (no CGI here, folks!) is simply incredible. The forethought in the scene-blocking, the complete dedication of the acting…it’s all truly remarkable. Not to mention that the animation is simply just good. It feels like a classic Looney Toon cartoon! From a world-detail standpoint, everything we see on-screen feels like it belongs in the world. The period-setting is accurately done and the cartoon elements feel about as real as they should be. It would have been easier (and probably cheaper) to say “ah it’s just cartoons so no one will really care anyway” but fortunately, that was not the case. The detail of what we see lends such authenticity to the story that you can’t help but love the film more. Third, from a business standpoint, seeing Warner Bros and Disney character side-by-side on film is really remarkable. I don’t know how those deals got made but I’m just impressed. And finally, the film is just really damn funny. Aside from all the easy toon-related gags, there’s a good amount of subtle or below-the-radar humor that I’ve only picked up on from having seen the movie many (MANY) times. Also, being an Los Angeles resident also lends a little bit of humor to the mix, as the film relentless pokes fun at the modern day city. How about them Brooklyn Dodgers?!

Chuckles...technically challenging chuckles

Chuckles…technically challenging chuckles

So in case you haven’t picked up on it already, I really love this film. As a kid, as an adult, as a film-student, as an Angeleno…everything about this movie is truly wonderful. Go watch it!. It’s on Netflix.

Seriously, go now.

Oh and the bad guy Judge Doom is still terrifying. Just FYI.

What have you done with Doc Brown?!

What have you done with Doc Brown?!

And while not “zany,” I have to say that Port Brewing’s Anniversary Ale was quite the treat. Released every spring and summer, this year’s iteration of the Anniversary Ale is a super-hopped strong pale ale. Yes, “strong” is actually a type of beer. Pouring a hazy golden orange reminiscent of summer wheats, this beer smacks you with powerful hoppiness and a mild-mannered head. There are also hints of sweet citrus in there but you’ll most get those once you take a sip. Despite the hefty 10% ABV, the beer does not come off as too boozy. Rather, you’re hit again with that strong hoppy flavor accompanied with notes of grapefruit and a little bit of grain. All of those flavors mellow out as it warms, so this one I’d suggest you don’t let sit out too long. But other than that, it’s actually quite easy to drink if you like hops. And finally, I think I could classify the texture or mouthfeel as chewy and/or sticky. Neither of those words make a beer sound appealing but it’s actually a pretty accurate description for how the beer feels on your tongue (hence it’s called mouthfeel). The Port Brewing website also describes the beer this way, so I’m not completely out of my mind. But overall, this is a very good beer that I’d recommend to any hop-head.

So there you have it, Drinkers. Another successful adventure! What better way to relax like an adult than with cartoons and beer? A seriously good movie for all audiences and a great beer for the educated drinker. I think I’ll be enjoying both again in the future.

And as always keep drinking, my friends!
Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Port Brewing’s Anniversary Ale:
-Nice hazy, orange pour
-Super hoppy deliciousness
-“Chewy” mouthfeel but that’s a good thing

Who Framed Roger Rabbit:
-Amazing technical feat
-Utterly hilarious
-Captivating story with real-world touchstones



(and yes I realized I missed many “hoppy” pun opportunities. sue me.)

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Port Brewing’s Mongo IPA & Blazing Saddles

Hey there, Dwinkers!

Valentine’s Day is over and my next major holiday is Passover (a decidedly unfriendly holiday to the beer-drinker), so we’re back to our regular scheduled (I schedule?) programming. Tonight we saddle up and head West with Blazing Saddles and Port Brewing’s Mongo IPA. So grab your spurs and candy grams and let’s ride out!

I think I first saw Mel Brooks’ 1974 Western parody film Blazing Saddles when I was probably ten. Maybe younger. I loved it then and I love it now but the first thing that comes to mind is “why the hell did my parents let me watch this as a child?!” Aside from much of the humor going WAY above my head (who’s Hedy Lamar? who’s Marlena Deitrich? what about all black men makes them…gifted?),  the references, innuendoes and jokes fly by at a mile a minute and it’s easy to miss many of them, even to the most knowledge of viewers let alone a 10 year-old kid. But that’s part of Mel Brooks’ genius. The comedy is never-ending and regardless of base or crude the joke may be, he commits to each one fully. Even when that joke is just men farting around a campfire for 10 seconds straight. I’m still surprised I was allowed to watch this movie though. Blazing Saddles filled with so much foul language and racial offense that it’s a marvel that this movie was made even in the 70’s! But it’s Mel Brooks and he can pretty much do whatever he wants since he pretty much makes fun of everyone.

Gunplay is funny!

Gunplay is funny!

But aside from the brilliant dialogue and expertly-timed jokes, the real treasure of this film is in its performances. Every character so effortlessly plays off the other that you can almost sense how much fun they were all having on set. Even Gene Wilder, who is dramatically understated for most of the film, manages to bring a smile to you every time he speaks. And then there’s Madeline Kahn. She’s just amazing. Oscar-nominated amazing, in fact. Oh and one more quick thing: it should be pointed out that this movie truly is a fantastic parody of the Western genre. Nearly every theme, trope, cliche and character archetype is addressed and lambasted. Even the music is in on the game (also Oscar-nominated, along with film editing). For you cinephiles out there, this is a good crash-course in the American Western. But you know I hadn’t seen this movie in some time and it was good remembering why I love it so much. For a variety of reasons, for good and ill, they truly don’t make movies like this anymore.

It also has one of the most bizarre, meta conclusions you’ll ever find on the big screen.

Can I offer you some more...comedy?

Can I offer you some more…comedy?

And was Port Brewing’s Mongo IPA “just a pawn in game of life”? To be truthful, I’m not quite certain how I feel about this IPA. The beer pours a nice, hazy orange and leaves behind some lovely lacing, making it a very pretty beer to look at it. But the aroma and primary taste I got from the beer was one of grain and citrus with only a hint of hoppy IPA bitterness. Maybe it was just the bottle I had but this felt much closer to a wheat than an IPA. For what it’s worth, this 8.5% ABV beer was quite light in body and easy to drink, so it might be a good alternative for those who are still on the fence about IPA’s. But for me, it just wasn’t big or bombastic enough  or for the movie I was watching. I do like many other of Port Brewing’s beers, so I’m not writing them off but I was a bit disappointed with my Mongo.

So there it is, Dwinkers! Another beer and a movie riding off into the sunset. Fantastic movie, meh beer but still a good evening. My abs definitely got a workout from the movie and I’m glad I got to try another new beer, even if it was a bit of a dud.

Thanks for reading and be sure to connect with BAAM on Twitter, Facebook or Untappd (for you mobile drinkers).

And as always keep drinking, my friends.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:port
Port Brewing’s Mongo IPA:
-Nice, hazy orange pour
-Thick head w/ lovely lacing
-More grain than hop in flavor profile

Blazing Saddles:
-Non-stop joke onslaught
-Fairly offensive, but it shares the wealth
-Never gets olds, a true classic


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Port Brewing’s Santa’s Little Helper Imperial Stout & The Nightmare Before Christmas

Hey there, Drinkers!

What’s this?! A nightmare after Christmas? Yes, it’s true. And in true Christmas fashion, I’m giving you a gift after the fact now that the crowds have died down at Target. Though, to be truthful, this review was supposed to be out earlier but life decided that the holidays would be a great time for me not feel so hot. But here we are! With Santa’s Little Helper in hand and The Nightmare Before Christmas on  my screen, we’ve lined up a holiday that will be hard to forget!

…unless you’re Jewish like me and always get confused between the concept of Christmas Eve with Christmas Day with Christmas Eve Day with Christmas Day Eve. It really is confusing…But let’s get started, shall we?

On tonight’s menu is the short-but-sweet 1993 film The Nightmare Before Christmas. And while most people  (albeit understandably) associate this super stop-motion film with Tim Burton, he is actually not the director. Yes he helped write and produce it, but frequent collaborator Henry Selick is actually credited as the director. Yes, Burton’s fingerprints all over this film but I thought it was an interesting distinction to make. But beyond that technicality, I’m just going to assume  that all of you have seen this movie. I mean, I’ve seen it like 50 times. And Jack Skellington, our protagonist, appears on so many angsty teenaged girls’ clothing and apparel that it’s hard not to be familiar with the film at least in an abstract or artistic sense. And while I still don’t really get why the film has become a fashion statement, I do get why this film is frickin’ awesome. Aside from the impressive technical foundation on which any stop-motion film stands, it’s also a musical! With the exception of maybe two songs, the musical component of this film, expertly crafted by the unparalleled Danny Elfman, is utterly engaging. It drives the plot forward, is playful and fully integrated into the core of the film. And, most importantly, the songs are incredibly catchy! Who knew that the simple phrase “this is Halloween” could play over and over in your head?

Let's all sing along with the living incarnation of Death!

Let’s all sing along with the living incarnation of Death!

All fandom aside, I should point out how utterly dark and creepy this film is. What kind of Halloween’s did Tim Burton experience as a child? These monsters are scary and really sadistic (as good monster are wont to do, I guess). I feel like if this Halloween were based on reality, everyone in Halloween Town would have just been really really slutty. But hey, it’s a movie. Let’s suspend our disbelief for a moment. But aside from the creep-factor, those same monsters do provide a clear perspective on how carefully this film was constructed. The individual detail and characterization of every creature is immaculate and fully-realized. What could have easily been a hammy and cliche Halloween village is instead a fully realized universe inhabited with a plethora of distinct characters . Few live-action movies get even that right, so to see it in a movie with no flesh-and-blood actors is truly remarkable and refreshing. Not to mention that Oogie-Boogie is one of the more entertaining bad guys you’ll find on the silver screen. For the none of you who have not seen this film, don’t wait until next Halloween or Christmas to give it a whirl. Watch it now! Remember, This Is Halloween!

Children welcome

Children welcome

And Santa’s Little Helper? Well, for starters, I think it’s an understatement to call a beer that boasts 10% ABV a “little helper.” This Imperial Stout from Port Brewing is one of the stronger beers I’ve reviewed here on BAAM and, to be honest, I’m still feeling it. The beer wasn’t boozy, mind you, it’s just that it’s a high ABV beer and I drank the whole bomber. By myself. Hurray for Thursday nights! But seriously, this imperial stout poured a classic deep, dark black with a rich chocolate-brown head. Instantly you’re hit with a strong nose of chocolate malt with hints of coffee. And that’s pretty much what it tastes like. In my experience, I find that most imperial stouts, while delicious and perfect for that chilly winter night, all have these same basic characteristics. What it comes down to for me with these beers is the body, the booziness and how it warms. In that regard, Santa’s Little Helper holds up pretty well. It’s got an unexpectedly medium-body without too much booziness. This meant that I had an easy drink that didn’t weigh me down or make me pucker up too much from the alcohol. And as it warmed, I found that these characteristics came out even more. In a sense, the warming smoothed it all out. Where the was a hint of booze right after I poured, once it reached room temperature that small bite mellowed out. Overall, this is a very good Imperial Stout. Perfect for sipping over a long period of time. So chuggers, find another beer!

So that’s it, folks. A holiday classic (that’s not an overstatement, is it?) paired with a very good, hearty winter beer. Not that The Nightmare Before Christmas needs a hand, but it was nice having Santa’s Little Helper at my side tonight. I think we’ll call this Christmas a win!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:Santa's Little Helper from Port Brewing in a glass.
Port Brewing’s Santa’s Little Helper Imperial Stout:
-Lovely, dark pour
-Rich, chocolate head
-Medium-body & not too boozy

The Nightmare Before Christmas
-A nice change of pace from your other holiday films
-Beautifully realized, even if it is creepy
-Catchiest, darkest lyrics you’ll find

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Port Brewing’s Shark Attack Double Red Ale & Deep Blue Sea

Good evening, drinkers!

Tonight is all about the reds and blues. Blood and water. And beer. I just finished watching Deep Blue Sea while drinking Port Brewing’s Shark Attack Double Red. Before we begin, I have a few facts that I would like to list as a disclaimer for this review:

Fact #1: I just drank 22 oz. of 9% beer. I am tipsy. Sorry.
Fact #2: I originally wanted to watch Jaws, but I couldn’t find it anywhere (Internet fail!), so I settled for the second most famous shark-themed movie.
Fact #3: This movie was awful and featured LL Cool J. I will not treat it fairly in my review. Fair warning.
Fact #4: I’m still tipsy. Sorry.

Let’s begin!

I really should have watched this movie instead.

Despite Deep Blue Sea  being a god-awful film, I’ll assume that most of you have seen this movie. I’m not sure why, but most people I have come across seem to have seen this film. Or, at the very least, you have probably seen this scene. But that’s besides the point. This movie, for all of its wonderful Samuel L. Jackson eating scenes, is just plain terrible. The premise? Scientists have genetically enhanced three sharks in order to harvest their Brain Juice (we’re using capitals, get over it) in order to cure Alzheimer’s. But, surprise surprise, these sharks git all uppity and smart. Since eating people is preferable to getting their Brain Juice extracted, these three sharks decide to wreak havoc on a bizarrely constructed underwater laboratory staffed by some scientists, a badass shark wrangler and LL Cool J. Oh and Sammy L. is along for the ride because his pharmaceutical company is funding research it knows nothing about and the writers needed a way to explain everything to audience. Needless to say, science goes awry and man pays for its desire to play God.

Now at this point, I can only assume that you know how I feel about this film. Moving beyond the terrible premise, there really isn’t much to go off of. The characters are thin caricatures of what we expect from our cinematic heros, scientists and corporate suits. Little shocks the audience beyond the arbitrary killing of characters and the unlikely survival of LL Cool J, who somehow survives a shark bite that literally rips every other character in half. In contrast to my strong opinions about this film, I actually have very little to say about it. The narrative quickly dumps its “be careful of science” storyline for a pure shark-slasher flick that does little to excite its audience. In fact, I mostly just felt bad for the actors. They probably spent months feeling cold and wet to create a genuinely bad movie. Now that’s dedication.

Oh and did I mention that our Special friend Michael Rapaport is in this film? Yeah. And he kind of plays the same character. Just more annoying.

Shark 101: Don't be this guy.

But thank God for beer, am I right? This hoppy, but remarkably well-balanced 9% beer really helped me out with this film. There is nothing quite like 22 oz. of 9% ABV beer to make a bad situation hilarious, am I right? (I am, in case you were wondering). This Shark Attack Double Red poured a striking red color with a thick head that gives off a strong, piney aroma. While not as piney as, say, an IPA, you definitely taste the hops up front. However, unlike an IPA, this red dissipates into a nice, malty flavor that helps balance out that initial bitterness. Moreover, the strength of the alcohol is mostly masked by that initial hoppiness, making this beer fairly easy to drink (provided you enjoy hops). Also, I’d like to point out that this beer got significantly better as it warmed. As it reached room temperature, that malty balance really came forward and really helped the beer out. I haven’t had anything else from Port Brewing, but this Shark Attack has me hungry for more from this California brewery.

While I didn’t get to watch the movie I was originally intending to, this evening ended up being fine. I got to drink a good beer (with a high ABV!) and watch a terrible movie, which almost always means it’s a good night. However, I promise that the next review I do will be of a “good” movie. I think it’s about time that I get back to using that film degree and analyzing films that are more worthwhile.

Also, for those who are interested, BAAM is fast approaching its 40th review. And while my friends are suggesting that I go all out and do an Edward Forty-Hands (duct tape two 40 oz. bottles to my hands and drink, drink, drink!), I am looking for a less shameful alternative. So if you have any suggestions, please leave a comment below.

And, as always, keep drinking my friends.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Port Brewing’s Shark Attack Double Red Ale:
– Hazy, deep red color
-Piney aroma & flavor
-Tastes better as it warms

Deep Blue Sea:
-What to do when super smart sharks attack!
-Remarkably, LL Cool J survives. Pretty sure it was written into his contract.
-Shark Brain Juice cures Alzheimer’s. Who knew?

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