Tag Archives: pumpkin ale

Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale & Pumpkinhead

Hey there, Drinkers

It’s still October (who knew?!) so that means we’re still drinking pumpkin beers and watching horror movies. And in true BAAM form, we’re sipping on a delightful beer from Dogfish Head while watching an awful movie. Truly awful. Like just straight up, not-accidentally funny bad. So let’s get started, shall we?

Now some of you might be familiar with a little movie called Alien (1979) or its sequel Aliens (1986). Oh you’ve heard of them? Good! Because Pumpkinhead (1988) is a terrible version of these movies. Set in rural Appalachia. And not scary. And dumb. And cheap. For real guys, this movie is the poor man’s ripoff of Alien. The poorly-named Pumpkinhead creature (something about the graveyard it comes from?) looks almost exactly like the Xenomorph and even sports the same cicada-like sound. And you know who our kinda sorta protagonist is? It’s BISHOP! FROM ALIENS. GGAAAHHHHH!

Oh and there’s a flamethrower too.

Before he was a robot, he was a hillbilly

Before he was a robot, he was a sexy hillbilly

So maybe let’s talk about what makes Pumpkinhead not an Alien movie.
1) It does not take place in space.
2) Pumpkinhead is a demon, not an alien. A demon that is summoned by a gross yet spritely witch.
3) There are city kids, all of whom are annoying and you don’t care about.
4) Pumpkinhead is dumb and inconsistent. It likes to pick up its prey, drop them and then either leave them on the ground or drop them by a front door. It also stabs a guy with a shotgun and throws a motorcycle in the air. But it can’t get through wooden walls without the ramming power of a cross. Whatever.
5) Apparently Pumpkinhead is somehow connected to our villain turned hero Bishop though that’s never really explored or explained. All you need to know is that if you hurt our character, you also hurt Pumpkinhead (who also bursts into flames when defeated…). Again, whatever.

Totally NOT the Alien

Totally NOT the Alien

But there are two good things that I can about this movie. The first is that the creature effects are actually pretty solid. The creature looks fairly “believable” and moves naturally, which can be a challenge for many other monster movies. The second positive thing is that this movie ends. It may be the longest, least-scary one and half hours ever, but it does come to a conclusion. So there’s that. And now I’m moving on.

Not a fairy tale. And this scene doesn't exist.

Not a fairy tale. And this scene doesn’t exist.

So let’s talk about something good, shall we? How about something amazing? Does that suit your fancy? Well good, because paired with this awful movie was Dogfish Head’s incomparable Punkin Ale. Pumpkin ales are nothing special this time of year. It seems like every brewery has their take on the classic seasonal brew. But what sets this brown ale apart is that it deviates from the classic pumpkin flavor and instead leans heavily on a complex mix of spices and real, hearty pumpkin meat. You’ll get big notes of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg but none of these overwhelm the palate. Instead, with a little reinforcement from some brown sugar and pumpkin, you get a very carefully constructed beer that is never boring. Visually, the beer is quite lovely to behold. It pours a rich copper color with a dissipating head. Overall, this is one of the best pumpkin beers around and only continues to prove that Dogfish Head is one of the best.

So there you have it, folks. Another classic BAAM combo of salvaging a terrible movie with a fantastic beer. I really can’t recommend watching this movie (even for laughs) but I can say that if you see some Punkins at your local beer store, buy as much as you can afford.

And as always keep drinking, my friends.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale:
-Rich, complex spice combo
-Full-bodied but not heavy
-Perfect pumpkin ale

-Rural Alien
-Every character is terrible
-At least the creature looks cool…ish

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Halloween Special: Devilish Beers & Halloween Resurrection

Hey there, Drinkers!

On this Halloween, BAAM and We Recycle Movies revive our tradition our providing asinine commentary on holiday slashers whilst drinking beer. Pretty good, schtick, right? On the menu we have the dubious Halloween Resurrection and two arbitrarily-chosen yet thematically appropriate beers. And when you’re done reading this fine review, I suggest you hit up WRM for Anne’s perspective on the experience. Most likely it’ll just be her judging me. But let’s get to it, shall we?!

Due to some unfortunate scheduling mishaps, Anne and I didn’t get to both of the films we wanted to but that’s okay, the 2002 film Halloween: Resurrection is what we wanted to see anyway. Briefly starring Jamie Lee Curtis, the film follows a group of teens (shocker!) as they spend the night in Michael Myers’ childhood home as part of an internet reality show created and produced by none other than Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks. Yup! Needless to say, Michael Myers isn’t too happy with this and thus proceeds to murder pretty much everyone for no apparent reason. Alternating between sneaky kills and brazen slashing, Michael Myers is probably the least thematic cinematic murderer. He pretty much just kills people, regardless of how scary it is to us viewers. And that’s pretty much the movie. Yup.

To discuss this movie further would be to shame all the other movies I’ve discussed here on this blog so I don’t want to dwell on it much longer. I do want to note that Katee Sackhoff is in this movie as someone other than Starbuck, which is upsetting. Her name is also misspelled in the credits. Oops! Also, there are boobs. Not Katee Sackhoff’s. So that kinda puts on the same level as a bunch of other slashers. But what else is there to say? Oh yes, very little of this movie makes sense. Michael Myers, as per usual, defies the laws of physics and biology.  The reality TV/POV camera conceit is only used when convenient and is largely ignored. Hmm what else? There are so many little things that frustrated Anne and myself but we just don’t have time for them here. But a good example can be found when our protagonist escapes Michael Myers and his house, only to go back inside so she can try to leave through the front door…which she knows is locked. Yup. That’s the movie we watched. Don’t bother with this one folks. It ain’t worth it.

And our beers? Well those were pretty non-spooky as well. Our first brew was Hermitage Brewing’s Fruit Crate Pumpkin Ale. Despite a promising, reddish amber pour, this beer was kinda nothing. There was virtually no pumpkin aroma or taste. In fact, I don’t know what this tasted like. A bland golden ale that was just a bit bitter? And not even good, hoppy bitter. Just bitter bitter. It’s hard to classify this as a bad beer. It was more of a “meh” beer that really does nothing at all. You can skip this one.

And, sadly, our second beer was a bit of a let-down as well. Rabbit Foot’s Diabhal is a self-described Belgian style ale brewed with honey, but even that’s a generous description. I didn’t get any of that classic Belgian yeastiness . Instead, I was hit over the head with crazy honey flavor. For me, honey should be used sparingly to impart mild sweetness. But this Diabhal tasted like boozy honey with maybe a hint of sweet fruit. It was sweet on sweet and not in a awesome Halloween candy kind of way. There was almost no malt or hop flavor in fact. As Anne noted, this beer seemed more closely related to a honey wine (mead) than it was beer. Lame.

So there it is folks, a bad movie with some disappointing beers. Can’t win them all I guess. I’d say it’s hard to know what a good beer is unless you’ve had a bad beer or two, but the more I think about that statement, I realize how stupid that sounds. Hand me an Old Rasputin any day and I’ll be happy man. Screw the rest!

Once again, a special thanks to Anne from We Recycle Movies for taking the time out of her insane schedule to enjoy some mediocrity with me. Please go check out her blog and show her a little BAAM love.

Happy Halloween! And as always, keep drinking, my friends!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Fruit Crate Pumpkin Ale:
-Nice amber color
-Almost no pumpkin flavor
-Sadly a nothing beer

-Super honey sweetness
-No Belgian yeasty flavor
-If I wanted honey wine, I’d buy honey wine

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Filed under Review, Special

Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale & The Silence of the Lambs

Hey there, Drinkers!

Nothing says Fall quite like pumpkin beer and serial killers. Well…I may need to reassess that one. Anyway, I’m trying to get back into the swing of things here with BAAM so I thought it would be a smart idea to get back to our roots by reviewing a “real” movie and blind tasting what Buffalo Bill’s brewery claims to be “America’s first pumpkin ale.” So put down that glass of Chianti (mmm…fava beans), we’ve got a review on hand!

The 1991 Oscar powerhouse thriller The Silence of the Lambs, directed by Jonathan Demme (who only makes rockumentaries and the intense drama), is one of those movies you really shouldn’t miss. Everyone always talks about classics or must-see movies, but The Silence of the Lambs is really one of the few films from the past thirty years I feel comfortable putting under that heading. It is intense, gripping, frightening and haunting. It’s visually striking, narratively engaging and expertly acted. What is truly remarkable about this film, especially when compared to like-minded thrillers, is that it cares so much more about its characters than it does about the case. While the case is interesting in a sickening sort of way, the most chilling scenes are when Clarice (Jodie Foster) and Hannibal (Anthony Hopkins) simply talk. Their dialogue immediately gets under your skin and leaves you thinking. There’s a perpetual sense of unease that permeates the film and it leaves the viewer feeling edgy. I’ve seen this film a number of time now but I still got a certain tightness in my chest while watching. Not many movies can do that to me.


There’s a lot to discuss in this film but I don’t really have the time (or your undivided attention…let’s be real here) to go into detail. However, I do want to briefly point out the use of close-ups throughout the film, as they appear quite regularly throughout. Demme treats us to long, uncomfortably close close-ups of our characters’ faces while they talk. Not only does this connect us to the character, it also forces us to see every detail in their facial expressions. We have no choice but to study, examine and dissect, much in the same way Hannibal Lecter sees the world. It’s real creepy. Other than that, my only complaint is that I was never fully convinced as to why Clarice was really put on the case. Yes, she’s young and attractive and a fresh face for Hannibal, but I feel like the film doesn’t really go beyond these easy, one-line answers. Granted the rest of the movie is so good that it doesn’t matter but I feel obligated to gripe about something. Anyway, go see this movie. Even those viewers who have weaker constitutions shouldn’t find this one all too offensive (it’s only a little bloody/gory/disturbing). This movie isn’t too concerned with the spectacle of blood and is more attuned to the psychological experience of our characters, which is a nice change of pace from today’s blood-thirsty thrillers. But most importantly, this movie is really f-ing good.

That’s Buffalo Bill, in case you missed the BAAM connection. He kills people.

So was “America’s First Pumpkin Ale” a classic as well? Well, based off of the beer alone and disregarding history, I have to say no. Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale is good, but in a world where everyone makes a pumpkin beer, this one does little to stand out. Pouring a nice, clean amber color with minimal head, you get the standard notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin that you’d expect. When you take a sip, you get a little of all of those but nothing too striking or sustaining. It’s all quite mellow and smooth actually. Which is nice if you’re planning on making a night of it and having a couple more later on. But as a standalone beer, it does little to set itself apart from the crowd (and it is a crowded field of pumpkin ales). Don’t get me wrong, nothing about this beer is bad, I just hate to admit that it does nothing special. Sorry, Bill!

So there you have it folks, Fall! Killers and beer! A cinematic classic (seriously go watch or rewatch it. It’s still amazing) with a brewing…meh. Okay so not the greatest pairing but still a worthwhile evening. Great movie. Decent beer. Cooling weather. Doesn’t sound all that bad to me. And now if you’ll excuse me, I have a bottle of Chianti with my name on it.

Just kidding, I wouldn’t cheat on you guys like that.

Keep drinking, my friends!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale:
-Clear amber color
-Mild carbonation & smooth mouthfeel
-Mild, Fall flavors

The Silence of the Lambs:
-Outstanding performances all around
-Great visual storytelling
-A thriller in the truest sense


Filed under Review