Tag Archives: Rogue

Rogue Ales’ Santa’s Private Reserve Ave & Rare Exports

Happy New Year, Drinkers!

Now that the holidays are over, I thought it would be an appropriate time to post a Christmas-themed pairing. Because I plan ahead! Today, we’re sipping on Rogue’s Santa’s Private Reserve while watching the Finnish (of Finland) film Rare Exports. This pairing was a little weird, a little late, a little disappointing and very confusing, which seemed like an accurate summation of many people’s holiday. So let’s get it started!

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For a quick summary, Rare Exports is a 2010 film about how an evil Santa Claus is thawed out from a Finnish mountain and wreaks havoc on a small town. Or at least that’s what the movie was billed as. But instead of the Santa-slasher that I was expecting, I was treated to a relatively bloodless, thrill-less story of a weird boy,  his weird knowledge of evil Santa and the naked, pickaxe-wielding men who come after him. Still sound exciting? Well then continue to be disappointed. Almost nothing happens in the movie. The story plods along without suspense, tension or intrigue, dragged along by largely boring, one-dimensional characters. Our pack of protagonists is lead by a very strange and annoying young boy named Pietari who demands his father beat him so Santa doesn’t claim him as a ‘naught boy.’ Really it’s just scene after scene of disappointment. With such a great (re. terrible) premise, it’s frustrating to see it thrown away on a piece that takes itself too seriously yet lacks the narrative tools to do so.

This implies more drama than actually exists in this film

This implies more drama than actually exists in this film

So maybe our beer helped fight off the winter chill from Rare Exports? Well, yes and no. Rogue’s Santa’s Private Reserve Ale is an Imperial Red (hence Santa, I suppose) but it lacks any sort of winter-y profile. Which is fine, if you’re not expecting a winter beer. The beer pours an copper-red color with a sizable, foamy white head. Mixed with the distinct Red hoppiness is a little caramel-sweetness balanced against a medium body. On its own, it’s a solid beer. It’s simple, not overwhelmingly bitter or piney and is easy to drink. But if you’re looking for a specifically winter-y beer, maybe this isn’t the brew for you.

So there you have it, Drinkers! Another holiday gone by, another pairing behind us. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed with the movie. And the beer, while solid, was not what I was expecting. But if that’s the extent of my displeasure, then I think we did just fine. Thanks for reading and I hope you had a wonderful New Years holiday!

And as always keep drinking, my friends!
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Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Rogue’s Santa’s Private Reserve:
-Lovely red pour
-Well balanced flavors & body
-Not a winter beer, despite the name

Rare Exports:
-Unfortunately underwhelming
-Very little actually happens
-Simple, one-dimensional characters

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Guest Review: Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale & Sleepy Hollow

Tonight’s review comes courtesy of my brother, Jesse. Since he’s a dedicated BAAM reader, he decided to pick a beer I’ve already reviewed…for a second opinion! Enjoy! Or don’t. This really isn’t his thing anyway.

Greetings, drinkers!

Tonight you are in for a treat, as your intrepid, indefatigable author has handed the reins to me, his older, significantly better looking brother.  Will I crash and burn and take down BAAM with me, or will my prose be so enlightening, so utterly indescribably wondrous that you, the faithful BAAM reader, will abandon Gabe for the charms of his senior? 

Ok, probably none of the above.  With that longwinded introduction out of the way, and with my sincerest apologies in advance, tonight’s pairing is in keeping with the traditional October theme of Halloween spooks… and beheadings.  That’s right, tonight we review Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow and Rogue Dead Guy Ale.  A fairly obvious pairing, but hey, this is my first BAAM.

You may be familiar with this story from your school years, or have seen Burton’s 1999 adaptation, starring Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane, a New York police constable sent to investigate a series of gruesome murders in the town of Sleepy Hollow.  The film also stars a silent yet terrifying Christopher Walken as the Horseless Headsman (in his head-inclusive scenes).

A dentist’s worst nightmare.

The movie certainly does not shy away from gore – Burton revels in the separation of heads from shoulders – yet I found the most cringe-inducing scene to be the bloody tree of death.  Beyond the gore, the scenery, lighting and muted color pallet sets the mood wonderfully for this entertaining thriller that still manages to not take itself too seriously.  As a non sequitur, Harry Potter fans will notice several side characters featured here: Miranda Richardson (Lady Van Tassel/ Rita Skeeter), Richard Griffiths (Magistrate Philipse/ Vernon Dursley) and of course Michael Gambon (Baltus Van Tassel/Professor Dumbledore).

Nearly Headless Nick can suck it!

And what of Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale?  It was a tasty, medium bodied ale.  While it has a strong hops undertone, it did not overpower the other flavors.  Smooth to drink, with a bit of sweetness behind it as well that reminded me of a Magic Hat #9 (though not as fruity).  I’d recommend Dead Guy for anyone seeking a unique beer that doesn’t veer too far away from what you expect out of an ale.  Finally, to those keeping track, yes BAAM has reviewed this beer before, but hey, I’m a guest blogger.  Cut me some slack.

Thanks for reading, BAAMers, and thanks little bro for the guest post!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Rogue Dead Guy Ale:
-Well-balanced combination of malt and hops
-22 ounces for twice the fun
-A bit derivate of a better Dead Guy Ale review (said the editor of the this review)

Sleepy Hollow:
-A fun, non-traditional horror-thriller hybrid
-Classic Burton feel, including the gore
-Fun for the whole family!
(fun blogging for the whole family, the editor additionally stated)

Once again, a special thanks to my brother Jesse for this review. Assuming he didn’t instill violent discontent in you, the readers, maybe we’ll bring him back in the future. Stay tuned later this week for another Halloween special featuring Anne from We Recycle Movies. Keep drinking, my friends!

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Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale & Beetlejuice

Hey there, drinkers!

Now that I’m back from the East Coast (aka Sixpoint Brewery and Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project drinking-trip) and have somewhat reliable internet,  BAAM is back! Tonight’s combo actually comes from a friend of mine.  A few weeks ago, a good college friend came down to Los Angeles with a “thanks for letting me crash at your place” gift of four bombers of Rogue brews (she’s from Portland).  The only condition of her lovely gift, other than being able to stay at my place, was that I pair the beer with the uniquely bizarre 1988 film BeetleJuiceSo, being the awesome friend that I am, I happily drank all 22 ounces of the beer with a quizzical smile on my face as I tried to figure out what Beetlejuice was all about. So shall we?

Tim Burton’s 1988 Academy award-winning film (it won for makeup, but a win is a win!) is, simply put, the story of a dead couple trying to rid their home of new, obnoxious tenants. Unsure of what to do, they kinda-sorta ask this weird dude named Beetlejuice to help them out. Michael Keaton, in one of his most bizarre roles (other than Batman…thanks for that one, Tim Burton!), performs some low-grade shenanigans and the two previously frustrated parties make amends. But the plot is mostly irrelevant as that’s not really what the movie is about. Sure, the movie makes a hint of sense, but the film’s primary purpose is to serve as a forum for Tim Burton’s now tired but distinct visual style. Using asymmetric angles, bright colors and creepy stop-motion animation, Tim Burton successfully creates a thoroughly realized world that we can all appreciate for its quirkiness. But really, the movie has almost no point whatsoever. It’s mostly just an expensive way for Tim Burton to show off his artistic sensibilities. The supposed danger that is Beetlejuice is never explained and he does not serve as the focal point of the film. He’s mostly there to be silly, like most other parts in this film. For example, a young Winona Ryder plays a My Chemical Romance-esque goth girl and Alex Baldwin is skinny. Catch my drift?

Academy award nominee Winona Ryder!

It’s all just too weird to handle. For me, Beetlejuice is one of those films is that mostly remembered for being stylish. If you’re really in the mood for some Tim Burton, go watch The Nightmare Before Christmas or Edward ScissorhandsDon’t even both with Mars Attacks!I already took care of that one for you.

This really explains nothing about the film.

And our other Dead Guy? Well, this isn’t BAAM’s first rodeo with Rogue. In fact, this is BAAM’s third booze-fueled rodeo with the Portland brewery, so I guess they’re doing something right. The Dead Guy Ale pours a very nice honey/amber color with about an inch of head and smells pretty much like how it tastes. With a strong, malty backbone, the Dead Guy is actually a remarkably well-balanced beer. It’s quite smooth and easy to drink despite holding onto that distinct malty flavor. The fact that it’s 6.5% ABV (just above average) also helps to make this beer a real crowd pleaser. I found that it wasn’t too dark to keep casual drinkers away and wasn’t too light to earn condemnation from beer snobs like myself. And so, despite its name, I found the Dead Guy to be quite lively…I couldn’t help myself. I’m sorry.

So that’s it, drinkers! A baffling, if not stylish, film and a simply tasty beer to help you get through it. The quiet buzz I got from drinking 22 ounces by myself helped wash down this bizarrely empty film. And before any of you Burton-lovers come down on me for being a hater, I invite you to take a look at his next film. Frankenweenie. Or Planet of the Apes.

Really?

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale:
-Appealing, amber color
-Very well-balanced beer while still remaining “dark”
-Easy-to-drink & approachable

Beetlejuice:
-Beetlejuice (Michael Keeton?)
-Betelguese (Winona Ryder?)
-Betelguise (What just happened?)

 

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Rogue’s Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout & Much Ado About Nothing

Good tidings, imbibers!

That’s really all I have for my Shakespearean writing for tonight. I’m not that talented/esoteric/confusing to do this entire post in Shakespearean English, so you all will have to to deal with my modern colloquialisms. Anyway, tonight’s delightful duo is Rogue’s Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout and the Kenneth Branagh adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Brief warning: I never read Much Ado About Nothing and have somehow avoided to learning anything about it at all, so I’m sorry that my analysis will be somewhat stunted.

The 1993 film version of Much Ado About Nothing was adapted, produced, directed and starred a certain man by the name of Kenneth Branagh. Mr. Branagh, who you may recognize from random roles in Harry Potter or Wild Wild West, is actually more famous for adapting a number of Shakespeare’s plays for the cinema. Much Ado About Nothing, a story about how people can be tricked/coerced into love and non-virgins should be killed, is one of Branagh’s many adaptations which stars a surprising cast. Denzel Washington plays the only black person in the entire film for no reason, Keanu Reeves plays a dick for no reason and Michael Keaton occasionally shows up for no reason. The film also features Emma Thompson, who is lovely in every role she takes on and, randomly, Kate Beckinsale (Underworld, anyone?) is also one of the leads. For what it’s worth, the cast does a pretty good job despite the clunky language. Keanu Reeves and Denzel Washington are the most ill at ease with the script but they really do make a good effort. As can be expected, Kenneth Branagh is really the scene stealer, filling every minute of his screen time with sharp wit and big personality. And while it is very easy to see the “acting” in this film, the nature of Shakespearean language allows the audience to cut them some slack.

"I'm in a Shakespeare movie. Wow."

Another feature of the stage-to-screen adaptation is that it needs to be visually fleshed out. Since one of the most boring things you could possibly do is to watch a recording of a play, Branagh takes this opportunity to broaden the visual scope of the story. Though he regularly utilizes longer takes, honoring the difficulty of performing Shakespeare live, he also indulges in massive, sweeping shots that are, for lack of a better word, cinematic. We fly above the lush gardens of the Italian villa on numerous occasions, as well as view scenes from multiple points of view. This blending of stage performance and movie-scale scope actually works quite well.

Remind me why Denzel Washington and Michael Keaton are in this movie again?

You know what else works well? Beer. More specifically: beer brewed by Rogue. These guys are awesome. And while their Juniper beer was “meh,” everything else they brew is always fantastic, including their Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout. This big beer, with its strong aroma of chocolate and roasted malt is actually quite mild mannered. It sports a tame 6.1% ABV and is remarkably easy to drink; something not all stouts can claim. This is mostly due to the inclusion of oats into the brewing process. The oats help to smooth out the bitterness of the malt, making it very easy to drink. (On a similar note, I’ve been trying rye beers recently. The addition of rye has a similar, smoothing effect. Try it!). I can’t believe I’m saying this but I would actually recommend this beer to fairly casual drinkers. I realize that most people are wary of dark beers, but I think most people would find this oatmeal stout pretty appealing. In the unlikely case you don’t like it, just hand it over to me and I’ll finish it off for you.

So there you have it, Shakespeare lovers. A tale of confusion and love paired with a rich but not overwhelming brew. Both are appropriate for both the casual and the elite consumer, making it a worthwhile evening for anyone looking to kick back, relax and wonder what the hell Michael Keaton is talking about.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Rogue’s Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout:   
-Lovely nose of chocolate & roasted malt
-Remarkably smooth, thanks to the oats
-A great, easy-drinking beer for any drinker out there.

Much Ado About Nothing:
-A strong film adaptation from a not-so-easy-to-adapt playwright
-Mostly strong cast, with a few exceptions
-Actors were definitely “acting,” but who can blame them?

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Rogue’s Juniper Pale Ale & Juno

Howdy Drinkers!

I’m sorry for the gap since the last post but hey, life happens. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been drinking or watching movies. Rest assured, I’ve been doing both. Recently, I saw Mike Mills’s Beginners (beautiful. I highly recommend it) and also rewatched the classic Bond flick Goldfinger (essential viewing for any aspiring Bond-lover). I also drank a few new beers recently. I had a Duvel, which is a classic Belgian golden-ale which I found good, but not extraordinary. I also had Ballast Point’s Indra Kunindra which was fabulous. The Indra is an export stout that is very rich and has a great spice to it (like actual, spicey spice, not holiday spice). If you see it, drink it! But that’s in the past. Tonight, I drank 22 oz’s of Rogue’s Juniper Pale Ale while watching the 2007 indie heartwarming blockbuster Juno.

Soooo for like the .001 percent of you who haven’t seen this totally brainsploding adult-teen dramaromcom, here’s the skinny…Yeah I can’t keep writing like that. But that’s one of the most noticeable facets of the 2007 indie flick Juno. Diablo Cody’s writing style is now unmistakeable and often repeated but back in the stone age of 2007, Ellen Page’s ultra-snarky pseudo-slang was fresh, original and a provided a welcome break from the classic high school comedy milieu with which we are all too familiar. Combined with the somewhat unusual topic of teen pregnancy and it’s blunt vision of the subject, this was the breakout film of the year.  I did find the dialogue a bit tiring after awhile and Juno’s attitude is a bit too flippant and consciously  quirky to suit my tastes, but overall it’s a good film. Visually, it’s simple (in a good way!) and the performances are earnest and caring. Ellen Page does a great job of bringing a character to life who could have easily been a caricature. And sure you it’s a bit baffling as to why Jason Bateman’s character is married to Jennifer Garner’s character (who really remembers the character’s names?)  considering they seem to be inhabiting different lives, but it’s pretty easy to forgive that as the movie progresses. I do actually appreciate how Bateman’s character kind of disappears in the third act because it shows a bit of courage (or laziness) on the behalf of the filmmakers, considering Bateman quite literally isn’t important anymore to any character’s future.  But I digress, aside from the occasionally overwritten scenes and the very carefully (and too obviously) constructed indie/punk/folk soundtrack, I enjoy this film. As I imagine is the case for most viewers, it’s hard to not let this film make you sad, happy, thoughtful and hopeful all while realizing that Ellen Page is the shortest actress ever.

Also, small qualm coming from a former track & field athlete: what event does Michael Cera run?! He trains for distance but he always seems to be competing in sprinting events and wears sprinting spikes…and he eats breakfast burritos as he’s about to run. Just saying.

Oh I just happen to be talking on my hamburger phone. What a fun, little, random, completely unmanufactured quirk of my completely non-purposefully quirky teenage lifestyle.

So let’s talk about Rogue’s Juniper Pale Ale. Here’s the story of how I chose this beer: I like to buy my beers at a small, locally-owned shop in Highland Park called Galcos Soda Pop Stop (seriously, go there. You’ll fall in l0ve). It’s this awesome joint that has a massive selection of craft beer and artisan soda. The real kicker though is that you can buy everything by the bottle, meaning you never have to get locked into a six pack. So anyway, I’m walking down the aisle with a buddy of mine and we stop at the Rogue section. I see a beer that says “Juniper Pale Ale” at the bottom and I say “Juniper Pale Ale? That sounds crazy!” And then I bought it. Fast forward two weeks and I’m cracking this 22 oz bottle open and I have no idea what to expect. Well, to be honest, this Juniper Pale Ale kind of just tasted like a pale ale. I mean, it’s a good pale ale, but I’m not sure where the juniper went. There were some faint earthy undertones but any beer with some margin of hops and malt (like any self-respecting beer should have)  should have some earthy/grainy notes. It was also just barely sweet, which may been the juniper, but it’s hard to say. As someone mentioned on BeerAdvocate, if you’re going to call your beer a Juniper Pale Ale, then you should be able to taste the Juniper. But kudos to Rogue trying out something new because that’s what makes craft beer so exciting. I’ve been meaning to try some of Rogue’s other beers so hopefully we’ll see them again here on BAAM in the near future. Recommendations anyone?

So BAAM is finally back with Juno and a Juniper Pale Ale. Both are good, but not great. Juno is sweet, refreshing and heartfelt but it’s hard to not feel like everyone is trying just a little too hard as a result of the unnaturally witty dialogue. The same goes for Rogue’s Juniper Pale Ale. It’s a solid pale ale, but the juniper doesn’t really shine through or even really make a strong impression. So if you want your juniper, you might be better off with some gin (gasp).

Looking to the future, I’m going home briefly for the holidays, so I’m not sure how regularly I’ll be posting. I’m going to try and get another one up before I head back East but don’t hate me if I miss the mark. Otherwise, I’ll do my best to get you a guys a good New England beer and a movie edition. But until then. Happy Holidays and Happy Drinking!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:

Rogue’s Juniper Pale Ale: 
Pours a hazy, light golden color
Solid, pale ale flavor
Lacking on the juniper front

Juno:
Earnest & sweet approach to a tricky subject
Witty dialogue is sometimes too witty for its own good
Canadian actors Michael Cera & Ellen Page prove that they can play American characters. Minds explode.

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