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Boulevard Brewing’s Long Strange Tripel & Dr. Strangelove

Hey there, Drinkers!

Let’s get STRANGE! Today we’re drinking Missouri’s Boulevard Brewing’s Long Strange Tripel and watching Stanley Kubrick’s Cold War satire Dr. Strangelove. It’s been a little while since I’ve seen this movie and I’ve never even heard of this brewery before, so I was ready for a bit of a weird night (get it?). But fortunately I was pleasantly surprised. So let’s get started, shall we?

Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is one of those classics that everyone is supposed to see at least once in their in life. A bizarro satire of the Cold War arms race infused with real worry concerning the possibility of nuclear war, the film sits in the unique position of being both perfectly attuned to its time while also remaining a timeless lesson in the risks of war. For those who are unfamiliar with the film, it loosely tracks the aftermath of an Air Force commander’s decision to nuke Soviet Russia in effort to “preserve our precious bodily fluids.” I say loosely because the film is actually less about the actual events and more about the myriad of wild characters that occupy the film. In a strange, twisted way, the film does a great job of simply extending real Cold War rhetoric to it’s next absurdly logical step. For example, the idea of nuclear deterrence is carried beyond that basic idea to completion: purposeful mutually-assured destruction in the form of a “Doomsday Device.” In a weird, scary way, it makes the argument if one person can’t win the war, then NO ONE gets to win.  I’m realizing that it’s hard to describe the satire (or any satire, for that matter) without you having seen it but ultimately, the film achieves that perfect balance of laugh-out-loud comedy and coming dangerously close to our own history.

Bombs are hilarious!

Bombs are hilarious!

What dragged Dr. Strangelove down for me is its pacing. While the film is funny and poignant and well-acted, there are several long (LOOONNGG) stretches where we simply watch Airmen rattle through military jargon as they fly into Russia. Sure, it lends some realism to an otherwise absurd film, but it really can drag at times. In contrast, the film’s titular character Dr. Strangelove only appears in two scenes that are not exceptionally long even though we wish they were. He steals those scenes, but I wanted more of him and less of planes flying. But that’s mostly just personal taste. Overall, the film is a quick 90 minutes of historical fun that I’d suggest you enjoy sometime.

Come at me with your sharp political satire, bro!

Come at me with your sharp political satire, bro!

And our Long Strange Tripel: was it as strange as our movie? It’s actually been awhile since I’ve had a tripel so it took me a few sips to remember what I should be expecting but I refreshed pretty quickly. Pouring a lovely hazy golden color, I was thoroughly impressed by the massive, three finger head. It was frothy, pure white and took its time to dissipate, leaving behind some lovely lacing. From the glass, you get a nice, grainy aroma with hints of Belgian yeast. With your first sip, you’ll get more of that wheaty graininess infused that banana-y Belgian yeast. I also found the beer is smoother than expected with sweet highlight notes of fruit and citrus. However, none of these flavors dominated the palette one way or the other, making the beer a good, middle-of-the-road easy drinking beer. So if you want something a bit yeasty and on the strong side (9% ABV), I’d say you could do a lot worse than Boulevard Brewing’s Long Strange Tripel.


So there you have it, Drinkers! A strange night! Actually it wasn’t all that weird, to be honest. It was nice. A classic satire and a surprisingly drinkable complex beer. A little mix of high and low brow, which is something that everyone needs from time to time.

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Oh also, as a heads up, I’m about to start a brand new job on a TV show that’s moving into production shortly, so I’m not sure what my schedule will be like. I will try my best to keep getting BAAM’s up regularly but bear with me as I find my footing with the new schedule.

And as always keep drinking, my friends!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:Boulevard-Long-Strange-Tripel
Boulevard Brewing’s Long Strange Tripel:
-Lovely golden, orange pour
-HUGE, foamy, white head
-Notes of grain, yeast and fruit

Dr. Strangelove:
-Sharp satire perfect for the era
-Amazing characterization
-Drags a bit when not making jokes

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Coronado Brewing’s Orange Avenue Wit & A Clockwork Orange

Hey there, Drinkers!

It’s officially summer which means it’s time for light beers and dark movies! Today, we’re drinking Coronado Brewing Company’s Orange Avenue Wit and watching Stanley Kubrick’s classic A Clockwork Orange. And while I typically steer clear of wheat beers and depressing movies, I made an exception for you, lovely readers. So let’s get started, shall we?

As universally renowned as A Clockwork Orange is, there a few films that I’ve had more difficulty getting through. And not in a bad way, but in a viscerally uncomfortable way. But that’s kind of the point. Everything about this film is designed to make you feel thoroughly uncomfortable. The painfully long, uncut scenes, the extreme close ups, the graphic rape scenes, the blaring loud music. Everything leaves you unsettled and generally unhappy. But that’s kind of what makes this movie great. Kubrick expertly manipulates his audience into going through every painful and disturbing emotion that our anti-protagonist Alex goes through. At the start, when Alex revels in senseless violence, we the audience are brought along in for the thrill. Of course we are not okay with Alex’s action, but his witty dialogue and the uncomfortable levity of the music helps twist your guilt. Once Alex is sent to prison, we commiserate with his institutionalized isolation and obedience. And when he volunteers for an experimental “cure” for his wickedness, we bear excruciating witness to the cruelty which he endures. I won’t take us through the entirety of the film but needless to say it’s a bit of a uncomfortable cinematic ride.
A movie almost as uncomfortable as this scene

A movie almost as uncomfortable as this scene

I don’t mean to sound all gloomy about this film. I do truly believe that it’s a great work of cinema, I just don’t think it’s a film that’s taken casually. When you sit down for A Clockwork Orange, you have to be prepared to feel uncomfortable. The excessive use of nudity, sexual material and “ultra-violence” does not make for easy viewing and definitely does not make it a family film. So maybe you casual movie-goers who just want a fun escape should avoid this one. But for those who have a genuine interest in cinema as a venue for art, I’d suggest giving this one a try. And in full-disclosure, there is a lot more to be said about this film. About it’s views on politics and prison reform and the nature of man with regard to sex and violence, but we don’t have the time or the proper citations to have that discussion. But if that sounds interesting, then that’s a good sign that this is a film for you.


And our light beer to go with our dark movie? I think Coronado Brewing’s Orange Avenue Wit was actually a smart decision. This bomber of 5.2% was just the kind of light, easy-drinking beer I needed to go with a movie I felt in my stomach. Pouring a hazy, highly-carbonated orange color, the Orange Avenue gave off strong aromas of straw, malt and citrus. With a sip, you get mild notes of orange, lemon, wheat and light malt. While not extremely complex, it’s a great summer beer that is refreshing, light and developed enough to provide a great alternative to the bigger summer wheats out on the market. It wasn’t as orange-y tasting as I expected from the name, but I was okay with that. Many drinkers enjoy their wheat beers with an orange garnish, which would have certainly put the orange flavor over the top. So for me, it was just right.

So there you have it folks, an engaging summer night cloaked in the orange sunlight of Los Angeles (poetic, no?). For all of the grim warnings I’ve given about A Clockwork Orange, I do want to reiterate that it is a great movie and is capable of being enjoyed. You do not have to be a cineaste of developed-palette to appreciate this film. It just might help you stomach it a little better. And the beer was a good partner for the night. 22 ounces of relaxing wheat to get me through the night. So, all things being considered, I think this was a success. Wouldn’t you say so, my little droogs?

And as always keep drinking, my friends!
Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Coronado Brewing Co’s Orange Avenue Wit:
-Cloudy, orange pour
-Lots of carbonation
-Quiet notes of citrus, straw and malt

A Clockwork Orange:
-A visual tour-de-force
-Can be difficult to watch, if not disturbing
-Truly a cinematic & storytelling masterpiece

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