Tag Archives: Uinta Brewing Company

Uinta Brewing’s HooDoo Kolsch & Live and Let Die

Hey there, Drinkers!

It’s time to Live and Let Drink! Not a terrible motto, right? Too bad this BAAM combo isn’t exactly worthy of such optimism. Today we have Uinta’s HooDoo Kolsch-style ale and the 1973 Bond flick Live and Let Die. It’s a light (lite) duo with much promise and much disappointment. And since you already know how I feel about the whole ordeal, let’s read more about it!

In 1973, Roger Moore hit the James Bond scene with Live and Let Diea film mostly remembered for its Paul McCartney theme-song. And rightfully so. That song is awesome. The rest of the film is largely forgettable. Not to say that the details of the film are forgettable, because many of them are actually quite memorable, but rather the film as a whole can be easily lumped in with most other generic Bond movies. So what actually stands out about this film? Mostly its location and its peripheral characters. Unlike most Bond film, Live and Let Die takes place largely in the United States and heavily features African-Americans in leading roles. Not that those roles are flattering or positive or racially sensitive but hey, at least they’re there, right? And maybe most memorable piece of this movie is the occasional henchman Baron Samedi, the extremely well-dressed/never-dressed undying Voodoo spirit. Accompanied by his hearty laugh, Baron Samedi is a weird Bond antagonist who has a very loose connection to the actual Bond villain and mostly exists to add color to the otherwise drab story. In fact, the story isn’t even drab. It’s muddled. I admit I wasn’t paying close attention (but who does for a Bond movie?) but it was very difficult to understand what was going on and why. Fortunately, in classic Bond fashion, the bad guy explains his entire operation before leaving Bond to die in an overwrought and under-thought death trap.

Live and Let Me Be Creeped Out

Live and Let Me Be Creeped Out

If you take a step back, you’ll realize that Live and Let Die is pretty much the exclusive basis for the Austin Powers movies. Bond is left die in several compromising but silly situations (death by crocodile farm, death by shark tank, death by over exposition!). He immediately sleeps with every female her encounters. The villain explains every detail of his plan over cocktails with Bond.  Bond has several highly specialized gadgets that very silly (magnet-buzzsaw watch). The villain dies in the most absurd way. And the villain’s secret lair includes a monorail. Seriously. How is that not Austin Powers? But on a serious note, as a true Bond fan, it is always upsetting to watch one of these lesser films. They kind of suck the magic and allure out of the franchise and leave behind a frustrating shell of a movie. To be fair, I still laughed and smiled during this movie. But I was definitely laughing at the movie in the least respectful of ways.

Sorry Roger Moore, this one was just not a winner.

Because guns are just blasé

Because guns are just blasé

And how about Uinta’s HooDoo Kolsch-style ale? Well, much like Live and Let Die, I was disappointed. Like the Bond franchise, Uinta puts out great products but sadly, this one seems like a bit of a dud. Full disclosure: I do not typically drink lighter beers like Kolsch’s as I find them to be lacking in complexity. I’ve had a few lighter beers when the weather gets warm but they are always my go-to. That being said, I found the HooDoo to be a bit too simplistic to make me a repeat buyer. It poured a nice, clean golden-yellow that I would expect from a Kolsch. Its aroma and taste were fairly similar with notes of straw malt and light, floral sweetness. The body was probably a little heavier than most Kolsch’s (I assume but again, I haven’t had many beers in this style) but overall it was mostly light and refreshing. The beer is not a bad beer, it’s just not great. It doesn’t do much to stand out against the multitude of summer beers that hitting shelves now. Maybe I’m just a Kolsch-noob and don’t know any better but if you Drinkers have any suggestions for similar beers, feel free to send them my way.

So that’s it, folks! A bit of a letdown of an evening with Live and Let Die and Uinta’s HooDoo (did you get the HooDoo-Voodoo connection?). The movie was flat and silly and the beer was a bit uninspired. But all of that aside, any time you can sit down after work with a beer in hand and a movie on your screen is a thing to be thankful for. Besides, how else can you appreciate the good if you haven’t experience the mediocre?

And as always keep drinking, my friends!
hoodoo
Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Uinta’s HooDoo Kolsch-style ale:
-Golden yellow pour
-Light, refreshing carbonation
-Simple, sweet straw flavor

Live and Let Die
-Thin, unconvincing plot
-Leans heavily on absurd Bond stereotypes
-At least it has a memorable song?

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Uinta’s Detour Double IPA & Away We Go

Good evening, drinkers!

Tonight we’re taking a little trip with the pseudo-indie film Away We Go and Uinta Brewing’s Detour Double India Pale Ale. After a good day and a fun weekend to which to look forward, sometimes it’s nice to just let your mind wander with a good movie and a good beer. The alcoholic icing to your proverbial cinematic cake. So hop in the car (but don’t drink before you do that, that’s bad) and take a Detour with me for tonight’s review.

"We swear we're really an indie movie. I mean, look at our trendy poster!"

The 2009 Sam Mendes “indie” flick Away We Go features a delightfully bearded John Krasinski (The Office) and a delightfully delightful Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids) who decide to explore North America in search of the perfect home for their unborn child. Abandoning their yuppie-rustic abode in what I assume must be the Portland area, Burt and Verona visit friends and family all across the United States and, briefly, Montreal. Each family they encounter has its charm and its overstated quirks and/or sorrows. Burt’s parents are grossly self-centered, Verona’s old boss has no control over her tongue, her sister is angrily single, Burt’s “cousin” is disturbingly new wave, their college friends lament their inability to have children (despite their many adorable adopted kids) and Burt’s brother’s wife has abandoned him and their daughter. To look at the world of married life and love through the lens of this film, it’s fairly bleak, which serves to sort of explain Verona’s refusal to marry Burt. However, in their own way, each odd couple Burt and Veron encounter informs them as to the life they want their child to have. The film’s somewhat pessimistic (and often hilarious) view towards conventional coupling serves to reinforce its importance by the film’s conclusion.

Burt and Verona truly love each other. They know exactly what they want their lives to look like without ever knowing the specifics of how to get their. And so despite the film’s at times inconsistent tone (swinging dramatically between heartfelt and absurd and hilarious) and its pointedly indie soundtrack (Alexi Murdoch ftw!), it ends up being a very rewarding and earnest examination of love and parenthood. It’s sweet. It’s funny. It’s sad. It’s messy. It’s all the things that are real to us outside of a movie theater. So, much to my surprise, I really liked this film. I could have done without the scattered title cards but beyond that, the film has pretty much everything you want out of a non-Katherine Heigl romcom.

Also, I should point out that this film was co-written by Dave Eggers, who is a great novelist and the founder of McSweeny’s. When you realize this, the movie makes a lot more sense.

With a shot like this, you know this film is going to be adorable. And filled with vagina jokes.

And how was our little Detour? Well, like the film, I was pleasantly surprised by this double IPA. Touting a beefy 9.5% ABV, I was expecting this beer to come roaring out of the gate with big, bold IPA flavor. However, to my delight, this coppery beer was smooth and not too boozy. It still had that distinctively bitter, floral aroma and taste of an IPA but without being overwhelming. Compared to some other IPA’s I’ve had, this double IPA was actually less bitter. Anne, of We Recycle Movies, who joined me for this BAAM review, noted that she actually enjoyed this beer more than other IPA’s that I’ve forced her to drink. And while I still don’t think the uninitiated should dive straight into this beer, I do believe that this is not a bad beer to take a sip of it you’re curious about the style.

So I think our road trip was quite the success. The beer was easy to drink, very flavorful and left me a bit tipsy, which is always nice. The movie was heartfelt, earnest, funny and had just enough Hollywood unbelievability to make it a great viewing experience. Truth be told, both the beer and the movie left me with a smile on my face and that’s really what it’s all about.

Until next time, keep drinking my friends!

Oh and a quick note on next week: Friday night marks the beginning of Passover. Being the good Jew that I am, I will not be drinking any beer during the holiday (gasp!). This means that I will not be doing any reviews until after the 14th. Sorry everybody, but duty calls.

 

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Uinta’s Detour Double IPA:
-Crisp, coppery color
-Distinctly IPA in its aroma
-Surprisingly smooth & non-bitter despite high ABV

Away We Go:
-Knowingly delightful
-Truthfully funny
-John Krasinski is so shaggy. But it works.

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Uinta XVII Anniversay Barley Wine Ale & Sideways

Hey Drinkers!

Tonight we’re stepping into uncharted, enemy territory and talking about wine (gasp!). Well, kind of (phew!). We’re watching the wine-centric 2004 Alexander Payne film Sideways while sipping on Uinta Brewing Company’s XVII Anniversary Barley Wine Ale. To put my cards on the table, I have never had a barley wine, I don’t know anyone that’s had a barley wine and I had zero idea what it would taste like, so this was a bit of an experiment. I also know nothing about wine so I probably snickered inappropriately a few times whenever the film got a bit snooty. So let’s get liquored up and get started with tonight’s combo.

I had a rough idea of what Sideways was all about going into it but most of the personal reviews I had heard were on the negative side, which I understand. Naturally, most of the people I talk to about movies are closer to my age than say, my parents. The film  shines a very harsh, sad light on the male mid-life crisis; its confusion, its legitimacy, its awkwardness and its loneliness. So, understandably, this movie is not going to hit home with a lot of younger viewers such as myself. However, I may have to disagree with my age-bracket and say that this movie is doing and saying a lot (with minimal dialogue, might I add). The characters are all dealing with very real, tangible and relatable issues that give credence to the generally panned masculine mid-life crisis. Sure Thomas Haden Church’s character is suddenly sex-crazed, but there is something lurking behind his sexual appetite that gives his carnal desires a more human and, dare I say, justifiable explanation. I mean, his character is kind of a dick (snicker snicker) but he makes me smile so he can’t be all that bad, right? In a rare instance of having too much to say, I’m just going to briefly mention a few other things that I liked, and disliked, about this movie, before moving on, lest I bore you with my oaky tannins and barrel-aged wisdom.

1) I really enjoyed the dialogue in this film. It’s quiet, slow and, in an unusual cinematic moment, actually reflects how real people speak and interact. Very refreshing.
2) The film has this very subtle, under-the-radar bluesy/jazz soundtrack that just seems to perfect fit the setting and themes.
3) It was very creatively and thoughtful photographed. The audience is not always shown the action but rather the reaction or the aftermath of certain scenes, which adds some humor and creativity into the mix.

Some things I didn’t like?
1) I felt like Paul Giamatti’s performance was the only which had real depth. Sure Thomas Haden Church has a solid delivery, but his character kind of hits the same note throughout the film. He also makes appropriately timed witticisms and sexual comments and he also has a perfectly-timed emotional collapse. It all felt too…expected.
2) The transitions in this movie really bugged me. More often than not, scene changes were denoted by long or awkward cross-fades that made the transition all too noticeable but not in a clever-twist-of-editing type of way. It felt more like the filmmakers weren’t sure how to move from scene to scene so just threw some cross-fades in for kicks.
3) Small gripe: Apparently Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church are sexually desirable? Just asking.

Wine as a parable to human nature. And it gets you drunk too!

Okay, enough of this wine crap. Let’s drink some beer! Which is kind of how I feel about this beer. Generally when I think of wine, as in when I think about how people other than myself enjoy wine, I think of subtly and refinement. Uinta’s XVII Anniversary Barley Wine is not subtle. Refined? Maybe. But this 10.4% ABV bad boy hits you over the head with how strong it is and I mean that in the best of ways. A beautiful, rich copper color gives way to a strong malty aroma and flavor, which is followed by alcohol. Seriously. This beer is quite tasty for those who like strong ales but for those who are used to only 5% beers, this barley wine may be a kick in the pants. However, its heavy, full body segues naturally into  a remarkably simple finish. This body combined with the (much) higher ABV makes it the perfect cold weather beer. I’m sure some people will be put off by its strength (I was a bit taken aback after I first sip, but then I thought it would only be fitting to give it a second chance…) but for those who wanted to get a little buzz off a single beer on a chilly night, I would recommend this barley wine. The other benefit of this beer, and of this whole beer and a movie experiment, is that it encourages me (and hopefully it encourages you) to try new beers. And let me tell you, I’ll be searching for barley wines in the future.

So there you have it, folks. A remarkably thoughtful and rich evening here. This barley wine was strong, comforting and filling while the movie had a balanced mix of comedy, tragedy and classy alcoholism. A winning combination!

And remember, if you think you have a winning combination, let me know and I’ll try to make it happen!

 

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:

Last year's batch but you get the idea

Uinta’s XVII Anniversary Barley Wine Ale:
Very, very strong
Gorgeous copper color
Strong malty flavor with hints of spice and fruit

Sideways:
Good mix of sad and funny. But mostly sad
Thomas Haden Church is hooooorrrny (and Sandra Oh is a firecracker!)
Easy to relate to as you age, like a fine wine

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