Tag Archives: wheat beer

Eagle Rock Brewery’s Manifesto Witbier & American Pie

Hey there, Drinkers!

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I’ve thrown in the towel and am now just making arbitrary pairings. I mean, in what way is American Pie thematically linked to ERB’s Manifesto Wit? Was the beer just sitting in your fridge and you had no idea what to pair it with?  Well I have something to tell you, oh ye doubters and drinkers of little faith: yeah you’re mostly right. There are only so many Soviet-era films that I feel like watching casually (none) and I’ve had this beer sitting around for awhile. So yes, today’s BAAM is a bit of a stretch but…there is a connection. I swear. Just bear with me.

So todays’ film is the 1999 modern raunchy teen classic American Pie. In the interest of full disclosure: I was watching the unrated version (oooo so bad!) which is slightly different than the theatrical release. I assume this just means there were more boobies and no major plot additions but I’m just trying to be transparent here. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the film, or just haven’t seen it in awhile, American Pie (at least in my mind) ushered in a new era of mainstream teen comedies around the new millenium. Gone are the John Hughes tropes of earnest teen shenanaginry from the 80’s. This is the late 90’s now and all this movie cares about is SEX. Launching the American Pie franchise and a host of lesser, sex-fueled teen comedies that dominated the early 2000’s, American Pie chronicles the lives of four highschool seniors who make a pact to seize their sexual destiny and get laid by prom. If the plot sounds a bit rote, that’s because this movie made it popular. Sure, prom has long been seen as the culmination of all highschool films, but the narrative focus on sex as a path to success and self-worth seems a bit novel at this point.  And while this film is very (VERY) much about sex, and women as vehicles of sex, it’s also a lot more than that.

It's also about the desecration of baked goods

It’s also about the desecration of baked goods

This may sound a little weird but American Pie is actually a good movie. Yes it’s crass and crude but it still retains that earnest clarity that we love in teen comedies. By the end of the film, our heroes seem to understand that while sex is important, it’s not as important as everyone makes it out be. What is important is that they are at a unique moment in their lives. A moment on the cusp of transformation and that they are entering this new phase of life (aka college) together as friends with no real regrets, knowing that they’ve embraced the present. Sure this seems a bit overblown for a movie in which one of our protagonists bangs an apple pie but it’s true. In a weird way, American Pie quite successfully captures what it’s like to be a teen at the end of the 90’s.

Jason Biggs as Every Character He's Ever Played

Jason Biggs as Every Character He’s Ever Played

A few other quick things to note about this film.
1) It has a MASSIVE cast. So much talent with many faces that we still see on screens today.
2) It’s not really Jim’s movie. It’s Oz and Kevin’s.
3) It’s still horribly uncomfortable to watch.
4) It’s still funny and incredibly quotably.
5) It has a surprisingly accurate depiction of how webcams are now commonly in use today.
6) It includes the premise to Easy-A.

The original poster actually doesn't feature any of the male leads...

The original poster actually doesn’t feature any of the male leads…

And our loosely-related Manifesto Witbier from Eagle Rock Brewery? It’s actually a pretty solid brew. I don’t usually drink wheats because they can be a bit one-note and light for my tastes but the Manifesto is actually a surprisingly fulfilling wit. It pours a very light golden color with a big, frothy head (no jokes guys) with lots of carbonation. It gives off strong aromas of wheat and grain with a little underlying hints of citrus and yeast. Many reviewers also taste notes of coriander but I’m either not that discerning or I don’t know what coriander tastes like. With your first taste, that wheat is going to hit you the hardest, with the citrus and yeast playing in the background to break it up, adding some nice complexity. For a fairly light beer, weighing in at 5.7% ABV, it’s still somewhat substantial and I found myself enjoying it slowly. So even with my general hesitance towards wits and wheats, Eagle Rock Brewery again proves to be deceptively delicious and ever-surprising (which is why they’re my favorite LA-based brewery).

So if you haven’t put the connection together yet, I’ll spell it out for you. The boys in American Pie make a pact. A solemn vow. A manifesto, if you will, to take control of their destinies and write their own sexual fates. So there you have it, arguably the biggest reach in BAAM history but you know what? WHATEVER! I had a great time watching a fantastically awkward teen comedy while drinking a surprising delicious witbier. So if you take issue with my pairings then go read your beer/movie combinations somewhere else!

Wait…I take that back….please don’t leave me.
As always keep drinking, my friends!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:SONY DSC
Eagle Rock Brewery’s Manifesto Witbier
-Very pale & a bit hazy
-Big, frothy head
-A more complex & substantive wit

American Pie
-A new, dirtier kind of classic
-Shockingly poignant…at times
-Good ol’ fashioned uncomfortably raunchy humor

1 Comment

Filed under Review

Mission St. Hefeweizen & Dr. No

Hello Drinkers,

Tonight I’m a man on a mission with a Mission St. Hefeweizen and the James Bond original Dr. No.  And even though 007 is more of a martini guy, I think we can let it slide just this once.

Now, James Bond is always a man on a mission and no spy movie is more iconic (or parodied) than Dr. No. This movie really has it all: secret island bases to blow up, random hot women to bang, shark tanks to admire, world domination plots to explain and, of course, the obligatory half-Asian bad guy played by a white guy with robo-hands.

Robo. Hands.

Anyway, to our modern eyes this movie is incredibly cheesy and thin. Bond travels to a single location (Jamaica), follows several fairly simple clues and finds himself face-to-face with very congenial nemesis who works for one of the most poorly named organizations of all time: Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion. Or S.P.E.C.T.R.E. for those who still want to sound cool. Dr. No doesn’t want money or fame. He simply wants to cause the US Space Program a little trouble. No big deal. Now aside from the odd fact that a British spy has to deal with an American problem and the film’s underlying racism towards the Chinese, the movie is fun. It has all the tropes of a great spy movie and can be largely credited with the genre’s popularity. And at the end of the day, who doesn’t love a little James Bond?

Answer: This guy.

So while I was watching my favorite spy on his first mission on screen, I was slowly sipping on a Mission St. Hefeweizen (a beer made specifically for Trader Joe’s). For those who don’t know what a hefeweizen is, this beer is essentially a cool way of calling something a wheat beer or a white beer. Now I’m sure there are some technical differences among them but for our purposes they are all similar at their core. Compared to last week’s wheat beer, Blue Moon, Mission St. is more mellow and less fruity. It’s not less flavorful or boring, the taste just doesn’t jump out at you. It’s got a cloudy gold color (hefeweizens and wheats aren’t filtered) and a pours a thin head. By all accounts, it’s a good beer for the end of summer. It’s still fairly light and floral but isn’t as sweet as something you might want in the middle of the summer. While it didn’t do anything new for me, I wouldn’t mind picking this one up again if I’m looking for a casual (re: low ABV) sip or two.

Although both Dr. No and Mission St. Hefeweizen might feel like familiar ground for anyone accustomed to the genres, they are both solid and enjoyable ways of spend an evening on your couch.

And now for a quick bit of business. I, of course, am a I fountain of wisdom when it comes to arbitrarily pairing beers with movies. At times though, I get a little lonely when it comes time to pick a combo off of my extensive list. So with that in mind, if you ever have any ideas for beers, movies or a combination thereof, let me know and I’ll do my best to get it up quickly.

Keep drinking my friends! That is unless you have to drive home. Then you should stop drinking.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:

Mission St. Hefeweizen:  
Cloudy, golden color.
Mellow, grainy flavor.
Solid beer but nothing out-of-the-ordinary.

Dr. No:
The original Bond. James Bond.
First example of all the cheesy stereotypes we love.
Bond bangs women who try to kill him. All the time.

Leave a comment

Filed under Review