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Movie & A Beer: Southern Tier Warlock x John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978)

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This week Movie & A Beer is celebrating Halloween by reviewing  John Carpenter’s “Halloween” with our friends Cody Thompson of Three B Zine and Eugene Abano of Reviews Galore. Make sure to click on the hyperlinks above ^^^ to read their take on the film, and see what they paired for their spooky experience.

I’m getting a bit weird with my review this week because my first impression of the film was eerily similar to that of a dead guy.

The incomparable Roger Ebert, to be exact, reviewed the film on October 31, 1979 which he called “an absolutely merciless thriller, a movie so violent and scary that, yes, I would compare it to “Psycho” (1960). It’s a terrifying and creepy film about what one of the characters calls Evil Personified.”

Watching this film for the first time I thought to myself ‘How was this received in 1978 when I, in 2014, am offended and down right cringing at the violence?!’ The villain, if you want to call him that. Is a small child who, upon donning a mask, proceeds to murder his seemingly promiscuous sister.” It’s all from the point of view of the child killer, we can hear him struggle and breathe through the mask. Eerily real, familiar, and completely uncomfortable.

Ebert added. “Halloween is a visceral experience — we aren’t seeing the movie, we’re having it happen to us. It’s frightening. Maybe you don’t like movies that are really scary: Then don’t see this one.  It’s easy to create violence on the screen, but it’s hard to do it well. Carpenter is uncannily skilled, for example, at the use of foregrounds in his compositions, and everyone who likes thrillers knows that foregrounds are crucial: The camera establishes the situation, and then it pans to one side, and something unexpectedly looms up in the foreground. Usually it’s a tree or a door or a bush. Not always. And it’s interesting how he paints his victims. They’re all ordinary, everyday people — nobody’s supposed to be the star and have a big scene and win an Academy Award. The performances are all the more absorbing because of that; the movie’s a slice of life that is carefully painted (in drab daylights and impenetrable nighttimes) before its human monster enters the scene.”

It’s so true, it’s drab, there’s no explanation of who’s who, save for the killer and his psychiatrist. Really, we are a character in the film, it’s happening to us, in real time, right alongside the characters. It’s easy to dismiss so many of the tropes in this film as cliches, but really, this movie and the director/writer/composer John Carpenter started it all.

Ebert concluded “We see movies for a lot of reasons. Sometimes we want to be amused. Sometimes we want to escape. Sometimes we want to laugh, or cry, or see sunsets. And sometimes we want to be scared. I’d like to be clear about this. If you don’t want to have a really terrifying experience, don’t see “Halloween.”

My wife got a stomach ache, my dog put herself to bed in the front room, I locked all the doors. We were shook. In this day and age of hyper violent, stylized action films and hyper violent stylized reality, this film caused a real reaction.

…I needed a drink…

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I paired this film with Southern Tier’s Warlock an Imperial Stout that clocks in at 8.60% ABV. According to the good folks at Southern Tier this imperial stout is “brewed with pumpkins Warlock is brewed to enchant your palate on its own and also to counterpoint our Imperial Ale, Pumking. Make your own black magic by carefully pouring this Imperial Stout into a goblet. Dark and mysterious, the Blackwater Series is serious about high gravity. Reanimate your senses with Warlock’s huge roasted malt character, moderate carbonation and spicy pumpkin pie aroma.”

The Good: Everything. Especially the film score.

The Bad: It obviously took place in 1974.

The Ugly: The killings and violence are so real, it borders snuff films.

Overall… watch it. For the sake of cinema. Watch it!

Cheers Tasters!

Doctor Q

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Movie & A Beer: Modern Times Aurora x John Carpenter’s The Thing

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This week my friends and fellow bloggers Cody Thompson of Three B Zine, Eugene Abano of Reviews Galore, along with your’s truly, are doing our pairings with John Carpenter’s THE THING. Tis the season of spookiness after all!

Click on the links to Three B Zine and Reviews Galore IF. YOU. DARE!

Now. Hold on to your dookie, it’s about to get spooky.

Spoiler Alert! You’re doing it wrong if you haven’t seen this movie since it’s 1982 theatrical release. It’s an amazing psychological thriller with some of the best practical special effects ever seen, or ever will be seen… THANKS A LOT CGI!

The good folks at IMDB did a great job with their clear, concise, and really spot on synopsis: “Scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills.” Sounds scary, but the psychological impact of the film, and the underlying metaphors are what I found truly terrifying. Are people who they say they are, or is there something nefarious just beneath the surface? Isn’t that a daily struggle in relationships, be them romantic, friendly, or business?

When “The Thing” kills someone it shape shifts into them, it becomes them. Not like a driver inside a car. You, the driver, would become the car. Where do you end and the car begin? Weird analogy? Yes, yes it is. I need a beer!

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In honor of the setting of the film (Antarctica) I decided to pair it with Modern Times Beer Company’s Aurora, you know, because of The Southern Light’s (Aurora Australis). Also, it has been a long time since I ordered a new beer at a bar and went ‘Damn, I want another.’ This beer made me feel like a brand new man… Oh no!

“According to the good folks at Modern Times Aurora is a 6.8% ABV red rye IPA loaded with Equinox, Centennial, Motueka, and Experimental Hop 07270. This pungent, complex IPA marries the spicy malt character of rye with the fruity dankness of new wave American & New Zealand hops. Aurora pours a gorgeous ruby red, making it the perfect IPA for Fall (if it ever comes to San Diego).”

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This beer was dank, I shared a few bombers with my viewing party. In fact how I got the movie was a fantastic voyage in and of itself. I figured tgag good old Netflix would have what I needed. Nope. Redbox app on the PlayStation? Some sort of cease and desist letter came up when I opened the app. Redbox kiosk, don’t, just don’t. Amazon Prime? Don’t get me started. Called my best friend as well as my cousin, both of whom are movie junkies, neither had a copy.The Public Libraries in my area… No such luck (I weep for our future). Blockbuster. Dead. Hollywood Video. Dead. Creepy video store down the street from my house. SCORE! The overly excited shop keep found the movie in under a minute and said “Rent it for $3, with an I.D. card, credit card, and utility bill, or buy it for $5 right now.” Well shit. $5 for a movie I spent hours searching for and gallons of gas trying to find? I started my search in the wrong order. I should have gone to “Creepy Video” right from the start.

Aurora, pizza, and THE THING. It was amazingly satisfying to have gone through that overly complicated ordeal only to be rewarded with the best science fiction movie I had never seen. I truly cannot believe it took me so long to watch it.

Why?

The Good: John Carpenter at his best. This film starred Kurt Russell and other notable talents, but the director knows how to make THE STORY the central character. Much like Jack Burton in BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA the character played by Kurt Russell is like an avatar for you, the viewer. The practical application of special effects, props, and the like are mind boggling and hyper realistic. The psychology of the film caused us to pause it and debate what we thought was going on, which became more frequent closer to the end.

The Bad: It feels timeless in some scenes, and super 80s in others. Also, my least favorite trope from the era is the usage of a robot or computer that has a Super Bogus robot voice and it shows up 5 minutes in. Eww.

The Ugly: The special effects, but I mean this in the best way possible. Example… A cadavers head fights to detach itself from the body, only to fall to the floor, drags itself for a bit along said floor,  where it sprouts legs as if a huge spider, and proceeds to scurry away… All while looking 100% real. Nightmare fuel for sure.

Overall I give this movie and a beer pairing 4 out of 4 Auroras on The Aurora Meter!

Cheers Tasters!
Doctor Q

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Posted by on October 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Karl Strauss x Peanut Butter Cup Porter

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Thursday 10/23/14

Locally we have seen some Peanut Butter stouts hit the market in recent years. Vista’s Mother Earth and Belching Beaver have released Sintax and Peanut Butter Beaver’s Milk Stout, respectively. These craft beers have been received very well, and have built far more than a cult status. They are good beers that are well crafted, but I have been chasing the flavor of the 2012 release of Karl Strauss’ Peanut Butter Cup Porter as brewed by Brewer John Hunter.

“Originally brewed as the company’s San Diego Beer Week beer in 2012, Peanut Butter Cup Porter was an instant hit, garnering praise from raving fans across the region.” According to the good folks at Karl Strauss “This year, Karl Strauss has ramped up production, more than doubling the amount of beer brewed. “We sold out of this beer in about a week last year, so to meet surging demand we brewed a larger batch this time around,” says Paul Segura, Brewmaster, Karl Strauss Brewing Company. “It’s amazing to see how this beer has been embraced by our fans and we’re excited to release it across the state.”

“Karl Strauss’ Peanut Butter Cup Porter is an innovative spin on a classic porter. Segura added “We use a blend of chocolate malts, caramel malts and cocoa nibs to create a robust rich dark chocolate flavored porter and we add in all-natural ingredients for layers of smooth peanut butter. Drinking a pint of this beer is the grown-up version of Halloween in a glass!”

“This limited-edition release will be available in bottles and draft the week of October 27 across the state of California, including on tap at the brewery’s tasting room as well as its satellite breweries.”

But you don’t have to wait until the 27th of October to taste this awesome beer!

There are 2 awesome events that you can go to and taste this year’s batch before most any one else.

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The Cork and Craft in Rancho Bernardo will host a draft only release party where you can meet Paul Segura, Brewmaster at Karl Strauss, and chat him up while sipping some Peanut Butter Cup Porter and pairing it with this especially curated menu…

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Not free tonight? Saturday, 10/25/14 our good friend Craft Beerd™ will be featuring Craft Beer Art at Karl Strauss’ head quarters for BAM Beer art Music and by beer they mean the official debut of this year’s batch of Peanut Butter Cup Porter. BAM is this Saturday night from 5:00 to 8:00PM and admission is free. Check out the flier below to learn more.

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Craft Beer Tasters will be on hand for both events. Bring your appetite tonight and your growlers on Saturday.

Cheers Tasters!
Doctor Q

Peanut Butter Cup Porter Label Copy:
Karl Strauss and San Diego go together like peanut butter and chocolate. That’s why we chose San Diego Beer Week back in 2012 as the perfect place to debut our Peanut Butter Cup Porter. This decadent twist on a robust porter packs rich layers of smooth peanut butter and dark chocolate flavors. The lingering, slightly dry finish is sure to keep you going back for the next sip. Today, it turns out you really can have your dessert…and drink it too.

Stats:
ABV: 5.6%
SRM: 56
IBU: 30

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Green Flash Taco Party

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Wednesday October 22, 2014

Tonight’s the night. We have teamed up with Tacos and Tarros in Otay Ranch and Green Flash Brewing Company to bring you a Green Flash Taco Party!

Green Flash’s very own Dave Adams will be on hand to discuss Green Flash, its history, beers, and how to best pair those beers with Tacos.

There will be *mug specials (*tarros in Spanish) as well as pitcher specials throughout the event. $6 Tarros and $15 Pitchers of Green Flash 30th St. Pale Ale to be exact! And you get to take home a sweet Green Flash pint glass too. There will be suggested taco pairings too, and, of course, Dave Adams to explain the pairings all along the way.

The event starts at 6:00PM and will be at Tacos and Tarros in the Otay Ranch mall which is located 2015 Birch Rd, Chula Vista, CA 91915

We will be there along with the Green Flash crew. Won’t you join us?!

Cheers Tasters!
Doctor Q

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Posted by on October 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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World’s Biggest Bottle Share!

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“World’s Biggest Bottle Share”
Tuesday 10/21/14

On Sunday November 9th, 2014 30th Street, from Normal Heights, through North Park, and ending in South Park will host what organizers hope will be “The World’s Biggest Bottle Share.”  Craft Beer Tasters recently met with Omar Passons, lawyer, unofficial Mayor of North Park, and co-organizer of the bottle share event to learn more about his love for craft beer and the philosophy behind the bottle share event.

Craft Beer Tasters: What will this bottle share accomplish?

Omar Passons: “We want to celebrate 30th St. and make a lot of people a part of that celebration. So far there are 8 stops on the bottle share route: 1. Polite Provisions 2. 3. Toronado 3. Waypoint Public 4. Bluefoot Bar 5. Brabant Bar & Cafe 6. Station Tavern 7. Alchemy Restaurant and 8. Hamilton’s Tavern. There are two parts of this event: a bottle share and a “signature tasting”. The bottle share part of the event features 8 venues to share beer – so basically it is a , bottle share on steroids.  The bars and restaurants will host the share simultaneously.” No, Passons confirmed, there will not be any sharing permitted in the streets. “To the contrary, there will be 4 air-conditioned shuttles to carry people between the stops approximately every 15 minutes. We want to see 30th St. lined up with people holding the bottles they are going to share, wearing the same shirt, taking selfies, and having a great time,” Passons remarked. Once inside any of the locations, participants are encouraged to share beer with friends and strangers alike.”

He addes, “Unlike traditional bottle shares that focus almost exclusively on rare beers, this event is designed to be a mixture of “whales” and exposing more people to the everyday quality that makes San Diego County such a great place to enjoy craft beer.

The second part of the event is a “Signature Taste” component that will showcase a beer of choice from specific breweries.  So far, Alesmith, Mother Earth Brew Co., Coronado, and Brewing Company have joined to offer special tasting session.  For the signature taste, pre-registered guests can, for no additional charge, sign up for a small-group tasting at set times and locations and even get to meet some of these brewers.  The Signature Taste portion requires pre-registration  in the name of safety and guest experience, preventing a rush or over-crowding.”

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Omar Passons

Craft Beer Tasters: Why a bottle share?

Omar Passons: “The idea is to create an event that is approachable to the entire spectrum of people who enjoy beer. From people who are just learning of craft beer and want to stick their toes in the water, to die-hard aficianados who know names like Tom Nickel and Colby Chandler and Gina Marsaglia, this event is about the communal spirit of craft beer and sharing that spirit with friends as well as strangers.”

Craft Beer Tasters: Where did the idea for this event come from?

Omar Passons: “I was on 30th St. in North Park and rounding the corner to Tiger!Tiger! and looked at the people pulling up with their bikes, on the patio, and in the bar and thought ‘All of these people here are celebrating craft beer, nationally San Diego is being talked about and 30th St.  is the epicenter of great craft beer,  I’d like to showcase that,” Passons recalled  “I like what San Diego breweries, craft beer bars, restaurants and shop keepers are doing not only for the craft beer community, but also for the communities in which they operate. Waypoint Public House has a standing monthly fundraiser for Jefferson Elementary School. Tiger!Tiger! supports pedestrian and biking safety efforts for the community – and brewer Lee Chase even invented a beer called “Give me Three” to remind people in cars of the new state law to require three feet when cars pass bicyclists. Gestures like these help the rest of the business community get on board with creative ideas that shape the community.”

Craft Beer Tasters: Bottle shares aren’t anything new, why this type of event?

Omar Passons: “I was at Downtown Johnny Brown’s for Whoodshop a few weeks ago, it’s kind of like the kind of the bottle shares, I think.  I was there, enjoying the vibe of when someone, whom I didn’t know, came up to me and asked ‘Would you like a taste of my Batch 1 Parabola?’ That gesture blew me away, and it is the type of friendly spirit that many people don’t see when they assume that people into craft beer are just ‘beer snobs.’. Our event isn’t meant to compete with a well-established bottle share such as Woodshop, it’s meant to highlight craft beer and create an easy way for people to enjoy an afternoon out during the busiest beer week of the year in San Diego.  We want people to use this event as an excuse to join friends, old and new, enjoy the community, and use public transportation and shuttles to get around safely.”

Craft Beer Tasters: Safety! That is always a concern, especially when there is a lot of people and alcohol involved. What are you doing to mitigate any safety concerns?

Omar Passons:  “Aside from the 4 shuttles that will be taking people, up and down 30th Street, we are hoping  to have a shuttle that will run from the downtown Coaster Station to Alchemy, and either way, it’s a short taxi, uber or lyft ride from that station – or many other parts of San Diego County – the bottle share route.  All of the beer will be consumed within thet participating locations only.”

Click here to get your $20 ticket!

Craft Beer Tasters: What are some of the social implications of this event, what will the event proceeds go to?

Omar Passons: “The Front Burner Fund will receive a portion of the proceeds from this event. This is a very important organization that serves back of the house staff – the preppers, the line cooks,  andthe dishwashers who make our meals possible –  by providing funding for medical emergencies. This organization helps to ease the financial pain that medical emergencies often create. On a lighter  note, we also have an application in with Guinness Book of World Records for “The World’s Biggest Bottle Share.”  Moreover, I want to showcase the San Diego/Baja region. The border region, aside from tourism, which is huge, is a major contributor to the state and national economy. This region is alive! I am from San Diego, born and raised, and I see the spirit of San Diego and our region as one of being unafraid to do big things. The reason why we have so many industry leaders, not only in craft beer and the culinary arts, but in biotech, engineering, and education is because of the independent and bold spirit that our region fosters. It’s palpable. This event aims high because our San Diego/Baja mega region is increasingly a place where people want to fun and innovative things and to be known for the creativity that makes these events possible.  We want young people who hear about this event – and other major lifestyle events in San Diego – to realize that this is a great place to come and start a career because not only does it have major hubs in wireless and life sciences and aerospace, but it has an after-work culture and climate that makes it the best place in the country to live.”

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Event Details:

When: Sunday November 9, 2014 –  12:00 to 1:00 – set the world record with line up and photos; 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. – Share your bottles and ride the shuttles to Signature Tastes

Where (Bottle Share Participants): 30th St. at Polite Provisions, Toronado, Waypoint Public, Bluefoot Bar, Brabant Bar & Cafe, Station Tavern, Alchemy Restaurant, and Hamilton’s Tavern.

Where (Signature Taste Locations): Waypoint Public, Bluefood Bar, Brabant Bar & Café, Alchemy Restaurant – MUST pre-register online.

Tickets: Available by Clicking Here!

Cheers Tasters!
Doctor Q
Disclosure: Gonzalo J. Quintero, Ed.D. is a co-founder of The Craft Beer Association of San Diego, a cosponsor of this event.

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Posted by on October 21, 2014 in Bottle Share, Northpark

 

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10% Off “The Festival” Tickets

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Get your tickets to “The Festival” by clicking here.

Use promo code: craftbeertasters to save 10% on your total purchase!

The Festival 2014: Presented by Shelton Brothers and Sharefest, in collaboration with Brouwerij West will be “crafted” at the Port of Los Angeles, 112 E 22nd St #10, San Pedro, CA.

Session 1: Saturday, November 8, Noon to 4 p.m.

Session 2: Saturday, November 8, 5 to 9 p.m.

Session 3: Sunday, November 9, Noon to 4 p.m.

Session 4: Sunday, November 9, 5 to 9 p.m.

Some of the world’s greatest and smallest artisanal beer, cider, and mead makers will join us to meet festival attendees and share their stories and knowledge. You’d have to spend months and countless dollars for a chance to meet this many world-class brewers. We’ve saved you the trouble and the expense — they’ll all be on hand personally to talk about their work and to pour for you. And many will be creating special brews specifically for the event — you won’t be able to find them anywhere else!

Admission to the festival gets you our special-edition sample glass, plus the opportunity to meet more than 70 of the best beer, cider, and mead makers in the world. The cost of admission also goes to covering the costs of the festival, including bringing these incredible brewers in from all over the world. Additionally, a portion of admission ticket sales will go directly to our nonprofit partner, Sharefest. (Seriously, check them out. They’re awesome.)

Upon arrival, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase drink tickets, the entire proceeds of which will go to Sharefest. Each ticket is worth a two-ounce pour, and the pricing is as follows: $5 for 5, or a special deal of $20 for 24.

International Breweries: Au Baron (France) ▪ Baird (Japan) ▪ Be.Er Brewery (Belgium) ▪ Birra Toccalmatto (Italy) ▪ Blaugies (Belgium) ▪ Brasserie Dunham (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Brekeriet (Sweden) ▪ Brewfist (Italy) ▪ Buxton Brewery (United Kingdom) ▪ Ca L’Arenys/Guineu (Spain) ▪ Cantillon (Belgium) ▪ Cidrerie du Perche (France) ▪ Companyia Cervesera del Montseny (Catalonia, Spain) ▪ De La Senne (Belgium) ▪ De Molen (The Netherlands) ▪ De Ranke (Belgium) ▪ Dieu du Ciel! (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Drie Fonteinen (Belgium) ▪ Freigeist (Germany) ▪ Fyne Ales (Scotland) ▪ Harvest Moon (Japan) ▪ Het Nest (Belgium) ▪ Jandrain-Jandrenouille (Belgium) ▪ Kerkom (Belgium) ▪ Le Trou du Diable (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Les Trois Mousquetaires (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Les Vergers de la Collinne (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Magic Rock (United Kingdom) ▪ Mahr’s (Germany) ▪ Marina (Catalonia, Spain) ▪ Mikkeller (Denmark) ▪ Minoh (Japan) ▪ Moor Beer (United Kingdom) ▪ Nøgne Ø (Norway) ▪ Oersoep (Netherlands) ▪ Oliver’s Cider and Perry (United Kingdom) ▪ Page 24 (France) ▪ Pays Flamand (France) ▪ Peckham’s Cider (New Zealand) ▪ Rappi Bier Factory (Switzerland) ▪ Renaissance (New Zealand) ▪ Ribela (Spain) ▪ Ritterguts (Germany) ▪ Rooie Dop (The Netherlands) ▪ Shiga Kogen (Japan) ▪ Siren (United Kingdom) ▪ Struise (Belgium) ▪ The Monarchy (Germany) ▪ Thiriez (France) ▪ To Øl (Denmark) ▪ Trois Dames (Switzerland) ▪ Weird Beard (United Kingdom) ▪ Westvleteren (Belgium)

U.S. Breweries: AEppelTreow Winery (Wisconsin) ▪ Allagash (Maine) ▪ Anchorage Brewing Co. (Alaska) ▪ Arizona Wilderness (Arizona) ▪ Artisan Beverage Coop (Massachusetts) ▪ Bluejacket (Washington, DC) ▪ Cambridge Brewing Company (Massachusetts) ▪ Celestial Meads (MA) ▪ Crooked Stave (Colorado) ▪ Hair of the Dog (Oregon) ▪ Hanson Brothers Beer Company ▪ Hill Farmstead (Vermont) ▪ Jester King (Texas) ▪ Jolly Pumpkin (Michigan) ▪ Mystic Brewery (Massachusetts) ▪ Oxbow Brewing (Maine) ▪ Prairie Artisan Ales (Oklahoma) ▪ Pretty Things (Massachusetts) ▪ Saint Somewhere (Florida) ▪ Shmaltz (New York) ▪ Side Project Brewing (Missouri) ▪ Tree House Brewing Company (Massachusetts)

Local Breweries: Bagby Beer ▪ Beachwood BBQ ▪ Brouwerij West ▪ Cellarmaker ▪ Faction ▪ Firestone Walker ▪ Monkish ▪ Rare Barrel ▪ San Pedro Brewing Company ▪ Sante Adairius ▪ Tahoe Mountain ▪ The Bruery

Get your tickets to “The Festival” by clicking here.

Use promo code: craftbeertasters at check out to save 10% on your total purchase.

Cheers Tasters!
Gonzalo J. Quintero, Ed.D.
Doctor Q

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Brouwerij West to Host “The Festival”

In a previous post Craft Beer Tasters shared information about “The Festival” to be produced by The Shelton Brothers and hosted by Brouwerij West November 8 & 9 at The Port of Los Angeles. Craft Beer Tasters was able to chat with Brian Mercer, cofounder of Brouwerij West, which will host “The Festival” at their San Pedro brewery at the Port of Los Angeles.

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Dr. Q: What’s special about the event?

BM of BW: It’s a really amazing time in the craft brewing world right now. So much is changing. Talented new breweries are opening all the time, and brewers old and new are constantly adding interesting and diverse beers to the mix. What makes The Festival stand out, in our humble opinion, is the incredible group of brewers that will be on hand in one place – classic European brewers and brand new breweries; breweries from down the street and from across the globe.  It’s a truly exceptional collection and a great chance for craft beer makers and craft beer drinkers to talk directly to one another about the how and why of each brew that will be poured.

Dr. Q: Why did BW decide to host?

BM of BW: It’s the Shelton Brothers event – we are just honored to be the ones selected to host it. I have been friends and admirers of The Shelton Brothers for many years.  Brouwerij West was fortunate that they loved our soon-to-be brewery home as much as we do. It’s a dream to host the Shelton Brothers and all the brewers and beer fans at our location. Since The Festival is in the West, rather than the Northeast this year, we think it’s also a cool opportunity for Los Angeles-area beer fans to try a lot of beers that don’t typically see distribution here.  On top of that, all these terrific brewers from around the world will be coming to Los Angeles and will get to see the burgeoning craft beer scene we have here. Los Angeles isn’t considered one of the great craft beer cities yet, but we hope that the event is another step in changing that. Add to that that the folks who come down to The Festival will get to see our future home, most for the first time, and get to know Brouwerij West a bit better we hope.  We’re definitely looking forward to meeting lots of new craft beer folks.

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Dr. Q: What can you tell me about the BW Founders?

BM of BW: I started working in Belgium about 8 years ago. I had fallen in love with brewing and Belgian beer, and I was lucky enough to uncover a Belgian sugar syrup that was responsible for a key flavor in Trappist beers. I made a partnership with the manufacturers and began importing the sugar to the U.S. That business allowed me to travel to Belgium several times a year and gave me access to Belgian brewing and breweries. I loved learning first-hand about Belgian brewing and process. It was also rewarding to work with all the U.S. breweries using the Belgian sugar and witness a change in U.S.-produced Belgian styles. A lot of that experience in Belgium is what led to the creation of Brouwerij West.

Dr. Q: What is the pedigree of brewery?

BM of BW: I don’t know about a pedigree…. It feels more like a love for process, ingredients and history of brewing, Belgian brewing in particular. Brouwerij West is just that – a brewery in the spirit of Belgium, but here in California. While I have been brewing as a gypsy brewer for the last four years, it has been difficult; without my own brewery and equipment I didn’t have full control over the beer. I think we have done good things, but I am so excited for our new facility to open in L.A. in the spring.

Dr. Q: What are some of your current plans?

BM of BW: We are just beginning construction on our brewery in Los Angeles. Our location is a WWII-era warehouse in San Pedro on the LA waterfront. It’s a stunning building with all the original wood truss architecture. We’ll have a big tasting room with a full view of the brewing process, as well as a curated bottle shop and private event spaces.  And we’ll have a huge dock with seating and a 10,000 sq. ft. outdoor courtyard “beer garden.”  At the moment, we are securing equipment, finalizing our build-out plans and starting to hire our brewery staff. (Know Anyone?) Quality is very important to us, so we will have a great technical brewer.  We’re planning to install a four-vessel brewhouse with a mash filter, do reverse osmosis filtration, and have a killer lab and bottling capabilities. While it will be technically proficient, we also like to follow our noses, get dirty with new ingredients, and take chances. And not take ourselves too seriously – we like to have fun with it. We hope to be up and running in April (and we’d love for you to come down and see it once it’s built out).

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Dr. Q: What are some of your future plans?

BM of BW: Our near-term plans include, besides opening the brewery, getting our open-barrel fermentation going, starting our bottle conditioning program, and opening our café in the tasting room. We have a partnership with a talented chef with an amazing background, Brendan Collins. We plan to add some great food to go along with the beer to round out the experience.  We also will be focused on growing our production and in-filling our distribution in the ~30 states and six countries we’ve been distributing to thus far.  We’ll also be offering contract brewing services, to help out gypsy brewers who started out like us – a pay-it-forward kinda thing.

Dr. Q: What do you hope this event accomplishes?

BM of BW: Our hope is that people enjoy meeting these brewers from around the world and leave having learned a bit about a new brewery or a famous brewery they’ve known of forever. Plus, we want everyone to have a great time trying lots of terrific beers and eating some tasty food along with it.  That’s what I plan on doing!  And hopefully people also dig what we’re going to be doing down at our new space, and start thinking of Los Angeles as a true craft beer destination.

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Join Brian, the Brouwerij West team, and all the rest of the amazing breweries from around the world at “The Festival” you can get your tickets by clicking here.

Cheers Tasters!
Gonzalo J. Quintero, Ed.D.
Doctor Q

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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“The Festival 2014″

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Have you ever inspected the side of a bottle of beer? Perhaps “inspect” is a grandiose term. Have you ever taken the time to read the side of your favorite beer bottle. Sure, there’s the label with the brewery name, beer style, ABV, clever beer name and, if you’re lucky logo and some other fun imagery. There’s also usually the warning from The Surgeon General, as well as some information about the recycled value of the bottle in your hand. There is also usually one more item scribed on the side of the bottle: the importer. For me, when reading the side of the bottles of some of my favorite beers, namely Cantillon, Prairie, Hill Farmstead, to namr a few, and there is a name delicately placed on the label that has long intrigued me: Shelton.

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More accurately “The Shelton Brothers” tag has been the this thing of mystery, a strangely visible, yet unknown and unexplained bit of trivia on my favorite beers, until now. The brothers Shelton, pictured above are two siblings that love beer, so much in fact, that they have decided to share the love of beer, and the beer itself, with those of discriminating tastes. So how do they choose what brews to let loose on the beer drinking world?

According to the brothers they pick the breweries and beers which they import based not on value, but a particular set of values.

“The best beers are brewed with a sense of place, a distinctive house character, and an appreciation for tradition, value, and/or the natural art of beer-making. Most often, this is expressed in breweries producing less than 5,000hl per year, though some brilliant exceptions exist, especially in Germany. Beer should have depth, texture, and nuance – it should sometimes even be a little rough around the edges. There are a few (very few) exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, that means the following about a brewery’s beers: Brewed in small batches using traditional methods. Unsweetened. Unpasteurized. Unfiltered. Bottle-conditioned. Little to no use of spices or adjuncts. Slow-fermented. Distinctive house yeast or yeasts. Dry as opposed to sweet.

There’s no miracle to importing good beer – just hard work and a lot of travel. We specifically seek out unmanipulated beer, generally looking to small breweries with craftsmen taking seriously their passion for a natural, traditionally-made product.”

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Craft Beer Tasters recently spoke with Ms. Jordan DeFrank of Shelton Brothers who had a lot to say about their upcoming festival to be held November 8 and 9 at The Port of Los Angeles and hosted at Brouwerij West.

Craft Beer Tasters: I’ve heard fables of past Shelton Brother’s festivals that were, essentially, rare beer events. What can you share about “The Festival” coming up next month.

Jordan DeFrank: “Shelton Brothers is hosting its third annual craft beer festival “The Festival” on the West Coast for the first time. The first two years were in Worcester, MA, and Portland, ME. The goal is to feature the very best small craft beer, cider, and mead makers from around the world. What makes our festival unique is that the brewers themselves will be there to pour, meet fest-goers, and talk about their beer. This is a rare opportunity, especially in the United States. We’ll have more than 90 breweries represented from all over Europe, the U.S., Canada, Japan, and New Zealand. Highlights from the list include Cantillon, Struise, De Ranke, Hill Farmstead, Drie Fonteinen, Mikkeller, Crooked Stave, Prairie Artisan Ales, Jolly Pumpkin, and many more.”

Craft Beer Tasters: What “local” breweries that will be represented at “The Festival” ?

Jordan DeFrank: “We’ll also have a very strong California showing, including Brouwerij West, Firestone Walker, Sante Adairius, The Bruery, Beachwood BBQ, and more. Another thing: We’ll be featuring many breweries that have never been seen in the United States before, specifically from Japan and the UK.”

Dr. Q: So how can craft beer fans be a part of the fun?

Jordan: “The event will be Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles on November 8 and 9. We’ll have two sessions per day, noon to 4 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. We’ll also have an amazing lineup of chefs, including Betty Fraser (from Top Chef) who will be serving up sliders alongside Chef Brendan Collins presenting Fish and Chips, as well as Cheese Monger Andrew Steiner with his cheese and sausage platters, as well as Chef Eric Greenspan who will pair grilled Cheese , and Chef Joe Bonness who will be baking wood fired pizza along with our friends from Tacos Punta Cabras.”

This event is more than a beer festival. It’s more than a tasting. It’s a life experience, and, in a real way. It is a bucket list of an event. When has, and when will, this list of worldwide industry leaders ever be together in one place again?

You can get your tickets by Clicking Here.

Won’t you join me?

USE PROMO CODE: craftbeertasters for 10% off at check out

Cheers Tasters!
Gonzalo J. Quintero, Ed.D.
Doctor Q

International Breweries:

Amager (Denmark) ▪ Au Baron (France) ▪ Baird (Japan) ▪ Be.Er Brewery (Belgium) ▪ Birra Toccalmatto (Italy) ▪ Blaugies (Belgium) ▪ Brasserie Dunham (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Brekeriet (Sweden) ▪ Brewfist (Italy) ▪ Buxton Brewery (United Kingdom) ▪ Ca L’Arenys/Guineu (Spain) ▪ Cantillon (Belgium) ▪ Cidrerie du Perche (France) ▪ Companyia Cervesera del Montseny (Catalonia, Spain)  ▪ De La Senne (Belgium) ▪ De Molen (The Netherlands) ▪ De Ranke (Belgium) ▪ Dieu du Ciel! (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Drie Fonteinen (Belgium) ▪ Freigeist (Germany) ▪ Fyne Ales (Scotland) ▪ Harvest Moon (Japan) ▪ Het Nest (Belgium) ▪ Jandrain-Jandrenouille (Belgium) ▪ Kerkom (Belgium) ▪ Le Trou du Diable (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Les Trois Mousquetaires (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Magic Rock (United Kingdom) ▪ Mahr’s (Germany) ▪ Marina (Catalonia, Spain) ▪ Les Vergers de la Collinne (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Mikkeller (Denmark) ▪ Minoh (Japan) ▪ Moor Beer (United Kingdom) ▪ Nøgne Ø (Norway) ▪ Oersoep (Netherlands) ▪ Oliver’s Cider and Perry (United Kingdom) ▪ Page 24 (France) ▪ Pays Flamand (France) ▪ Peckham’s Cider (New Zealand) ▪ Rappi Bier Factory (Switzerland) ▪ Renaissance (New Zealand) ▪ Ribela (Spain) ▪ Ritterguts (Germany) ▪ Rooie Dop (The Netherlands) ▪ Shiga Kogen (Japan) ▪ Siren (United Kingdom) ▪ Struise (Belgium) ▪ The Monarchy (Germany) ▪ Thiriez (France) ▪ To Øl (Denmark) ▪ Trois Dames (Switzerland) ▪ Weird Beard (United Kingdom) ▪ Westvleteren (Belgium)

U.S. Breweries:

AEppelTreow Winery (Wisconsin) ▪ Allagash (Maine) ▪ Anchorage Brewing Co. (Alaska) ▪ Arizona Wilderness (Arizona) ▪ Artisan Beverage Coop (Massachusetts) ▪ Bluejacket (Washington, DC) ▪ Cambridge Brewing Company (Massachusetts) ▪ Celestial Meads (Alaska) ▪ Crooked Stave (Colorado) ▪ Hair of the Dog (Oregon) ▪ Hanson Brothers Beer Company (Oklahoma) ▪ Hill Farmstead (Vermont) ▪ Jester King (Texas) ▪ Jolly Pumpkin (Michigan) ▪ Mystic Brewery (Massachusetts) ▪ Oxbow Brewing (Maine) ▪ Prairie Artisan Ales (Oklahoma) ▪ Pretty Things (Massachusetts) ▪ Saint Somewhere (Florida) ▪ Shmaltz (New York) ▪ Side Project (Missouri) ▪ Tree House Brewing Company (Massachusetts)

Local Breweries:

Bagby Beer ▪ Beachwood BBQ ▪ Brouwerij West ▪ Cellarmaker ▪ Faction ▪ Firestone Walker ▪ Monkish▪ Rare Barrel ▪ San Pedro Brewing Company ▪ Sante Adairius ▪ Tahoe Mountain ▪ The Bruery

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2014 in Beer Fest, Cantillon, Craftbeer

 

Xocoveza Gets Abnormal

Xocoveza Gets Abnormal

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On Wednesday October 8, 2014 Stone Brewing Company’s latest collaboration “Xocoveza Mocha Stout” will get Abnormal. Craft Beer Tasters is proud to announce our co-production of the first-ever “meet the brewer” event at Rancho Bernardo’s newest fine dining restaurant: The Cork and Craft. Special appearances will be made by Mike Richmond, Cellar Tech at Stone Brewing Company San Diego as well as The Morales Brothers, co-founders of  Cerveceria Insurgente de Tijuana who will join the beer’s creator, and Award-winning home brewer, Chris Banker.

These craft beer brewing geniuses will be on hand to taste and talk about the stellar craft beer that is “Xocoveza.” Before we get into the event details, however, let’s talk about this innovative beer and some of the people who brewed it.

What follows is the commercial description of “Xocoveza,”brain-child of the aforementioned perennial home brewer Chris Banker, as asserted by Stone Brewing Company. “The impact of home brewers on the American craft beer industry has been immense. The comfort level and lack of inhibitors provided by a domestic brewing environment fosters a near limitless brand of experimentation, allowing home brewers to push the beer envelope to its breaking point.

Many of the professional brewing world’s best recipes – from West Coast IPAs to imperial stouts and even sours – began as homespun standouts so spectacular they had to be unleashed on the world in order to improve it.

With this in mind, each year we hold an American Home brewers Association sanctioned home brewing competition, the champion of which gets their recipe brewed and distributed nationwide by Stone. This year’s winner, Chris Banker, helped keep us grounded to our home brewing roots by introducing flavors consistent with our regional palate. His chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, chile pepper, and coffee-infused milk stout was built to mimic the flavors of Mexican hot chocolate, a beloved specialty from our neighbors to the south, as our collaborators from Baja California, Cervezeria Insurgente, will attest.

Layered with tiers of earthiness, spice, and roast, this creamy, semisweet blue ribbon beer confirms that the spirit of the American home brewer is not only alive and kicking but thriving at an all-time high.”

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Those “collaborators from Baja California” mentioned in the above description are brothers, and brewers, Ivan and Damian Morales co-founders of Cerveceria Insurgente in Tijuana, BC Mexico, established in 2011. Craft Beer Tasters first had the pleasure of meeting The Morales Bros. in Tijuana when on assignment for West Coaster San Diego magazine back in the summer of 2012 at the Tijuana Craft Beer Festival held in the bustling streets of TJ on Avenida Revolucion. Since that time Insurgente has achieved a great deal. Popularity has lead to the creation of a new brewery in Tijuana as well as market growth throughout Mexico. In September of 2014 at ” Cerveza Mexico” (essentially The GMBF (The Great Mexican Beer Festival)) Insurgente won Brewer of The Year, Beer of The Year, and 3 Gold Medals for their IPA, Brown, and Golden Strong!

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So, just what exactly will make “Xocoveza Mocha Stout” get abnormal? For those unaware, The Cork and Craft houses one of San Diego’s newest craft beer breweries: The Abnormal Beer Company. Abnormal’s Head Brewer/Beer Curator Derek Gallanosa sahred his thoughts on why he chose to celebrate this beer as the first meet the brewer event at The Cork and Craft “I chose this event as my first to celebrate the close knit craft beer community we have here in San Diego. “Xocoveza” was a collaborative effort that gives home brewers a chance to fulfill their dream of brewing on a commercial scale. Having my roots in homebrewing, this beer means a little more to me than all the rest. Also, I am a big proponent on incorporating other local business into the Craft Beer Community. With the addition of coffee from Mostra Coffee Roasters (whose Head Roaster is also our restaurant’s Executive Chef), this beer exemplifies the notion that putting together separate but related products can result in one beautiful piece of art. I look forward to pairing this beer with food from The Cork and Craft as well as celebrating with the local communities of craft beer and beyond.”

Derek went on to add “Not only will “Xoxovexa” be on draft that night, but it will poured alongside some specialty beers from Stone Brewing as well!. Also, anyone in attendance will be lucky enough to try some very unique food pairings including The Cork and Craft’s house-made French-style beignets. If that wasn’t enough a special version of the coffee brewed for “Xocoveza Mocha Stout” will be cold brewed and served on nitro by Mostra Coffee Company’s head roaster Mike Arquines who will be on hand to discuss the cold-brewing process and the role their coffee had in the beer!”

THE DETAILS

Who: Meet The Brewers

What: A Craft Beer Tasting Event

When: Wednesday October 8, 2014 at 5:00pm

Where: The Cork and Craft

Located at 16990 Via Tazon San Diego, CA 92127 just off of The 15 in Rancho Bernardo

See you there, Tasters!

Doctor Q

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Posted by on October 6, 2014 in Craftbeer, Stone

 

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Beer & A Movie: Big Trouble in Little China x Alpine Exponential Hoppiness

Beer & A Movie is back.

Something special has happened during our hiatus!

Not only are Cody Thompson of Three B Zine and Eugene Abano of Reviews Galore back in the mix, but so is our newest teammate Matt Smith of Who Goes There Podcast!

This week’s movie?

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

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John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China is the best film of 1986. Not in that pesky Oscars™ sort of way, but the best as in how your mom makes the best spaghetti. If you’ve never seen or heard of this film here is the IMDB synopsis that really undersells the story:

“An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.”

Wait. That’s actually pretty clear and concise… Good job imdb.com! There’s so much more to this story, though. It’s like a live-action comic book or video game. That may sound cliche or done to death, but it was unlike anything of the era. Kurt Russell plays the aforementioned “All-American trucker” Jack Burton who, after a night of drinking and gambling in San Francisco’s China Town, finds himself headed to the airport with his Chinese American friend (Wang) to pick up said friends’ mail order bride at the airport.

While at the airport, and just before we meet the bride, some San Francisco China Town street toughs known as “The Lords of Death” kidnap our (mail order) bride to be, but only after Jack steps in to help his (soon to be) love interest lawyer (Kim Catrell) and her plucky side kick whose name doesn’t matter. All you need to know is she’s poorly cast; she looks thirty something and the part clearly is for someone trying to do what it takes to make it as a journalist. Also the character has all the narrative lines, in fact, I’m pretty sure she’s reading stage notes, but it helps us make sense of this sometimes hard to follow action/comedy/adventure/fantasy/martial arts film.

Moving on…

Our heroes, Jack and Wang, trace the street thugs back to China town where they get stuck in the middle of a centuries old war. What the what?! The details aren’t really important just know that there’s awesome kung fu fighting scenese, Gods, demigods, beasts, and multi eyed flesh orbs all up in this piece! In fact, a beer helps you to make sense of it, I’m certain. Well, I’m certain that it won’t hurt the experience.

It’s all so much fun though! This movie tanked at the box office, which ended up shaking John Carpenter’s confidence for (some say) ever, which I don’t quite understand. What’s there to egt? It’s in the vein of Ghostbusters, a film that came out 2 years earlier, a film that is undeniably bizarre. It’s not the weird audiences don’t get, it’s the how it’s weird. I think the Chinese mysticism and kung fu threw some people off. Really, though, just go with it. It’s called “Big Trouble In Little China” don’t expect bloody Shakespeare. You should, however, expect a good time, and lines like this…

“I’m a reasonable guy, but I just experienced some unreasonable things.”

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That line uttered by our hero Jack Burton sums up the feel of the movie watcher, and the film all together. Like I said, just go with it. Sit back and enjoy the ride, a ride that ends with a climactic kung fu battle the likes of which you’ve never scene… in 1986. Speaking of said battle, just before our rag tag bunch of misfits goes into battle Egg (the Yoda of the story) gives them a sip of a potion that enables our heroes to “See things no one else can see… do things no one else can do.”

Which brings me to my choice of pairing for today’s “Movie & A Beer Post.” That line made me think of a beer unlike anything I have ever had before. It’s not a pale ale, an IPA, or even a double IPA. No. The beer I am speaking of has a lupulin level so gigantic that it could only be called one thing: Exponential Hoppiness!

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According to our friends at Alpine Exponential Hoppiness is a “West Coast Triple IPA (that is) Very popular. A complex hopping method where each hop addition is double the previous amount. More hops in the hopback and then two dry-hop sessions. The second dry-hop session is with whole hops and oak chips. 1.093 OG 10.75%ABV”

Embibing this “twice a year if we’re lucky” triple IPA is a rare experience. The high ABV is hidden by the high level of Hoppiness which is in hand mellowed out by the addition of oak chips which this beer rests upon alongside a “body bag” of hops. When you drink this beer you are magically transported to Alpine where you frolic amongst the trees where beer brewing natives call home.

But I digress.

This film is currently available on Netflix, but the beer was only available, most recently, via Brown Paper Tickets. If you can’t get a friend to share their bottle find yourself some Pure Hoppiness from Alpine. It’s not exponentially hoppy, but you’ll still ve exponentially happy.

The Good: It doesn’t take itself seriously, but it is well executed.

The Bad: The dialogue, but I’ll assume it was supposed to be like that.

The Ugly: Flying eyeball orb guy… gross.

Cheers Tasters!
Doctor Q
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Posted by on October 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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