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West Coaster San Diego, September 2014

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In this month’s issue of West Coaster San Diego, Dr. Q travels to Balboa Park to chat with one of the proprietors of San Diego’s newest craft beer bar: Panama 66.

Click here to download this month’s issue for free!

Cheers!
Dr. Q

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Beer & A Movie: Robocop (1987) x Cigar City Happening Now

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Beer & A Movie is back! Along with Cody at Three B Zine and Eugene at Reviews Galore we bring you our latest movie pairings! Continuing our review of the amazing talkies of the 1900’s directed by Paul Verhoeven this week we bring you 1987’s ROBOCOP.

“In a dystopic and crime-ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg haunted by submerged memories.”

This is what IMDB wants you to think Paul Verhoeven’s subversive 1987 masterpiece is about, but, in actuality, it’s about how escalating violence will desensitize our society to the point where a militarized police for isn’t just commonplace, but necessary, and no one bats an eye, because they’re too distracted by over-sexualized imagery.complimented by ultraviolent entertainmentbut. It’s just a movie, right… that’d never happen, right?

Verhoeven is the Nostradomus of his generation. However, some would make the chicken and egg debate about his work, but more on that later..

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Happening Now is a Session IPA brewed by Cigar City Brewing, Kyle Hollingsworth and Rock Brothers Brewing. According to the good folks at Cigar City Brewing this beer was brewed to celebrate the release of Kyle’s new album “Speed of Life” which was released Tuesday, August 19, 2014. Happening Now Session IPA is an easy-drinking take on an IPA at 4.5% ABV, brewed with copious amounts of experimental hops selected by CCB brewmaster Wayne Wambles. Happening Now Session IPA just so happened to have hit store shelves and CCB’s tasting room on Thursday, August 7th, which is also known as National IPA Day!

I chose this beer for a variety of reasons, but mostly because the name “Happening Now” works on so many levels. For instance, session IPAs are so “in” right now, Stone’s “Go To” session IPA, Karl Strauss with their “Mosaic” and “NZ Pacifica” session IPAs, even Modern Times got in the mix by not designating “Oneida” as a session IPA out of principle.

The society shown in Verhoeven’s Robocop is not that far off from the world we live in. What’s with Verhoeven, is he anticipating trends or causing them? A bit of both? Maybe. The point is Omnicorps, a mega-corporation that’s really into grey suits for some reason, is running the show in future Detroit. In the 1980’s vision of future Detroit the city is run down, depleted, over run with poverty and crime while only corporations, seemingly, having rights and powers that were once inalienable… sound familiar? Yes, yes it does. Why? Because that’s what’s happening right now.Corporations have been granted personhood meaning that corporations are seen as entities with civil liberties and rights, whereas a real-life human being that is too poor to afford water is unable to get access to it outside of paying a premium. Ironic that the corporation that bottles and sells water has more rights than the impoverished consumer.

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Anywho, Omnicorps is trying to develop a robotic peace officer. The tank with legs ED-209 freaks out during a board meeting at Omnicorps and shoots an executive about 100 times. This leads them back to the drawing board where it’s implied that there’s a human element missing from the program, enter Officer Murphy. Man this Cigar City Session IPA is hella fresh.

There’s about 2 hours of over the top acting, gruesome special effects, ultra violence, and a social commentary on extreme violence in society that is perpetuated by the film itself. Again the chicken and the egg. Sure, Verhoeven is using the metaphor for violence in media and entertainment by showing violence in faux media and entertainment, however, this film really raised the bar on what it meant to be a violent movie. The metaphor and irony was lost on much of the audience who actually just liked the gore and violence. Looking back on the Starship Troopers review, this seems to be Verhoeven’s curse – gaining an audience he had no intention of creating. I guess sarcasm doesn’t translate well to celluloid.

Verhoeven is like Omnicorps, he made Robocop in his likeness to bend to his will and share his views on society, but Robocop was bigger than the idea behind it, it took on a life of its own, it fueld the flames of violence and unrest. Once made, there was no turning back. Audiences loved the ultra violence, attended movie theaters in droves, which in turn lead to an entirely new genre of ultra violent action films that influenced a generation of people that control many mediums of communication from news to arts. Am I talking about Robocop the film, or Robocop the character? Am I talking about the impact Robocop had on the real world, as well as the impact on theoretical Future Detroit. The answer is yes. This movie was a game changer in so many ways it’s mind-boggling. I’m going to crush another, might as well, it’s so sessionable.

If I try really hard I can ignore all of the metaphors and the ironic appeal of the film and concentrate on the fact that it’s a pretty bizarre and ultra-violent entertainment that is nothing more than comic-book action and adventure, but there’s not enough beer in the world to make me believe that.

The Good: The bizarre commercials that are also social commentary that are dismissed as silly violence, but, once again, are social commentary.

The Bad: For the future, it really feels like 1987 when you watch this film.

The Ugly: It makes me sad that this film did little more than create a whole new genre of escalated ultra violent films as opposed to being the wake up call the world deserved. A bit grandiose of a task? Perhaps. That’s Verhoeven for you.

Overall: Robocop was the last great action film in that it was trying to be more than an entertaining flick, but I will admit it, Robocop is a hell of a fun ride and is still relevant now. Also, about Happening Now, I’m sad I crushed 2 cans of this brewery only release because it was crisp, balanced, and refreshing, perfect for pairing with artsy crime dramas.

Cheers Tasters!
Doctor Q

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Education Brewed by SDSU

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“SDSU College of Extended Studies created the Business of Craft Beer certificate to foster an overall appreciation of craft beer through interactive, hands-on learning. The program provides a well-rounded experience of craft beer through the exploration of its past and present, current trends, styles, best business practices, and what the future holds for this booming industry.”

The above mission and vision of the the SDSU Professional Certificate in the Business of Craft Beer program was written well before the first student signed up for classes. As with any assertion of its kind, these words are hopes and dreams that those toiling behind the scenes hope to come true. Recently some very positive statistics were released by program leaders, stats that show some tangible results. What follows are hard facts showing the impact of the program thus far.

369 students enrolled since 2013
27 graduates
30 projected to complete in January
30+ community events that SDSU as either attended or sponsored
9 courses developed

Giana Rodriguez, Program Director
at SDSU’s College Of Extended Studies shared some very compelling facts from the program completion survey which showed that 75% of those that graduate said that the certificate “helped them get a job, make connections, or advance in their current job.”

This is in step with the clear goals of the SDSU Certificate program which are defined as follows “provides skills necessary to enter the budding craft beer industry, an interactive, hands-on learning experience with tastings and more, brings top leaders and industry experts together in the classroom, uncovers an overall appreciation of craft beer, explores craft beer’s past and present history, and current trends, promotes craft beer literacy for consumers and employees, educates future craft beer ambassador, offers industry connections and networking opportunities within the San Diego beer community, and provides professional development and increases craft beer knowledge for current hospitality industry employees.”

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These program aspirations are all well and good, but are they realistic?

According to program student Thomas Pritchard (@Hoptologysd) the short answer is yes. This is what the program means to him, in his own words. “When I first enrolled in the program I was unsure what to expect. I thought I knew a lot about craft beer, but what I knew was fractional compared to the knowledge that I gained. Through the impressive coursework of SDSU’s Craft Beer program my knowledge of the history of craft beer, the marketing strategies of breweries and the inner workings of a craft brewery have increased exponentially. Along with classes designed to help you earn your Ciccerone certification as a master of beer tasting, you will find no shortage of opportunities to consistently better your understanding of our growing craft beer community. On a personal level, the knowledge I have gained has helped turn me into a better writer. Not only can I now more accurately describe the taste and texture of a great craft beer, I now understand how it was done and can pass that information on to my readers. I’m excited to continue learning from SDSU’s craft beer program and cannot recommend it highly enough to the everyone from the craft beer newbie to the most passionate of craft beer geeks, you will learn and you will have a great time doing it.”

Student and now industry professional Travis Hudson (@craftbeerluv619) shared his experiences as a student and the impact this program has had on his career. “When I started the program at the end of last year, it was a tough sell to my wife.  I had been struggling with finding full time work, and the added cost of the classes was not particularly in the budget.  However, with daily posts all over the internet about the San Diego craft beer scene, many of which she emailed me links to without prompting, the potential this type of education could bring became more apparent.  With one more course to complete before graduating, I have found an additional job in the craft beer world, thus adding to the value of the program.  Also, many of the students in the program who have graduated have landed industry jobs, adding more legitimacy to the courses.  With the local scene continuing to grow, having a strong knowledge base from my work in retail and distribution on the craft beer side, I see potential in landing a career very soon.”

With the business of craft beer growing at an exponential rate, and demand for jobs in the industry growing at the same pace, breweries are now looking for employees with not only passion but those with a formal beer education. Program advisor and instructor Scot Blair has hired students and program graduates for his craft beer businesses, while other students have found employment at Bagby Beer Co. as well as seen increased responsibility in their roles at Stone Brewing Company.

This is the way of the future. The importance of formal education in the business of craft beer is already having impact in hiring. If a person applies for a job and has passion, that’s great, but if they have passion and a formal education this will make a person stand out among their peers. Look at most every profession, and most every industry over the last 20 years in these united states and you’ll notice a push for formal education in the workforce. With craft beer proving to be big business you can bet there will be more of a focus on education placed by owners of breweries, bars, and restaurants. Luckily SDSU is well ahead of the trend and is training tomorrow’s industry professionals today.

Cheers Tasters!
Gonzalo J. Quintero, Ed.D.
(SDSU ’05, ’08, ’11)

Disclosure:
Dr. Q is an alumnus of SDSU as well as an Advisor and Instructor for SDSU Professional Certificate in the Business of Craft Beer program.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Hate to burst your bubble…

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The craft beer bubble.

It seems to be a topic of conversation that will not go away.

In case you’re unsure or unaware of what “the craft beer bubble” is, here is a quick primer on the economic theory of a bubble economy.

An economic bubble, as defined by the good folks at Nasdaq is a “market phenomenon characterized by surges in asset prices to levels significantly above the fundamental value of that asset. Bubbles are often hard to detect in real time because there is disagreement over the fundamental value of the asset.”

In terms of craft beer, especially in San Diego, the asset is usually discussed as the value placed on 90+ active breweries and whether the quality of their wares and the amount of product in the market can feasibly maintain a long lasting economy. As mentioned in the definition bubbles are sometimes thought to be invisible because there are value disagreements.

A clear and recent example of a bubble bursting is the housing market. Sure there were nefarious lending practices, over valued properties, and under-earning investors. Though these factors cannot be denied, it should be noted that greed and hope mixed in a way that kept many people blind to the impending burst of the bubble in which they lived.

I think the invisibility of the housing bubble, and in turn the craft beer bubble, is more due to the ostrich effect (keeping your head in the sand) as opposed to paying attention to market trends, sales reports, and other indicators. Hope and greed. You hope to do well, you hope business will continue going just as good. Greed, in terms of residents of the bubble is a desire to succeed that doesn’t take market realities into account.

This past weekend at Beer-Con the discussion of a craft beer bubble came up not once, but twice in two different sessions at the craft beercentric educational event.

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"Dr." Bill in action!

The keynote speaker, “Dr.” Bill Sysak of Stone Brewing Company spoke of the bubble or “speed bump” as he called it. Dr. Bill asserted that there are over 90 breweries in existence and, he believes, there shouldn’t be that many. Why? Because the quality of some of the beers from those 90 plus breweries is poor, and that’s bad for craft beer. Why is it bad for craft beer as a whole? If someone who has never tried craft beer in their life tries one of the poor quality beers for the first craft beer experience, they will leave it with the impression that that is craft beer and may be turned off and never have another.

I had a chance to ask “Dr.” to ask a question that popped into my mind after hearing his assertions on the bubble.

Craft Beer Tasters:
“How do you fix the bubble, how do you fix the problem of bad beer?”

“Dr.” Bill:
You go to your friend and say I know you like your “Hi-Life” and have tried craft beers before… and here’s where you use the “bad restaurant” metaphor. If you tried a bad restaurant before that shouldn’t turn you off to all restaurants. Maybe this restaurant changed some recipes, changed management, give it another chance. Craft beer brewing and the business of craft beer is a process not a club we keep people in or kick people out of. Give it and me another chance. Find out what foods your friend may like. Equate food to beer, beer is food. Get in their wheelhouse. Buy your friend a few beers based on that, do some food pairings, of they don’t like it, that’s fine, at least they gave it a real chance.

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I also got a chance to hear Mike Hess, founder of Mike Hess Brewing Company which just celebrated it’s.4 year anniversary. His take on the bubble and market penetration of craft beer is positive in that the current state of the market allows many people to realize the entrepreneurial dream of opening their own business. Always the realist, Mr. Hess asserted that if you’re not making quality beer, don’t get in the business, but if you really want it, hire a good brewer to make your beers.

I caught up with Mike Hess and had a  follow-up question regarding quality control.

Craft Beer Tasters: How do we manage quality with such great market penetration taking place?

Mike Hess: Manage quality and consistency. Brewing is indeed art, but it is definitely a science. We, for example, yeast count all of our beers. Lots of times bad beers are not resulting from a bad recipe, but from a bad process that causes flaws. I’ve been home brewing since 1995 and every batch of beer I’ve brewed I have been a rigorous note taker. This continues to this day. We have a lot of data that helps us be consistent within tolerance to ourselves, and the consumer, batch to batch.

There is something very telling in where the conversation of the craft beer bubble went. It wasn’t a discussion of market analysis, sales reports, or.dividends. It was a discussion of quality, quality control, conversation, controlling the conversation. A brewer was asking breweries to be accountable for the quality of their beers. A craft beer ambassador was asking other advocates to take the initiative and share craft beer in a meaningful way to the unindoctrinated.

Can these kind of efforts, in conjunction with San Diego brands seeking shelf space in other cities, states and countries (as many are already doing) prevent the bubble from bursting? Who’s to say. Adaptation, however, leads to growth, not stagnation.

Cheers Tasters!
Doctor Q

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Posted by on August 26, 2014 in Craftbeer, Dymystify, Hess, Stone

 

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“BEER-CON IS NOT YOUR AVERAGE BEER FESTIVAL…

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…IT IS A UNIQUE CRAFT BEER CONVENTION FOR BEER LOVERS, BY BEER LOVERS.”

These are the words of the conventions producers. Beer-Con, now in it’s 4th year, is this weekend!

Today Friday, August 22, 2014 at 7:00PM is the KICK-OFF PARTY at Draft in Mission Beach followed tomorrow morning, Saturday, August 23, 2014, at 9am with the “Main Event” which will once again be held at Marina Village Conference Center.

The event schedule is as follows…

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I had the pleasure of sitting on the “Beer Journalism” panel last year as well as co-producing the panel about Baja’s craft beer scene. This year Angel Miron of “Let’s Go Clandestino” will be producer and moderator of “Beer In Baja: What You Need To Know” which promises real in-depth analysis and insight into the scene south of the border.

There is no journalism panel this year, per se, but our fellow panelist from last year’s con, and good friend, Cody Thompson Three B Zine will be upstairs producing, recording, and hosting Three B Zine at Beer-Con! I’ll be there alongside other notable bloggers such as Hoptology SD as well as Beer-Con presenters.

Aside from the awesome panels and amazing educational opportunities, lets be honest, what’s a con without swag?!

Attendees will receive a Custom Bag, Taster Glass & a very Limited Edition Shirt designed by CRAFT BEERD (as seen below).

Hungry for more than just beer knowledge? They have got you covered. Mishmash Gourmet San Diego Lunch Pairing featuring Aztec Brewery will be there to satisfy all of your needs.

Unlimited tasters throughout the day & a “Tap Haven” to end the day!

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The event organizers will be selling tickets on-site for $109, but you can still get tickets until the day of the conference for $99 by Clicking Here.

Make sure to use these hashtags throughout the day…
#‎beercon2014‬ ‪
#‎sdbeer‬ ‪
#‎drinklocal
‬‪#‎thirstyforknowledge‬

See you there!
Cheers Tasters :)
Doctor Q

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Karl Strauss Is Brewing Up Some Culture

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Hot off the heels of its wildly successful inaugural B.A.M. event, Karl Strauss is gearing up for B.A.M.! #2 on Saturday, August 23, 2014. This free event will take place at the Karl Strauss Tasting Room and Beer Garden in Pacific Beach from 5pm to closing and will feature live music, curated art, handcrafted beer and food. “We are bringing together some of our favorite artists for a truly unique, collaborative experience that is not only fun, but supports worthwhile causes,” says Matt Rattner, President and Cofounder, Karl Strauss Brewing Company. “B.A.M.! is our way of throwing a great party with purpose. It gives us the opportunity to shine a light on emerging local talent and help give exposure to inspiring causes like the Rob Machado Foundation.”

Karl Strauss’ B.A.M.! event series brings to life the company’s longstanding core value of caring for its local community, environment, and supporting independent arts, music, and nonprofits. The second installment of this one-of-a-kind series will benefit the Rob Machado Foundation, established in 2004 to support environmental programs for youth.  Karl Strauss will host a raffle with 100% of proceeds going directly to the cause, as well as a portion of beer proceeds from the evening. The awesome prize list includes a donated, hand painted acoustic guitar from Taylor Guitars, autographed Rob Machado gear, and a private acoustic session by the Paul Cannon Band.

In addition to supporting a good cause, fans are encouraged to check out the amazing local art curated by Thumbprint Gallery, including two dozen hand-painted growlers for sale. DJ Ori will be spinning his jams, getting the crowd ready for a live set by Paul Cannon Band—best known for their folk surf rock and pop, and currently nominated for San Diego Music Awards’ Song of the Year, Thinking Bout You. For grub, the Drunken Grill food truck will be onsite slinging sausages and sliders to pair with Karl Strauss’ award-winning 20-tap beer lineup. Admission is free, so if you missed the first one, this is your chance to totally redeem yourself. For more information about the B.A.M.! Series, visit http://www.karlstrauss.com/events. Share it. Cheers.

B.A.M.! Series #2 Event Details:

Date: Saturday, August 23, 2014
Time: 5pm-close
Location: Karl Strauss Tasting Room, 5985 Santa Fe Street, San Diego, 92109
Admission: Free
Band: The Paul Cannon Band
Artists: Thumbprint Gallery

All proceeds benefit The Rob Machado Foundation

Contact: Melody Daversa Crisp
Karl Strauss Brewing Company
melody@karlstrauss.com
858-581-7335

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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West Coaster San Diego: August 2014

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The August issue of West Coaster San Diego is out! Available in print at your finer Craft Beer establishments or online by clicking here.

In this month’s issue I discuss the usage of GMO ingredients in craft beer and highlight a local businessman bringing the craft to La Mesa.

Cheers!
Doctor Q

“SAY NO TO GMO”

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“PALM SPRINGS LIQUOR”

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Posted by on August 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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North County Craft Brew Symposium

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North County Craft Brew Symposium

This Wednesday is the North County 
Craft Brew Symposium which will be hosted by San Diego North Economic Development Council and held from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Vista Civic Center located at 200 Civic Center Dr.
Vista, CA 92084.

To register please CLICK HERE.

There are several exciting presentations that will take place at this unique symposium. Join San Diego North Economic Development Council as they host “the first ever North County Craft Brew Symposium. The Symposium will explore the economic impact and importance of the Craft Brew industry in North County, how the region can support and grow this industry, and will explore the ancillary services that serve craft breweries.”

To start things off there will be a presentation on the “Economic Impact of Craft Breweries in San Diego Report- North County Update” given by
Erik Bruvold of NUSIPR.

This will be followed by this observer’s most anticipated discussion “Ask the ABC” which will host Melissa Ryan, District Supervisor, Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) with Moderator Chris Cochran, Community Relations Manager, Stone Brewing Co.

After these largely anticipated presentations the symposium will have options for the Session One Breakout Panels.

Session 1 will include “Regulation and Distribution” with panelists Carrie Brooks, Senior Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service/U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Melody Campbell, President, Vista Brewers Guild; Tasting Room and Events, Iron Fist Brewing Co., along with moderator Andrew Shutak, Client Solutions, Willis Insurance

Session 1 also has the option to choose “Marketing the Region” a panel discussion between Vince Vasquez, Policy Analyst, NUSIPR,
Mike Shess, Publisher, WestCoasterSD, your’s truly Gonzalo Quintero, Ed.D.,  Co-Founder, Craft Beer Tasters, and Greg Koch, CEO & Co-Founder, Stone Brewing Co. This panel will be moderated by the incomparable Omar Passons, Senior Counsel, Stutz Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz

Session 2 Breakout Panels will keep the information flowing with “Best Practices and Barriers to Craft Brew” with a panel of experts which includes
Kevin Ham, Economic Development Director, City of Vista, Gina Marsaglia, Owner, Pizza Port, Greg Elias, CPA, Partner, Think, LLP, along with moderator Andrew Shutak, Client Solutions, Willis Insurance.

Session 2 breakout also includes “Beer Outside of Beer” with panelists Brian Scott, President, San Diego Brewers Guild, Naomi Higgins,  Director of Food & Beverage, Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, Aaron Calles, Owner & Founder, Plan 9 Alehouse, Grant Tondro, General Manager & Proprietor, Urge American Gastropub, along with moderator Omar Passons, Senior Counsel, Stutz Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz.

This is quite a unique opportunity to have so many knowledgeable craft beer people in one place. Don’t miss out on this chance to have your thirst for knowledge quenched.

You can register by clicking here.

Cheers Tasters!
Doctor Q

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Posted by on August 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Beer & A Movie: Total Recall x Stone Enjoy By 8/16/14

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Beer: Stone Enjoy By 8/16/14
Movie: Total Recall (1990)

Welp… Beer & A Movie is back! Craft Beer Tasters x Three B Zine x Reviews Galore are continuing our romp through the Paul Verhoeven cesspool of ’90’s goodness. Yes, it’s a cesspool of goodness.

Paul Verhoeven brought such sardonic masterpieces as STARSHIP TROOPERS (previously reviewed) the original ROBOCOP (a review of Robocop is coming in 2 weeks… 2 weeks… 2… weeks…) and also, this week’s total recall of crap, TOTAL RECALL.

Our trio of gadflys had quite a debate as to whether or not TOTAL RECALL should be reviewed. It’s dated, creepy, ultra violent, and corny as hell. It’s an Arnold Schwarzenegger classic, but not really a classic movie. Before I get into my review of Paul Verhoeven’s cartoon like sci-fi action adventure Total Recall, let’s go over the plot. 

“Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a 21st-century construction worker who discovers that his entire memory of the past derives from a memory chip implanted in his brain. Schwarzenegger learns that he’s actually a secret agent who had become a threat to the government, so those in power planted the chip and invented a domestic lifestyle for him. Once he has realized his true identity, he travels to Mars to piece together the rest of his identity, as well as to find the man responsible for his implanted memory.” Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Man, that premise alone makes me want to drown my sorrows, it’s such a transcendental bummer on paper. Are we just a collection of stories and memories pieced together? Probably. That’s why I copped me a nice bomber of Stone Enjoy By 8/16/14 (or two) to help me power through this bizarre overrated Arnold Schwarzenegger film, seriously, the film cost upwards of $60 million dollars to film, and boy did it look like someone embezzled $59.5 million dollars of it… I need a beer!

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What beer? Stone Enjoy By 8/16/14 to be exact. I chose this beer because the enjoy by theme seemed fitting for the film. Live your life because you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone, also your memory chip my get messed up, your wife will find out and you’ll have to duke it out with her with some pretty horrible choreography. I also chose this beer in owner of co-star Sharon Stone, who basically plays herself, a cold hearted fake.

This IPA, according to the good folks at Stone, is a devastatingly fresh double IPA. While freshness is a key component of many beers – especially big, citrusy, floral IPAs – we’ve taken it further, a lot further, in this IPA. You see, we specifically brewed it NOT to last. We’ve not only gone to extensive lengths to ensure that you’re getting this beer in your hands within an extraordinarily short window, we made sure that the Enjoy By date isn’t randomly etched in tiny text somewhere on the label, to be overlooked by all but the most attentive of retailers and consumers. Instead, we’ve sent a clear message with the name of the beer itself that there is no better time than right now to enjoy this IPA.

It was crisp, and hoppy, and resinous, and, at 9.4% ABV, helped me take my mind off of the bad acting, bad cinematography, and even worse sets. The names say it all Enjoy By.

Back to the movie!

The good: The premise. It should be, seeing as the source material for the film is loosely based on thePhilip K. Dick story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” the same guy who wrote source material for THE MINORITY REPORT as well as BLADE RUNNER.

TOTAL RECALL also has some amazing special effects, it even received a special achievement Academy Award for special effects. I must admit the effects were indeed special as they were practical kind, utilizing molds and miniatures to achieve hyper realism in an ultra realistic film. This feat was not easily accomplished, especially in 1990 and the limited special effects of the era.

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Deleted scene

The Bad: The special effects may have been top notch, but everything else is lackluster. The acting is atrocious, the dialogue worse, and the violence a bit unnecessary. At the same time the violence is little more, in some instances people getting shot, but shot like in an old western, camp. The entire movie takes place on a soundstage, and feels fake. In fact the whole damn movie feels like a well directed dress rehearsal. Which, maybe, just maybe, the director wanted. Quaid (Schwarzenegger) isn’t sure if his memories are real, the movie might just be a dream, or an implanted memory of a poor construction worker. Damn, what’s actually going on here?!

The Ugly: That being said, I never know if Paul Verhoeven is trolling on the audience, or being genuine. I guess that’s a dumb set of questions seeing as he is seriously serious about trolling his audience. I know I already said that the special effects were good, but some of the special make-up effects were atrocious and lazy. Yes the effects were good, and were in fact Oscar caliber in 1990, but three breasted women, deformed kids, and devastatingly and freakishly accurate depictions of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s head are a bit much, especially when in addition to the amount of gore and violence on screen the film.

Schwarzenegger is feeling himself way too much in this film. It feels like he’s a Drunk Dean Martin winking at the camera acting all cutesy having fun. Sharon stone chews the scenery in a performance that proves she’s a vampire, the woman is perpetually 32. Every other ancillary character exists purely to move the story along as conveniently as possible and I remember using the word “contrived” when I was 9 years old and watching this corny Hollywood tripe for the first time.

All in all it’s a classic Schwarzenegger film, but not a classic film in the realm of Hollywood. Meaning? Meaning it’s important to watch this film if you’re into Schwarzenegger. It’s important if you want to see Verhoeven push the envelope and purposely try to get a rated X movie to gross $100 million dollars in an effort to buck the system. It’s important if you want to see the last great usage of practical effects.

Damn. This movie was pretty good, in the way junior high school was good. You had some laughs, nothing prepared you for it, and it in turn prepared you for nothing, but it was mostly fun.

Cheers Tasters!
Doctor Q

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Toronado x Tijuana Part 2 of 2

After drinking a healthy amount of cervezas artesanales at Border Psycho our crew of craft beer tasters was on their way to The Tijuana Beer Company.

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We were greeted by a friendly waiter who made us feel right at home by welcoming our group with a flight of the brewery’s German and Czech influenced brews.

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Founded in 2000, and housed in one of Tijuana’s oldest and most beautiful factories Tijuana Beer Company is making some stellar old world beers, today! If you ever get a chance to visit I highly recommend the aptly named La Morena their Schwarzbier.

In a phrase this beer is best described as Hofbrau Haus by way of Tijuana. After our short flight we landed insided the brew house where we took a tour of the facility where many barrels are brewed by a.skeleton crew a feat some on hand thought impossible!

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With our thirst quenched it was time soak up the suds and visit our host Baja Craft Beers at their flagship gastropub “BCB Tasting Room” where we tried beers from throughout Baja, including Tijuana’s Insurgente and Mexicali’s Legion.

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At BCB owner operator Ruben Valenzuela was a gracious host pouring many wares from throughout Mexico, which was the order of the day, to be certain, but the surprise of the day was the U.S. inspired cuisine.

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Our Host Ruben Valenzuela of BCB Tijuana (R) with the head brewer of Mexicali's own Legion (L)

Thin crust pizza, wings, fries, and pastrami may be old hat in The U.S. but these somewhat Latino fusion versions of these old favorites were something to behold.

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We were stuffed to the gills as we made our way for the border, but I had one more stop up my sleve. We visited everyone’s favorite Swiss Mexican Mr. Damian Bosiger at his family’s gastropub “Sotano Suizo located in Zona Rio in Tijuana. Tired from a long day at the restaurant, and we, tired from a long day of research we were.more than happy to sit at a booth and try Damian’s newest.concoction, a crisp hard cider that his customers are sure to embrace!

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We soon embarked on our journey home. During our trek on foot through the pedestrian line I was quickly snapped back to the reality that though our worlds are separated by a line in a map our communities are so close together in a multitude of ways. Our love for craft beer, for artisan wares, for the community which it creates. We are a community without borders and this last trip merely solidified that assertion.

Cheers Tasters!
Doctor Q
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Posted by on July 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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