Thursday, January 28, 2010

Beer and religion come together in Beerituality

Irony of ironies. My last post was a flix and brew review, this one's about a flick about beer. And religion!  I just stumbled across the trailer for this comedy called Beerituality.  Take a look...

For more information about this movie from FAD Productions check out their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter (@Beerituality).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Brewvie Review: The Book of Eli

eI'm starting a new feature here on Confessions, one that will likely migrate over to Beer Tap TV in some video-ized form in the not too distant future. I wanted to give it a test run here to see what kind of reaction it gets though, so consider this a beta test.  Let me know what ya think, from the title to the format to what/not to include, etc.  Sound good? 

If you follow the movie reviews I post on my Facebook page (via the way cool Netflix review app) you know I like to watch all kinds of movies. Well, I got to thinking... why don't I combine two of my fave things:  movies and craft beer.

For a number of reasons Fran and I don't usually see many films at the theater. I know, it's the only place you can get a dump truck full of that delicious popcorn you can only seem to get at the movies, but you can't get one single beer. And that's a deal breaker for me. Instead we rent movies from Netflix where we can watch from the comfort of our couch, pause the movie when we feel like, get up and use a clean bathroom, grab a brew from the fridge, etc. So it's ironic that the first entry in this new feature will be about a movie we actually saw at the theater a few weeks ago...

The Book of Eli

I went in expecting a lot. For starters, it has my name in the title. Secondly, it's "a post-apocalyptic tale in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind." Post-apocalyptic stories come from my favorite genre. Movies, books, comics, video games... if it's about the end of the world, I'm all over it.  

Directed by the Hughes brothers (they of the awesome flick, From Hell, starring Johnny Depp), this movie stars Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson, and Jennifer Beals. Great cast. Well, Eli (Denzel) has been strolling across a destroyed U.S. for some 30 years. He walks tall and carries a very big knife... and a very special book that will supposedly help restore the world. This world is lawless, where people must kill or be killed.  Sounds like one of the Mad Max flicks, right?

Well, it kind of is. And it's also kind of like The Road, a book written four years ago by Cormac McCarthy. Great book, so read it if you haven't. Unfortunately, BoE is too much like The Road. In it a man - along with his son - walk across a a destroyed U.S. searching for something too. It was made into a movie, but only released - in November - to very few theaters.  The limited release was odd considering it has an all-star cast including Viggo Mortensen, Robert Duvall, and Charlize Theron. Anywho...

As much as I wanted to love The Book of Eli, it was merely OK. Perhaps it was the inconsiderate A.D.H.D. addled cell phone user sitting below us, or my bum knee that only hurts when sitting in a theater chair, or the central theme of the movie (which revolves around the book; saying more will give it away), or lack of beer... but I was less than impressed. There are some great action scenes (not enough), and some great character interaction (Oldman always plays a great bad guy), but in the end it was just too slow.

Fran actually enjoyed it more then I did.  However, without giving anything away... there is one potential twist that only reveals itself at the very end. I say "potential" because we're not 100% sure that it occurred. If it's actually there, and not just some figment of our imagination, it will bump this film up a notch. A second viewing will be needed to determine this however, and that will only occur when the Blu-ray  arrives in my mailbox. Until then... on wth the rating. To keep things consitent with my Facebook page I'll be using the 5 star Netflix rating system.

The Book of Eli gets a score of:

Food isn't the only thing craft beer can be paired with. I plan on experimenting with just how far to push that theory. So, along with the movie rating I'll be providing a perfectly paired beer, and how many bottles of said beer it will take to get through said movie.

Beer suggestion for The Book of Eli is: 

For end of the world mayhem nothing quenches a road weary warrior like a 10.5% ABV Belgian brew!  This Quadrupel from Lost Abbey is packed full of malts (Two Row, Wheat, Medium and Dark English Crystal, Special B, Chocolate Malt) and a smack of hops (Challenger and East Kent Golding) that will surely shake the dust from your boots. 

Number of bottles of Judgment Day required to get through this movie: 2

Since this bitchin Belgian will age incredibly well for many years to come (even unto the end of the world), and it tips the scale with a double digit alcohol content, you only really need one. However, you always want to be prepared for when that final day does come. So suck one of these down during the film to ease any bodily pains you might have, or silence the idiot who can't seem to keep his yap shut, and stash the second bottle in a safe place. It will make for a savory trading trinket that will be nothing short of liquid gold in the apocalyptic future.

Until next time... I'm Eli the Mad Man of Beer telling you to believe in hope, and of course... stay frosty!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Like beer through the taplines, so are the days of our lives...

First order of bid'ness... Hoppy Brew Year!

I can't believe it's already been a month since I last posted.  That's ridiculous on a number of levels, not the least of which is the rhetorical question:  where the *$&@ did that month go?!?  I mean seriously.  Really? I coulda sworn I was just waking up from the New Year's hangover. Oh wait, nix that... I was asleep before the bell even rang.  Made up for it over the last few weeks though. ;)

If the first 2+ weeks of 2010 are any indication... Beer Tap TV is gonna have a kick ass year!  Last weekend both Erik and I were out and about on BTTV business. He was darting around the mid-west and I was out in Northern California.

While in the San Francisco Bay Area with my wife Fran (she of the soon to be revitalized For the Love of Fran's Food blog), I got a chance to very briefly (we were in a rush to get party supplies for my mother-in-law's birthday) visit Russian River Brewing Company and had literal mad dashes by Gordon Biersch and 21st Amendment.

After barnstorming through NorCal for a few days we were able to slow down a bit and spend the better part of Sunday at one of our favorite spots along the California coast - Half Moon Bay.  It's here that we got to sit back and smell the roses, or in this case the beer, at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. Unlike the other beer sojourns I did in fact remember to bring my phone, but that's only because we spent the night in HMB (Inn at the Mavericks) because we were flying out the next morning. Anywho... HMBBC is a spectacular brewpub with an ambiance that simply can't be beat. Outdoor patios with raging fire pits, great brew, food and music.

So why did it take me so long to post about this when it was over a week ago? Glad you asked. By way of a long and convoluted intro, here's the crux of this post...

Back when I started writing this blog in 2007 many of today's high-tech gadgets and websites either weren't around yet or they were just being born. I think the iPhone literally launched the day before my very first post. Here it is two and a half years later and the exponential advance in technology has been staggering. We now carry around smart phones that make Star Trek communicators look primitive. Social networking was something we did in person, not something accomplished through a host of incredibly advanced websites. Facebook was still in it's infancy, Twitter was something a bird did, and Ning was a grammatical term indicating that a verb was in the progressive form.

Blogging has come a long way since Jack Dorsey created Blogger. Did you know he also created Twitter? One could argue that Jack single-handedly helped bring about the demise of brick and mortar newspapers. How? Ever hear of the term "citizen journalism"? Blogger, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace... all of them gave voice to the people. Combine that with the ability to take high quality pictures and video anywhere at anytime and you have millions who can conduct instantaneous, on the spot reporting 24/7/365.

Back then - all two and a half years - we had to go to different sites to do a myriad of different things.  Not anymore.  Like everyone I too have a Facebook page and a Twitter account that are not only all linked, but have are far easier to use on the fly then sitting down and typing out a lengthy blog entry. Who thought so much could be communicated in 140 spaces?  Dorsey apparently.

But I digressed (imagine that)...

A few days after our trip I posted pics (like the one to the right) and video to my Facebook page. I popped out a few Tweets while at HMBBC drinking a flight of great brews, watching the Cardinals and Packers set NFL defenses back 100 years, and listening to the Latin rhythms of Manicato. It took me almost two weeks to sit down and type out this ramble.

So my point?  To stay caught up with my beertastic doings - and there's going to be plenty, not the least of which is our trip to Oktoberfest in Germany in September - make sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter!  The digital age is here and it ain't goin' away people, so get on board. If you need incentive... my 81 year old mother-in-law Emails daily, has a Facebook page, and knows how to surf the Internet like a pro surfer hanging ten at Mavericks!  So get to it!