Cold Ones: Beerfest
It’s that time again. Tim’s out of money! No, seriously, it’s Cold Ones, the feature where we review a beer-themed movie that has had some impact on the pop culture landscape.
Beerfest tells the story of the two beer-loving Wolfhouse brothers whose grandfather (played by Donald Sutherland) has recently passed. As his dying request, the grandfather entrusts his grandsons with running the family sausage restaurant.
The brothers, Todd and Jan, are then asked by their great-grandmother (played by Cloris Leachman) to go to Munich in order to keep the family tradition by spreading his ashes in the home country.
While in Germany, the brothers participate in Oktoberfest, but soon discover a highly exclusive secret drinking competition known as Beerfest. The brothers also meet their long lost German cousins, the Wolfhausens, and discover that their grandfather stole the family recipe for the greatest beer in the world and fled to America. The Germans outdrink Todd and Jan and force them to go back to America, humiliated and defeated.
Upon returning to America, the brothers decide to return to the Beerfest in one year, this time with a full team of drinkers ready to win. As they go about recruiting, they enlist a player who can down anything known as the “Landfill”, another player who can research the science behind drinking, and a third who specializes in drinking games.
The group then embarks on a year-long training session where they deal with spys, deaths, and the discovery and creation of the secret beer recipe. The movie culminates in a climatic showdown at the Beerfest.
Unfortunately, no real-life beers were featured in the movie, just a myriad of different drinking games that the viewer is discouraged from trying. In fact, there is a disclaimer at the beginning warning you not to imitate the drinking behavior in the film or else you might die.
Personally, I wish there had been a similar warning about watching the film as well, since quite frankly, this was not a very good movie. Extremely overacted with tons of misfired jokes, the film just ambles about from one failed gag to the next without so much as a giggle. Even the normally very funny Will Forte falls flat. But the biggest crime of all was the squandered opportunity to show real beers and real tastings.
Here’s a clip in case you might want to check it out anyway: