Archive for the Features Category

Tasting Texas’ Craft Brewing Culture

Posted in Beer Tasting, Features, Pubs on December 7, 2009 by James

Hi Austin Brew Readers. Over the past month I have been compiling interviews with Texas craft brewers. These interviews have taught me a lot about the past, present and future of brewing in the lone star state. I’ve created a small web-story to give beer lovers an idea of how Texas craft brewing operates, and it can be viewed by clicking on the photo below. This project has led me to consider putting together a full documentary about the subject and I encourage anyone who has any ideas on how to make this documentary successful to comment below.

Click to view

Cold Ones: Beerfest

Posted in Features with tags on November 19, 2009 by Tim

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.

This time it’s Beerfest, the 2006 comedy from the Broken Lizard comedy troupe that also brought you Super Troopers and Club Dread.

In the heat of competition

 

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:

Photo Credit: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/blackhawks-confidential/beerfest.gif

 

Cold Ones

Posted in Features with tags , on November 4, 2009 by Tim

My previous plan was to post a review of a local beer sampler, but due to previous engagements and a lack of funds, I wanted to bring you something that you will hopefully enjoy just as much: movies!

In this new feature, Cold Ones, I will review beer-centric or beer-related movies that have made a splash in pop culture.

strange-brewFor my first feature film, I felt it was necessary to start with a pretty obvious choice in Strange Brew, the semi-cult classic hailing from the Great White North of Canada.

For those who haven’t seen it, Strange Brew stars Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas as the bumbling, booze obsessed McKenzie brothers, Bob and Doug. Based on characters created for the legendary sketch comedy show, SCTV, the movie shares many similarities with another movie based on a comedy sketch, Wayne’s World.

Both movies feature the surreal misadventures of two eccentric characters who constantly break the fourth wall to talk to the audience while sending up classic Hollywood cliches. The movie is also explicitly Canadian with near constant use of Canadian slang and references to hockey and the like. The story involves the brothers trying to outwit an evil scientist who plans to use a shipments of tainted beer to brainwash the world’s population.

But enough about the plot. Let’s talk about the beer.

Much of the movie is centered around the fictional Elsinore Brewery, which is the means to which the villain plans to infect the populace. Although we can only speculate as to the taste of an Elsinor brew, the movie also gave ample screen time to an actual Canadian beer: Molson Canadian. Hopefully, we will provide you with a review of this beer in the near future.

Overall, the movie was pretty funny, and you will definitely have a good time if you have an affinity for either beer or Canada. Now I’ll just leave you with a little clip to whet your appetite. So crack open a Cold One and take off, ya hoser.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3DYbE44OIE]

Photo Credit: http://www.delawareonline.com/blogs/strange-brew.jpg