By Donna Dooper
Winter is coming! (Game of Thrones reference) Which means ‘tis the season for staying inside, drinking beer, and watching movies because it’s too dang cold to do those things outside!! According to the National Institute of Mental Health, millions of American adults suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD… Get it?!?), and is generally more common with people living in Northern, colder climates during the winter season. General side effects for those who have SAD include moping around, being lazy, wondering what the point of anything is, watching violent pornography for hours and hours everyday, practicing Jar Jar Binks impressions in the mirror, eating Pop Tarts without toasting them beforehand, reading nonfiction books authored by Carrot Top, crying like a baby, and experiencing grandiose delusions that their lives will drastically improve once the temperature rises. Fortunately, there’s quite the remedy for anyone who has SAD this winter!
Scientists say that drinking is, actually, good for your brain. Scientists also say that watching movies is, actually, quite healthy. So guess what dummy! Drinking craft beer and watching movies equals DOUBLE the good for you, your brain, and your health! Wow, amazing! So instead of moping around, crying all the time, carving My Chemical Romance lyrics into your flesh, and shuffling around the house repeating the phrase ‘Choo Choo, Here Comes The Pain Train, Choo Choo’ to yourself, why not spend this winter being as healthy as possible and watching tons of movies while drinking delicious craft beer?! Sound good to you? Great! Wow, and it just so happens that I have 10 INCREDIBLE craft beer and DVD pairings, perfect for getting you through four-to-five months of solitary confinement! Here they are:
1) ‘Failure To Launch’ & Bell’s Hopslam Ale
Everybody enjoys a good laugh now and then, not to mention a delicious double IPA to wash down all those chuckles. Which is why our first pairing is the 2006 romantic comedy ‘Failure to Launch’ and Bell’s Hopslam Ale! This movie stars Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker as they search for buried treasure in the Pacific Ocean. Only problem is McConaughey has a daughter he didn’t know about who comes out of nowhere and starts asking him for money! Sarah Jessica Parker tries to shoo this mysterious daughter away, and plenty of car chases and sexual situations involving a minor ensue. Bell’s Hopslam Ale features a complex hop balance that tastes good when drunk.
2) ‘Murder by Numbers’ & Founders Backwoods Bastard Scotch Ale
Sometimes movies are suspenseful because things that happen in them can also happen in real life, and sometimes those things aren’t very good. Such is the case in 2002’s ‘Murder by Numbers’, a psychological thriller starring Sandra Bullock (‘Practical Magic’) and Sean Penn’s brother Chris who is no longer with us anymore. The movie revolves around Sandra’s character Gertrude Nightingale and her struggle to count all the murders that her cousin may or may not be committing. There’s nothing like a poignant scotch ale to sip on between murder scenes! Which is why Founders Backwoods Bastard is good to drink while watching this film.
3) ‘Marvin’s Room’ & New Belgium’s Voodoo Ranger IPA
Turns out movies don’t have to be scary. Which brings us to 1996’s ‘Marvin’s Room’, which isn’t scary and features an all star cast of Academy Award-winning actors, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, and someone named Hal Scardino who hasn’t won an Academy Award and wasn’t in any other movies after this one, probably because he made poor life choices or wasn’t taking good care of himself. ‘Marvins Room’ is about a young man named Darvin (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) who refuses to leave his room until his parents (Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro) start calling him Marvin instead of Darvin. For a movie with a lot of yelling coming from people in different rooms of a house, a beer that’s as juicy and hoppy as New Belgium’s Voodoo Ranger IPA will do just fine.
4) ‘Hamburger Hill’ & Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
War. What is it good for? Turns out absolutely nothing in this 1987 American war movie called ‘Hamburger Hill’. You’re probably like me and think about a giant hill made out of delicious hamburgers that you can climb on and eat with your hands when you hear this movie’s title, but turns out that’s not the case. ‘Hamburger Hill’ is a movie about the Vietnam War and all the babies that were made during the war so every country could produce more people who could eventually fight in wars when they get older. There’s also an infamous scene in this movie where one of the actors yells ‘I HEREBY DECLARE THIS HILL… HAMBURGER HILL!!!’ which is what gave the movie its title. Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA is perfect for drinking while watching ‘Hamburger Hill’ because hey, if you can’t finish a beer in 90 minutes, why even watch a movie?
5) ‘Ladder 49’ & Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale
Have you ever seen a building on fire and thought to yourself, ‘who would even go in there??’ Well that’s the question on everyone’s mind in the 2004 disaster drama ‘Ladder 49’, starring Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta. The movie starts off with a more lighthearted, comedic tone, where Joaquin Phoenix’s character Don Juan attends multiple comedy open mics trying out a racist ventriloquist act, but ultimately decides it’s better to try and put fires out. When Don Juan signs up to be a firefighter, John Travolta’s character Krenshaw The Bold warns him that once you’ve put out 49 fires, you have to do a chicken dance in front of the rest of the guys so they can take videos of him and embarrass him on social media. Goose Island’s 312 Urban Wheat Ale is a great beer for this movie because it turns out urban residential fires are a pretty big problem in our United States of America.
6) ‘The Lovely Bones’ & Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing IPA
Bones. Dogs love ‘em and your body has ‘em. This 2009 supernatural drama stars Mark Wahlberg as Tommy, a 18th century graverobber with a heart of gold. But when Tommy starts falling in love with the bones he finds instead of selling them for raw meat, he begins to wonder whether humans are really meant for this world. I wouldn’t recommend watching this movie around any children, because there are several scenes where Wahlberg shouts profanity at bones, only then to start licking them, suggestively, and simulate riding the bones like you would a bucking bronco. Sierra Nevada’s Hazy Little Thing IPA is great to drink while watching ‘The Lovely Bones’ because there’s a scene where Wahlberg dances around a graveyard while using a bone like a microphone and sings Queen’s ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’.
7) “Coach Carter’ & Shock Top Belgian White Ale
The problem with most sports movies is that the sweating is very unrealistic. Most sports movies feature athletes who are barely sweating despite all the hard work and impressive they’re doing, which takes us out of the cinematic experience and reminds us that these are just people being paid to be fake athletes, ultimately leaving us disappointed. Thankfully, that’s not true with 2005’s ‘Coach Carter’. These actors are DRENCHED in sweat in practically every scene! You can tell how hard the basketball players are working in the story because of how wet and shiny they look. There’s even a scene where one player comes home and his mother goes, ‘Jeez, did you just get out of the pool??’ and he says, ‘No Mom… I just got out of practice.’ and she cries because of how proud she is of her son’s effort. Shock Top’s Belgian White Ale is the thirst quenching beer you need to keep you hydrated while watching this movie so you don’t have to break a sweat.
8) ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ & Deschutes Black Butte Porter
Sooner or later, we all wish we could go back to being babies. Sometimes life is too hard and we don’t want to continue participating in responsibilities, which is why the appeal of being a little kid or baby, who doesn’t have to pay taxes or mow lawns, grows greater every year. Unfortunately, watching 2008’s ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ is the closest we’ll get to being a baby again. Basically Benjamin Button (played by the ill-tempered Brad Pitt) has a disease that causes him to become a baby instead of getting older, and he makes a lot of money betting friends that he’s actually going to turn into a baby instead of becoming a grandpa, but the point of the movie is that even though he makes a ton of money betting against his friends, he can’t spend the money because he’s a baby now. The chocolate aftertaste of Deschutes Black Butte Porter will help remind you of how much you loved to eat chocolate when you were a baby.
9) ‘Love & Other Drugs’ & New Glarus Spotted Cow
If you abuse drugs and have loved someone who ultimately decided they didn’t love you back so you moved near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania so you could pursue your lifelong dream of being a Civil War reenactment actor, then you’ll understand what the characters in 2010’s ‘Love & Other Drugs’ are going through. Hank Bacon (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) is a sock designer who needs drugs to keep up with his teenage roommate Tyrone (played by Josh Gad), who never cleans the dishes or takes out the recycling because he’s always playing the video game Manhunt on Xbox. But when Bacon invents a new kind of sock that’s intended for women and displays generous heel cleavage, he finds that taking even more drugs finally gives him the courage to ask out the lady who works at the Culver’s (played by Anne Hathaway) near his swanky Manhattan apartment.
Sparks fly at first, but ultimately Bacon takes too many drugs and dies, leaving the Culver’s lady to just continue staying at his apartment and become the new roommate to Tyrone, who finally beats Manhunt. A six-pack of New Glarus Spotted Cow will pair well with this movie, because there’s a scene near the end of the movie where Bacon takes Culver’s lady to a farm and shows her how to squirt cows without getting any milk in your eyes.
10) ‘Nothing But Trouble’ & Castle Danger Cream Ale
Many people have seen this 1991 coming-of-age film, but for anyone who hasn’t, here’s a quick synopsis: While hosting a party in his Manhattan penthouse, financial publisher Chris Thorne (Chevy Chase) meets lawyer Diane Lightson (Demi Moore) and agrees to escort her to consult a client in Atlantic City on the following day. Thorne’s clients, obnoxious but wealthy Brazilian and Argentinian siblings Fausto and Renalda Squiriniszu (Taylor Negron and Bertila Damas), meet up with them and invite themselves along. Chris takes a detour off of the New Jersey Turnpike, ultimately ending up in the run-down village of Valkenvania. After running a stop sign and subsequently attempting to escape pursuing officer Dennis Valkenheiser (John Candy), the group is captured and taken before Dennis’s 106-year-old grandfather Judge Alvin Valkenheiser (Dan Aykroyd). After Chris offends the judge, the yuppies are locked in a hidden room under the courthouse to be judged the next day, and they overhear the judge violently executing a group of convicted drug dealers in a deadly roller coaster nicknamed “Mr. Bonestripper”.
Chris, Diane and the Brazilians attend the judge’s dinner, learning that the Judge is holding them there out of revenge for a coal deal which the Valkenheiser family blames for their poverty. The group attempts an escape, but Chris and Diane are captured by Alvin’s mute granddaughter Eldona (Candy, in a dual role). Meanwhile, being chased by Dennis’ trigger-happy cousin, Miss Purdah, the Brazilians escape by cutting a deal with Dennis, who decides to escape with them. The Judge holds Chris and Diane hostage, but they eventually escape, get lost through hidden hallways and slides and become separated. Diane makes it out of the house and into the property’s salvage yard; here, she meets two troll-like creatures by the names of Bobo (played by Aykroyd) and Lil’ Debbull (played by John Daveikis), the judge’s severely deformed grandchildren.
Earning the creatures’ friendship, Diane catches glimpses of Eldona destroying Chris’s BMW 733i. Chris sneaks into the Judge’s personal quarters but is quickly caught. Valkenheiser punishes him according to house policy, which decrees that Chris must marry Eldona. Meanwhile, in the court room, Digital Underground is being held on charges of speeding, but the Judge releases them after being charmed by an impromptu rap performance. He also asks them to stay as witnesses for the wedding, which Chris reluctantly goes through with in exchange for his life, but is later caught pleading the band to help him escape. The band leaves without understanding him, and a furious Alvin sentences Chris to die in “Mr. Bonestripper”.
The machine breaks down the instant before Chris is fed into it, and he escapes. The Judge nearly kills Diane with another claw contraption, but Chris retrieves her at the last second and the two jump on a freight train back to New York. After the two report their plight to the authorities, the Judge’s courthouse is raided by local and state police. Chris and Diane are asked to accompany the officers to the site, only to find out that the officers involved are fully aware of and in league with the Judge. The couple escapes when the area’s underground coal fires cause a collapse, destroying the town. Chris and Diane return to New York, but Chris sees the judge on television, brandishing Chris’s driver’s license, announcing that he and his family plan to move in with his new grandson-in-law in New York causing Chris to comically flee for his life.
Castle Danger’s Cream Ale pairs well with ‘Nothing But Trouble’ because this beer is actually designed for dipping mozzarella sticks into, but can also be used to drink.