Monday, April 25, 2011

Undead and Victory IPA

Tonight’s zombie movie is a non conventional one.  There are several zombie movies that I like despite the fact they don’t adhere to the Zombie Rules.  I give these movies a pass on their little indiscretions because not every movie can be perfect and I appreciate the writer’s creativity.  This movie starts in a small town in New Zealand.  The main character, Rene, just won some sort of local beauty pageant over a 9 month pregnant girl (really?).  She’s on her way out of the town when…..boom, METEORS.  Not just your run of the mill Chicken Little meteors.  No these bad boys cause, you guessed it, ZOMBIES!!!!
Seven minutes fifty three seconds into the movie and heads are being knocked off of bodies and blood is spraying everywhere.  The zombies are pretty cool too.  It’s not just the normal grey face paint with black eyes and a couple drips of fake blood.  These zombies are well done with sunken eyes and realistic gore.  Some of the zombies have this shake that they do presumably because of the infection, it’s pretty awesome.

The particular beer I picked wasn’t the well thought out and calculated choice it normally is.  This time it was what I had left in my fridge, a six pack of Avery IPA.  I’ve had some Avery beers before.  They are another notch in the Colorado “Beer Belt” as I call it.  I love the different series that they do, The Holy Trinity of Ales, The Dictators Series, and Demons of Ale.  With limited distribution in Alaska I make sure to try every one that surfaces.  This means I’ve had The Czar, The Reverend, Hog Heaven, and Hog Heaven Dry Hopped.  All were amazing beers with the exception of the Reverend which I found flat and cloyingly sweet.  The label claimed to be the beer for “Hop Freaks” so I knew it was for me.
This bad boy is 6.5% abv and 69 IBUs.  Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Guidelines put Avery IPA as a good example of the style.  They state that an American IPA should be between 5.5-7.5% abv and 40-70 IBUs.  This beer teeters on the edge in IBUs and that’s a good thing.  I pop the cap with a rampant anticipation.  Even though I’m feeling slightly under the weather I still couldn’t help myself from pouring just one of these beauties.  I poured into my Sam Adams’ glass (the jury is still out on whether or not these make a big difference in beer taste) and held it to the light.  It’s a hazy light yellow color with lots of carbonation bubbles charging up to the head.  There isn’t a huge head, I’ll seldom admit this, but it might have been the fault of the pourer.  Without being to hard in myself I to the textbook swirl and sniff.  I even cup my hand over my nose to ensure that I capture every volatile aroma.  BOOM!  It’s slap you in the face hoppy.  It’s the big citrus and not so much the orange and tangerine of some IPAs but more of a grapefruit and pineapple aroma.

The Portsmouth Brewery (AMAZING) in Portsmouth, NH makes a similar IPA called the 5 C’s IPA.  The C’s being Chinook, Centennial, Cascade, Columbus, and Crystal.  That piece of trivia won me a free beer at the brewery.  Avery’s IPA uses all those hops except the Crystal which I haven’t seen used much as of late.  American Hops are inspiring.  They are high octane, super high alpha acid hops that are big in the fruity citrus flavors, rather than the more spicy (German/English), or flowery (Czech).  Avery uses a ton of them in their IPA.  Sip after sip this beer amazes me.  It has a big mouth feel, tons of hops and just enough malt to let you know it’s there.  It drips sticky hop resins with every taste.  The bitterness kicks at my tongue and lingers for minutes.  Where most beers tastes lessens with each sip this bastard keeps coming.  It’s the Michel Myers of beers (not the comedian).

A friend of mine told me that most zombie movies aren’t that good but they all have a couple of good scenes.  This being said the movie is a series of really awesome scenes.  A zombie punching through an old woman’s head, a guy with a triple shotgun blows a zombie in half, zombie heads fly as a woman attacks them with a broom with a saw blade attached, a van spatters zombies and sprays blood all over the windshield.  The list goes on.  My favorite scene was when Rene splits a zombie in half when she smashes it with The Club.  It’s not the first movie where The Club is used to kill a zombie (Dead Meat) and hopefully it’s not the last.  I didn’t want to ruin it with reality but…what woman can split a person in half with The Club?  Even if it was a sharper heavier object, like an ax or a sword, it would still take considerable strength to split a person in half.  And she did it vertically!  Don’t get me wrong, it was awesome.
Marion is the former owner of Marion’s World of Weapons.  He’s a calm and creepy loner who survived an attack by zombie fish.  His weapon of choice is three shotguns that are strung together using a couple of rods.  It’s original and fresh in a way that few zombies are.  He uses spurs to flip into the ceiling and while upside down shoot zombies. 
he whole movie was shot with this grayish X-Files like feel to it.  It’s a real movie done using real equipment.  While this seems like it should be standard I would say in 7/8 of the zombie movies I own it’s NOT!  This movie isn’t all roses and cream pie though.  What shows up to help curb the zombie problem….Aliens.  This is where I swear at my TV for ruining what would have been easily a top movie in my collection.  No instead it slipped a dozen spots at least to more realistic zombie movies.  Yes I said it “More Realistic”.  Aliens are almost as ridicules as Vampires, which are so stupid.  Anybody who dresses up with fake teeth and watches Twilight hoping that they can be recruited by some high school vampire gang should probably take a chance to reassess their lives.  Go for a hike and think about unplugging your X-box for a bit.
This combination of movie and beer was great.  The beer is very drinkable for an IPA and I could (and did) put down several of these while watching this movie.  And the movie was very respectable.  Put aside your differences and give the movie a break and I think you’ll really enjoy this one.
The Beer:
Aroma – 9/10
Appearance – 4/5
Taste – 9/10
Palate – 4/5

   Overall – 18/20
Total = 44/50

The Movie:
Production – 4/5
Plot – 4/5
Gore – 5/5
Zombies – 4/5
 Overall – 4/5


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