If you're reading this, then you probably know that Bend is basically Beertown, USA. Between Deschutes, Bend Brewing Company, Silver Moon, McMenamins, 10 Barrel, Boneyard, GoodLife, Ale Apothecary, Crux, Worthy, Oblivion, Bridge 99, RiverBend, Monkless, Craft, Kobold, Immersion, Spider City, Bevel, Boss Rambler, Van Henion (and other Central Oregon favorites like Cascade Lakes, Sunriver Brewing, Porter Brewing, Three Creeks and Wild Ride), it's a veritable adult Disneyland for craft-brew connoisseurs.
In fact, Central Oregon has more great breweries than there are just half-decent movies where beer is the central motivator. Sure, there are cult classics like "Strange Brew," and "Beerfest," but, honestly, you can only watch those so many times until they start pouring a little flat. With that said, here are a few beer movies that I think should be part of the Cold-One Canon: movies to watch with a beer in your hand and a smile on your face.
"Shaun of the Dead" (2004)
Obviously. One of the greatest horror comedies of all time is also a love letter to drinking with friends and the deep comfort that comes from having a local bar where everybody knows your name and actually likes having you around.
What Local Beer You Should Pair with the Film: Anything from Porter Brewing, but especially the Reg the Great (4.3% ABV) best bitter, a cask conditioned British ale that's so light and smooth, you could probably take down a half dozen proper pints during the movie and not be much worse for wear.
"Drinking Buddies" (2013)
A surprisingly touching romantic dramedy set at Revolution Brewing in Chicago, "Drinking Buddies" is a bittersweet and honest look at that relationship you have with a coworker that you can't tell whether is real or situational. You'll never look at your work spouse the same way again.
What Local Beer You Should Pair with the Film: Revolution Brewing's Anti-Hero IPA has a lot of similar notes as the hop forward RPM from Boneyard Beer. While it might not make you feel like you're sitting in a pub in the Windy City, RPM is such a Bendstitution that no matter where you're drinking it, you feel like you're home.
"Young Einstein" (1988)
Look, I would never say that Yahoo Serious' deeply '80s slapstick comedy about Einstein discovering the theory of relativity, inventing rock and roll and splitting the atom in order to create the bubbles in beer is a good movie, but is it a great one? Also probably not, but it's dumb and I love it. If I believed in guilty pleasures, this would be one of them.
What Local Beer You Should Pair with the Film: I've always found that with a slapstick comedy, it's best to pair a heavier-sipping beer that you can take your time with and savor; that way you can put more focus into the beer than the goofiness onscreen. For me, the two finest pitch-black Bend concoctions would be the earthy complexity of The Abyss imperial stout from Deschutes Brewery or the sweet chocolatey malt-splosiveness of the Suge Knight imperial stout from Boneyard Beer. Either way, you're sipping with class.
"Smokey and the Bandit" (1977)
I mean, the whole movie is about illegally transporting 400 cases of Coors, so it would have to be on this list.
What Local Beer You Should Pair with the Film: Hmmm, obviously something light that you can crush, like a mass-produced domestic, but with enough body that you don't actually feel like you're drinking peepee water in the town with the finest beer selection on the West Coast. A few years ago I would have said Pub Beer from 10 Barrel, but now I'm going with the imminently drinkable flowery summer sunshine vibes of Van Henion Brewing Company's Kolsch.
A big chunk of this genuinely great coming-of-age comedy is spent following teenagers as they attempt to score liquor, but since there's also a ton of beer throughout the film, I'm counting it. Is it cheating? Maybe. But it's my list and I do what I want.
What Local Beer You Should Pair with the Film: Since "Superbad" is basically a movie about bad choices being made in the best ways possible, we need to pair this with a Bend beer that's so delicious that you wake up the next day in Prineville with your pants on backwards and both pockets filled with quarters. Obviously, it's relative which local beer you never get tired of, but for me, I'd go with an IPA because I'm basic like that. Just so I don't spoil myself on RPM more than I already have, I would go with Descender from GoodLife or the India Pale Ale from Van Henion. Both are so sweet for an IPA that the most bitter thing in the room is me.
"The World's End" (2013)
Yes, this is a spiritual sequel to "Shaun of the Dead," but a film about a pub crawl driven by a mid-life crisis couldn't be left from the list. This movie uses beer as a metaphor for the glories of youth and the emptiness of unrealized potential to brilliant effect.
What Local Beer You Should Pair with the Film: So much of the movie is about finding comfort in the familiar, so I would pair this with the OGs. I would go with either the old- school balance of Deschutes Brewery's Mirror Pond Pale Ale or the tasty grapefruit notes of the Tropic Pines West Coast IPA from Bend Brewing Company. Along with RPM from Boneyard, Descender from GoodLife, Apocalypse IPA from 10 Barrel and the IPA 97 from Silver Moon, these beers just taste like Bend to me.