This week the Reinheitsgebot turns 500 years old. If you’ve ever been on ANY brewery tour, the Reinheistsgebot always comes up but most of us refer to it as the German Beer Purity Law. By this law, beer legally could be made only with 4 ingredients: Water, Barley and Hops (Yeast would be added later once it was understood). Back then, beer was actually safer to drink than water (maybe still is). In fact, way back around 1080 an Abbot by the name of Arnold of Soissons saved many would-be-plague victims by having them drink the beer he made instead of water (the water used for the beer would be boiled and the harmful pathogens would be killed) as a result many people that followed his instructions survived and he would later become Saint Arnold- patron saint of hop pickers and brewers (I also learned on a tour in Belgium that his statue is in every brewery in the country). Several years later in 1516, to make sure beer remained safe the Reinheitsgebot was adopted and any brewer that violated the purity law would be punished by being arrested and their beer confiscated and destroyed.
Today many of your favorite beers are made following this law. Pilsners, lagers, stouts, porters, bocks, ambers, IPAs, ect all use water, barley, hops and yeast. However, in this day and age innovation is the name of the game and you can only do so much with base grains and hop varieties. So this Saturday when this law becomes 500 years old, by all means have a glass of beer (most German beers strictly follow the Reinheitsgebot and are stellar) but also if you want to raise the devils horns and make Judas Priest proud and “Break the law” here’s a few to check out: (READ MORE)
Just a week before my 32nd birthday, my wife Stacey wanted to go on a vacation abroad somewhere to celebrate and to satisfy a travel itch. We talked before of Italy to follow our England Trip just a year or two after but a few life changes caused that plan to not really take place when planned. Once we were able to do another journey Italy was strongly considered as was Iceland but then the question was asked “where would you like to go?”. For me, being a beer nerd over the last few years, Belgium always had an appeal to me. It’s where some of my favorite beer is imported from, it has a lot of history, and it just sounded fun. We originally planned 4 days and 3 nights in Belgium visiting Brussels, Bruges and Ghent and then we would fly up to Copenhagen to visit a friend and spend 2 days there prior to coming home. Unfortunately, just merely a day after we landed in Brussels, a terrorist attack carried out by ISIS bombed the very same airport halls and train we rode on less than 24 hours after we safely left to visit Bruges. We were lucky to avoid such a fate. It’s something that definitely altered our plans, and sort of hung over constantly the entire time. We ended up visiting places (and countries) that were not planned at all but in an ultimate “making lemonade outta lemons” scenario we went with where the wind (or more accurately airline plans) took us and had quite the adventure as a result Here’s my journal for our Belgium (mostly) trip. (READ MORE)
Next weekend, a movie that seemed highly unlikely to ever happen will finally hit the big screen. Since Ryan Reynolds was announced to play Wade Wilson in Wolverine Origins, fanboys hoped for a spin-off featuring Deadpool. However the film’s confusing 3rd act gave us “Deadpool” (read my rant here) and killed nearly all hope for a spin-off. Fortunately, now that the Cinematic X-Men universe has been reset and everything we’ll finally get to see a proper Deadpool in his own movie.
Deadpool has been a beloved character since his debut in The New Mutants #98 back in 1991 and his solo/co-staring series throughout the 90s and 2000s and launched into mega-popularity over the last few years. If the trailers and awesome marketing for the movie wasn’t enough, some fans may want to know a little about Deadpool before he makes his (proper) silver screen debut.
Mostly, all you’ll need to know is that Wade Wilson is a skilled mercenary that gets cancer, he enters the Weapon X program (same program that made Wolverine) to cure it and instead he becomes indestructible like Wolverine and horribly disfigured. Throw in some insanity (or as the film will go to avoid a PC fight: dark sense of humor) and you more or less get a feel for who Deadpool is. With a little over a week to go, there’s plenty of time to get acquainted with the Merc with the Mouth via his numerous stories. Here’s 6 that I think would make for a great introduction to the character: (READ MORE)
2015 was…let’s face it…a pretty rough year as far as news goes, but it was also a year that brought us Star Wars, Jurassic Park and more adventures with The Avengers. Traditionally, I like to use the last weeks of the year to take a look at the Best and Worst parts of 2015, but not everything is bad or good, so I like to look at the “meh” moments as well. It’s no secret that since starting this blog 5 years ago, the “Best, Worst and “In-Betweens” list is my absolute favorite thing to write for my site. It’s a great way to talk about things I didn’t dedicate an entire article to and it’s a great way to spark conversation as well. So without further adieu, Here’s 2015’s Best, Worst and “In-Between” list (READ FULL ARTICLE)
Ash is back baby! This Halloween marked the return of Bruce Campbell’s portrayal of Deadite slaying badass Ashley (Ash) Williams with the new Starz series Ash vs. Evil Dead. Set 30 years since his last battle against the Deadites, we see Ash facing the demonic foes once again. But does the new series hold up? (READ MORE)
Chin up McFly! So it turns out that 2015 isn’t like the one visited in Back to the Future 2, and to make things sadder, we don’t even have the Ride anymore. With the day Marty visits the future finally passing, people excitedly celebrated Back to the Future Day last week and all demanded their long awaited Hoverboards and Pepsi Perfects (the latter did become available but a lot of nerds were sad when a glitch had them sell out early) and the Jaws franchise is still 15 movies behind. Honestly, we had a lot of cool things to look forward to. I totally feel ya! The film did predict a few things perfectly and others not so much, but there are a few things that we can compare the other 2015 to with our 2015 to see which one is better! Here we Go!! (READ MORE)
So this year, my wife and I began our Great American Beer Festival visit much earlier than expected and did a double-header thanks to a last minute message from one of my friends getting rid of a pair of tickets for the earlier member’s session. We were hesitant at first just because we anticipated doing a lot of much-needed cleaning errands prior to going to our evening session, but a simple push in the right direction got us to decide to do it. We rapidly made our way home to get dressed, make arrangements for our pup to be taken out and fed, and we quickly hopped the bus to go to the session, which was already an or so hour in progress. The tasters have changed since the last time I did a member’s session in 2013. Instead of the glass cylinder shooter style glasses, we were given mini tulip glasses, which made me very happy, as tulips are my favorite style of glassware. (READ MORE)
Summer officially has passed and now Autumn is upon us. While it’ll be pretty warm (still in the 90s this weekend here), you may have noticed that Autumn has already began in the beer sections. Breweries tend to like to start things a month or two early, so there’s probably a chance that you’ve had your first Marzen/Oktoberfest or Pumpkin ale already. Since Oktoberfest festivities and this weekend’s Great American Beer Festival has put me into beer nerd mood, I’m putting a few articles together for “Beer Week” and like I try to do every season, I’ll pick a fresh crop of seasonal beers and briefly describe them to make the ultimate seasonal 6-pack (although some come in bombers). As before, the rules remain the same for this column:
- The beers have been tasted (there’s so much beer, so little time/body limitations to try them all…plus it’d be bullshit to rattle off beers that haven’t been tried first). So in other words “duh!”
- The beers can be found in stores (there’s plenty of breweries that are “on-tap only” that I’m fiercely loyal to, but unless you live near us, this list won’t help you out much, plus it isn’t designed to provoke a “I have better places to drink than you” pissing contest), so these can hopefully be found in your local stores as well.
- The beer is distributed to Colorado. That’s where I’m located currently. This stipulation also obviously mirrors stipulation number 1. There’s plenty that I tried at the Great American Beer Festival and wish that came this way (I’m looking at you 3 Floyds, Sun King, Cigar City, Jester King, Heavy Seas and Brooklyn Brewery!!) Needless to say, I’m sure there are possibly some blasphemous omissions from the following lists, but there’s also a very good chance that it hasn’t been tried or made available out here. Plus you can sound off below in the comments!
- Finally to keep it fresh each time: No repeats. I’ve done this particular column for 2 years. It’ll get boring if I just keep repeating past picks. Past picks are always a very good choice, plus more choices aren’t bad either. Check out some of the previous entries in the Craft On Tap link at the top of this page (I’ll wait)!
Without further adieu, here’s my picks for Autumn 2015: (READ MORE)
September is really more or less “SeptemBEER” this year for me and probably those of you that read this. Over the next week, Oktoberfest will still be in full effect and this weekend will host the “beer superbowl” known as the Great American Beer Festival (aka the biggest ticketed beer festival in America). While the weekend is still days away, there’s plenty of time to kill. So I thought it’ll be fun to make it “Beer Week” here on PopCultureAsylum and have a few beer-worthy articles. If you’re planning to hit an Oktoberfest event or if you’re lucky enough to be in my neck of the woods this weekend for GABF, here’s a few documentaries, TV shows and movies to get into the beer spirit (beerit??). Fortunately a majority are available online for streaming through YouTube, Vimeo, Hulu or Netflix. Enjoy! (READ MORE)
This is a test b/c Brad deleted the index page