“Bikes, Beers, & Frites: A Journey to Belgium (and Netherlands)”

belgiumJust 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)

5 Deadpool Graphic Novels You Should Read Before Seeing The Movie

deadpoolmovieNext 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)

The Best, Worst and “In-Betweens” of 2015

Happy New Year 2015. 3d

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)

The Future That 2015 Didn’t Deliver: A Comparison of Our 2015 to Back to The Future 2’s Version

2015 hill valleyChin 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)

GABF Hangover 2015: AKA How 6 Hours of Unlimited Beer Sampling Went For Me

doubleheaderSo 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)

Craft On Tap: Autumn ’15 Picks

autumnSummer 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:

  1. 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!”
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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)

Beer Week: 9 Beer-Centric Shows, Documentaries and Movies for GABF, Oktoberfest…or Whenever

world's end 1September 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)

PopCultureAsylum.com Turns 5: Here’s A List of 10 Things Involving 5th Installments!

5Today marks the 5th year that this blog has been in operation (or $450 later in hosting costs for something I post to like once a month or twice a month if I’m feeling saucy). So to celebrate the 5th year of this “sometimes updated blog on pop culture”, I decided randomly to look at the number 5 as in the fifth installment of movies, games and albums to look at what I consider to be some of the best, worst and meh. The 5th installment of things either was forgettable (Nightmare on Elm Street 5, The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Unnecessary (countless direct to video sequels), horribly awesome (Leprechaun in the Hood), or just as a chance to start fresh (X-men First Class, Batman Begins, Friday the 13th 5 which was literally called “A New Beginning”). So the number 5 is pretty fun to look at. Instead of looking at 5…5s, I just did 10 because if you’ve read this site before you’ll know consistency isn’t gonna happen! Lets take a look! (READ MORE)