Blow the dust off those VHS tapes, call out for pizza, and settle down with a clutch of your best gorehound buds. Halloween is almost here and it’s time to gorge on horror movies. The San Antonio Beer Festival and Dismember The Alamo are both going down on Saturday, so we’ve drawn up some ideal pairings for your viewing (and drinking) pleasure.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Pile of Face American IPA (Against the Grain)
Guys, it’s called TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. No way we aren’t going with this one for a puro Halloween marathon. There is nary a drop of blood in the whole flick, but Leatherface and his inbred cannibal kin make up for it with enough meat-hookings, gut-sawings, and hammer-to-the-face smashings for a body-bag’s worth of college-kid jerky.
Against the Grain’s Pile of Face American IPA is a solid aesthetic choice, festooned as the cans are with melty-looking human visages. Its piney aroma matches the backwoods setting, too, as does the blunt-force malt body and hop dank that cuts through like so many teeth on a Poulan 306a. We found it went well with barbecue ... but maybe you should stick to beer nuts for this viewing.
Zombi 2 and Bier No 217 (New Braunfels Brewing Company)
Zombi 2 memorializes the good old days of the subgenre of the living dead. Its undead munching on the living and fighting the occasional shark in between shots of attractive Italians acting poorly. It’s also got the most squirm-inducing ocular impalement-by-giant-splinter sequence ever committed to film, which got us to thinking about dark, sour beer that’s also gotten up close and personal with some oak.
Thanks be, then, for Bier No 217. The saurmeisters at New Braunfels Brewing Co. blended a light and dark farmhouse beer then fermented the blend again with brown sugar in oak barrels. It’s sour and dark and a little earthy with a subtle oak finish. Decant this wild ale carefully and see how many worms you can count in the zombie’s eye-socket before you pour a second glass.
The Thing and Texas Bourbon Barrel Series Russian Imperial Stout (Ranger Creek)
The Thing is arguably John Carpenter’s greatest movie, and certainly his goopiest. In it, a dozen scientists stationed in Antarctica tango with a shape-shifting alien that devises some, uh, very colorful exit strategies from its earthly hosts.
You will never feel colder than when you watch this movie. To fortify yourself against this chill-by-association, crack a Texas Bourbon Barrel Series Russian Imperial Stout from Ranger Creek. Aged in RC’s own spent barrels, it’s a big, dark beer whose residual booze will insulate your South Texas self against the flurries and tundra that make up the backdrop to Carpenter’s visceral tribute to the ’50s monster invasion movie.
Deep Red and Red King Imperial Red Ale (Real Ale)
One of the nicest-looking films in the nasty little Italian proto-slasher genre giallo, Deep Red offers a thoroughly decent whodunit narrative punctuated (punctured?) by stylish murder sequences (necklace/elevator decapitations, broken-window gougings, et al), all brimming with Technicolor pools of crimson gore.
A lazy link, perhaps, but we think you can’t go wrong with a bomber of Real Ale’s Red King. It’s a double red ale with a bold grain bill and an 8.3 percent ABV (careful that it doesn’t sneak up on you like the movie’s leather-gloved assailant). Deep Red has enough plot twists to keep you on the edge of your seat, so hold your glass with both hands — and take care not to cut yourself.