The Movie: Dark Comedy-Fantasy, Kind of a Romance / 1993 / Columbia Pictures
The Beer: Sessionable beers with lower ABVs and easygoing flavors that you can keep drinking no matter how many times you wake up to “I Got You Babe.”
It’s February 2nd. While there’s nothing usually particularly exciting about this day (unless it’s your birthday – happy birthday!), it does happen to be the day where certain towns all over the country decide to talk to a groundhog as a means of making weather predictions.
The most famous of these towns is, of course, Punxsutawney, PA, whose residents have been donning top hats and conducting groundhog ceremonies this time of year since 1887 (with a long line of critters all named Punxsutawney Phil). And if this is the first you’re hearing about any of this, then you most certainly haven’t seen the Harold Ramis-directed classic, Groundhog Day.
This is one of those movies that was so spot-on the first time, I really hope nobody ever tries to remake it. To invoke my best Grandpa Simpson, I’ll be dead in the cold, cold ground before I recognize another Groundhog Day movie. After all, not just anybody could make a film about a cynical weather man reliving the same day in his life over and over again (for the length of anywhere between a decade and 10,000 years, depending on which corner of the internet you’re looking at) and keep it incredibly engaging, interesting and character developing throughout. But Harold Ramis and Bill Murray did just that!
And though the groundhog meteorological accuracy isn’t much discussed in the movie, it turns the real Phil’s “predictions” have accurately foretold six more weeks of winter about 50 percent of the time. Phil saw his shadow today, by the way, so settle in for a 50 percent chance of a long winter.
Hey, we’re in COVID times, so we’re all basically living out our own Groundhog Days anyway. But if you’re looking to shake things up a bit, might I suggest some beer?
Punxsutawney Philsner – Penn Brewery
Because, obviously. But aside from the name, this Helles-style Lager really is a crisp, clean-drinking quencher that I could kick back all day with, with Groundhog Day on repeat. And that might make me go crazy eventually, but hey, with the 4.5% ABV I’ll at least sound pretty coherent.
Hefeweizen – Lancaster Brewing
Here’s a fun fact: the whole groundhog-weather concept stems from old Pennsylvania Dutch superstition. Today’s Pennsylvania Dutch or “Amish” do not drink alcohol, so you could totally go for an N/A beer here. That said, Pennsylvania Dutch country happens to be full of non-Amish people and their craft breweries, many of which honor traditional German beer styles. I chose this Hefeweizen not just because it’s from Pennsylvania’s own Lancaster Brewing, but also because it’s 6% alcohol and is ridiculously drinkable thanks to white wheat and Bavarian yeast.
All Day IPA – Founders Brewing
This beer is straight up labeled as a Session IPA, and with good reason. It clocks in at only 4.7% ABV and sips down pretty smooth with just a mild hop bite. In fact, compared to most other modern IPAs, this one tastes more like a Pale Ale or the long lost APA. Either way, it’s something I can definitely kick back with for extended viewings.
- Groundhog Day / Imperial IPA / 8.3% ABV / Great Notion Brewing – Portland, OR
- Lager / 4.9% ABV / Laško Brewery (Pivovarna Laško), Slovenia (but sometimes available in the U.S., and if you can get your hands on it, it’d go amazingly with all that “Pennsylvania Polka” in the movie).