The Movie: Comedic Mystery-Noir / 1988 / Touchstone Pictures
The Beer: Imperial IPA / 9.2% ABV / Drekker Brewing Co. – Fargo, ND
While I was growing up in the 90s, my family had two large drawers full of VHS tapes. The top drawer was packed with kid movies – all in those bulky, plastic cases that supposedly prevented the damage wrought on by small hands – while the bottom was reserved for the thin cardboard-sheathed mom and dad choices. It was down here that Who Framed Roger Rabbit lived.
Rightfully so. Though the cover art made it look like a kids’ flick – it was Roger and Eddie Valiant smiling up from an also-smiling cartoon car – this movie is very much an adult story. Themes of depression, death, and adultery carry throughout, and as a kid I definitely didn’t fully understand the plot as a result (also that Jessica Rabbit scene – whew!)
Nevertheless, Roger Rabbit was one movie my siblings and I kept coming back to. And sure enough, with age came more understanding and appreciation of just how awesome this movie is. The mystery is intriguing, Bob Hoskins’ acting is heartbreakingly good, and for 1988, the combination of live action and animation holds up seamlessly.
But there’s one part that I still find pretty darn scary, no matter how old I get. It’s the scene where Judge Doom (played terrifyingly by Christopher Lloyd) demonstrates his new invention, a barrel of chemicals that melt and erase toons from existence. He snags a random victim off the street – an innocent little cartoon shoe that’s nuzzling up against his leg like a cat – and straight up murders it via slow plunge into the “dip.” Yes, it’s just a cartoon shoe. Yes, it’s silly when you think about it. But man-oh-man does the scene capture the little animated creature’s pain and terror, not to mention the sheer coldness of Judge Doom and his cronies.
So naturally, I can’t think of a better beer pairing than Toon Dip IIPA from Drekker Brewing in a collab with Fair State Brewing (both of these breweries make a lot of awesome stuff by themselves, so the team-up is pretty neat). It’s not made of terrifying cartoon-vanishing chemicals as far as I know, but the can art is pretty amazing if not just as terrifying as the movie scene:
At least melted Roger looks kinda happy? Taste-wise though, I have to say this brew is super satisfying. It’s pretty citrusy, mostly with OJ and tangerine flavors. That’s thanks to double dry-hopping with Mosaic, Citra, and El Dorado, plus the flavors are amplified via fermentation on Kviek yeast. To go with the brewers’ description though: “It’s like getting dipped into a vat of citrusy goodness then having a piano of dankness dropped on you from 10 stories above… but you know, in a good way.”
I tried this beer once last year and thought it was just going to be a one-off, so it’s definitely exciting that the brewers decided to bring it back! Toon Dip something I’ll keep revisiting when I can – much like Who Framed Roger Rabbit.