Celebrating a birthday in the COVID era is weird AF. I admit I’m lucky that my anniversary ’round the sun wasn’t during peak “quarantine” where the streets were all empty and literally everything was shut down except grocery stores and hospitals – but it’s still strange. Indoor dining only just opened back up here in Seattle (with limited capacities), and I’m still working from home for the foreseeable future. I haven’t left the state or seen my family in over a year, which is super strange considering the fact that I’m a triplet, and today just so happens to be our birthday.
Yep, I’m starting a new year of life today! Though with the pandemic still raging, this is about as much fanfare as I’m expecting:
I’m not complaining, mind you. The lack of places to go and people to see just means I get to spend the day doing one of my favorite things – okay, two of my favorite things. I’m drinking beer and watching movies!
While I debated just doing a list of my favorite movies and favorite craft beers, I quickly realized that I’d probably spend waaaay too much time talking about each. So, here’s a roundup of fun “birthday movies” and some beers that take the cake, no pun intended (that’s a lie – pun totally intended). I’m only doing three pairings today because I’m 31 now and am getting lazy in my old age.
‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ and Prairie Birthday Bomb!
But Brianna! The first LOTR isn’t a birthday movie. In fact, none of them are! No, The Lord of the Rings isn’t a birthday story. However, it does begin with a very important birthday and a big birthday party scene that sets the story into motion.
By this point in his life, Bilbo Baggins has it all and is willing to spare no expense on his b-day festivities. So, while he would probably pop on his ring and vanish before it was even open, I’m willing to bet Bilbo would have been just fine supplying his guests with the decadence of Prairie Artisan Ales’ Birthday Bomb! This is a recurring series Imperial Stout that seems to keep getting more desserty and complex each year. The latest rendition from those Oklahoma City brewers is aged on coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla beans and chile peppers, then finished with caramel sauce. It tastes kinda like a Mexican hot chocolate cake glazed all over in brown sugar, and at 13% booziness, it’s enough to keep me toasty for even the extended edition of LOTR part 1. Yowza.
’13 Going on 30′ and Captain Lawrence Cookie Puss Birthday Beer
I adore 13 Going on 30, and I don’t care what anyone thinks. It’s so comfortingly formulaic, and it’s very early 2000s with a nostalgia factor that works magic on millennials like me. It also doesn’t hurt that Jennifer Garner stays endearingly likable while she hops through the nonsensical plot and objectively poor decisions of her character.
Cookie Puss Birthday Beer from Upstate New York (Elmsford, which is not far north of NYC, but when you’re from the NYC area, everything north of the city is “Upstate”) gives me the same kind of comfort.
Strictly speaking on quality terms, I’d say the beer is much better done and a tad more creative than 13 Going on 30, but I know a lot of hardcore hopheads who would dismiss it because it’s a Pastry/Milkshake IPA AND it’s a collab with Carvel Ice Cream. But its sweet, ice cream-inspired flavors sure work magic on me!
This beer brims with velvety, creamy flavors from vanilla and lactose additions. At 7.5% ABV, it’s ice cream that gets me drunk, and 13 Going on 30 is a rom com that makes me happy. The perfect combo.
‘Happy Death Day’ and New Braunfels Birthday Deathbed
Deadline Hollywood described Blumhouse’s Happy Death Day as “Groundhog Day meets Scream.” I’d say that’s pretty darn accurate. After all, this fun horror romp follows the story of a pretty college student (because of course it does) who gets murdered on her birthday night and then keeps re-living the day over and over while she tries to hunt down the killer.
I really like horror movies and assume I will not be murdered this evening, and so I’m very excited to crack open a beer with this flick. The one I’m choosing? Birthday Deathbed from New Braunfels Brewing Co. in Texas.
This beer isn’t scary, but it is kinda weird, and it is a departure from the normal stuff you’d probably reach for on your birthday (or any day, for that matter). It’s a mixed culture Sour Wheat Ale, fermented with what the brewers call “cool wine stuff.” Turns out, it’s the rosemary and lemon zest-forward herbs that real wines rested on while fermenting to perfection. This beer is oddly tasty, and while it is sour, it’s not overly puckering. It’s just under 6% too, so it’s really drinkable. If the movie gets too scary at any point, a sip of this refreshment is a snap back to reality!
Speaking of reality – whether your own b-day is now, later or already happened, I’d like to wish you a happy birthday! We all deserve a little extra love during these times 🙂