Everyone knows to pair a movie with popcorn, candy and soda, but which craft beers best complement the cinematic blockbusters of summer 2016? Film critic and craft-beer blogger Daniel Barnes provides the answers with this summer movie and craft-beer pairing guide.
Summer Movie: Independence Day: Resurgence (June 24)
Beer Pairing: Robust barley wines work well with cave-aged cheeses, so pair Faction Brewing's Barleywine with the cave-aged cheese of Roland Emmerich.
Summer Movie: Suicide Squad (August 5)
Beer Pairing: Pair this ensemble of reckless sociopaths with a reckless ensemble all your own by creating a "suicide" blend of great, East Bay hop bombs, including anything from Fieldwork Brewing Co. in Berkeley, Drake's Brewing Co.'s Denogginizer, 21st Amendment Brewery's Brew Free! Or Die IPA, or Independent Brewing Co.'s Sticky Zipper IPA.
Summer Movie: Ghostbusters (July 15)
Beer Pairing: For all of the overgrown 11-year-old boys emasculated by the idea of a female-led Ghostbusters, serve a West Ashley saison from female-led Capitola brewery Sante Adairius Rustic Ales.
Summer Movie: Finding Dory (June 17)
Beer Pairing: Oyster stouts are an unfortunate rarity among craft brewers, and few, if any, locals make one in the traditional style. In the absence of a good oyster stout, pair this fishy sequel with a tart but flavorful low-alcohol beer like Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.'s Otra Vez.
Summer Movie: The Secret Life of Pets (July 8)
Beer Pairing: This Illumination/Universal offering concerns a lost dog and his unhinged rabbit sidekick, so chase a pint of Bike Dog Brewing Co.'s crisp and refreshing American Wheat with a shot glass of Jackrabbit Brewing Co.'s Ugly Bunny Double IPA.
Summer Movie: Jason Bourne (July 29)
Beer Pairing: Seattle-based brewery Elysian Brewing Co. distributes in the Bay, so buy a bottle of its Space Dust IPA to remind you of the forgettable films that Matt Damon was previously making instead of more Jason Bourne movies.
Summer Movie: The Legend of Tarzan (July 1) and Ben-Hur (August 19)
Beer Pairing: Better buy a couple six packs of Track 7 Brewing Co.'s Panic IPA, not just for the beer's clean hop profile, but to match the moods and binge-drinking requirements of the unfortunate executives who greenlit these two likely box-office bombs.
Summer Movie: The Founder (August 5)
Beer Pairing: Michael Keaton stars as Ray Kroc in this story of the 1960s legal struggle over the McDonald's franchise, so pair the film with Beerito, the Vienna-style Mexican lager that Oskar Blues Brewery created for the Chipotle chain once owned by the McDonald's Corporation.