Brew & View: Up In Flames


Where there is smoke there is fire- I think that’s how the saying goes, unless of course you’re partaking in an alcoholic beverage. Smoked beers aren’t always my cup of tea, but every now and again I come across one that gives me hope for the next. There is also a first time for everything and a smoked IPA is indeed a first for me. Golden Road’s Burning Bush IPA indeed indicates that it is a smoked India Pale Ale, but for a smoked beer, I don’t quite get much of a smokey character out of it. With a name like Burning Bush though, how can I resist the urge to to a Brew & View with it.

Does anyone even remember FIRESTORM? Aside from the Seinfeld episode when the title is brought up several times- I don’t even recall if that is in reference to the actual film. Besides the fact that my memory isn’t what it used to be I actually remember getting a little bit of a kick out of FIRESTORM when it first came out. It sure isn’t going to redefine anyone’s faith in cinema, but what modern action films really do these days…or back in the late 90’s for that matter.

Why stop at FIRESTORM though. Sure the Howie Long vehicle features the flames and the smoke that would make it for as a choice for Burning Bush, but it sure doesn’t take place in L.A. where Golden Road’s Burning Bush was made. That’s why this Brew & View takes on another double feature with movie number two, Volcano. Another film that will hilariously not redefine your faith in cinema, action flicks or disaster movies- but hot damn is it fun.

The Burning Bush Smoked IPA can conjures the imagery of the Griffith Park wildfires back in 2007. So while FIRESTORM fits the bill with the wall to wall firefighting action, VOLCANO brings it home with the mass destruction of Los Angeles via a raging volcano spewing lava all over the metro. I almost couldn’t resist including the disaster flick even if the tagline “The coast is toast,” does feel a little insensitive in relation to the actual fires that occurred.

FIRESTORM follows a firefighter defying the odds to save some people from a forest fire while a group of escaped convicts pose as firefighters to recover some loot under the cover of the fire. VOLCANO is pretty much just an excuse to show lava flowing through the streets of L.A. Together, they will kill as many brain cells as Burning Bush, but I’ll be damned if you won’t have fun while imbibing.

So what we have this time around for Brew & View is two movies that don’t deserve any high marks in terms of quality and a beer that kind of does, even if it lacks the insane easy drinking experience of some of the more popular West Coast IPAs (I’m lookin at you Pliny). As a double feature though I think the fun factor elevates each film to the level of Burning Bush in terms of its overall effectiveness as a beer.

VOLCANO corners the disaster movie essence that Burning Bush’s character and imagery conjures (though the imagery isn’t achieved through a slow moving puddle of lava) while FIRESTORM quenches the more literal fire and smoke character of the beer. Drink a few cans of Burning Bush while viewing this double feature and the experience is almost guaranteed to be more rewarding.


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