Saturday, March 30, 2013

Beer: Fat Head's Brewing

The acclaimed Fat Head's Brewing was started in 1992 in Pittsburgh, but now seems to be based in North Olmsted, Ohio. They've won awards for their top-tier craft beers, and only recently inked a distribution deal to export to Southern Indiana. Good thing, as the three samples I tasted were superb! Here are the reviews of the initial three offerings here in podunk Indiana.

Remember that my ratings range from a 1 (awful) to 5 (awesome). Meaning that a 3 is perfectly acceptable and enjoyable, and a 4 is recommended. Enjoy responsibly and support indie beer!


I know that many craft beer nerds turn up their noses at "fruit beers", but sometimes, there's nothing better than a quality example, which is all-too-rare. But Fat Head's got it right with this blueberry-honey ale.

Pours a clean yellow-amber, with a massive head of fine off-white bubbles. I got no lace here! Nose is an appealing, refreshing rush of sweet berries and a little toastiness. Not bad. Taste is sweet and tart, but not overbearingly so. I also get more biscuity malts in the mix. Finishes with more tart blueberry goodness and a trace of hops. Very enjoyable and I will try this one again.


One of Fat Head's prime-time contenders, this is a stylish and deliciously serious IPA, and has Goatsden's full recommendations.

Clean and beautiful amber in appearance, this West Coast-style IPA pours with a huge head of off-white foam and an exquisite amount of detailed lace. Aroma is stunning and intoxicatingly hop-forward. All the floral, citrus, and pine loveliness you can imagine. Taste is pure West Coast, as in big heavy hops resins with plenty of acidic bite and notes of sour grapefruit and pine. 

Exquisite and a sure winner for serious hop-heads.


How could I resist a delightfully decadent chocolate cream stout? This one goes straight for the gut with a sweet dessert flavor combination.

Pours a deep black with ruby highlights. Thick (fat?) head of tan foam. Gorgeous lace. Nose is roasty chocolate and some vanilla bean in the background. Very appealing. Flavor is rich and chocolatey, with large amounts of bittersweet dark chocolate and a slight burnt finish. A fine stout, and one I'll gladly revisit.

Monday, March 25, 2013

"Bath Salt Zombies" (director: Dustin Wayde Mills)

Capitalizing on the freaky 2012 news story about the bizarre bath-salt-induced face-eating in Miami (which brought on paranoia about a so-called zombie apocalypse, as well as many ill-humoured jokes), this micro-indie horror farce was produced firmly tongue-in-cheek, and proves to be a solid trash film in the spirit of Troma, with plenty of sleaze and gore.

The premise is simple -- a mutant strain of "bath salts" comes to market, and it causes users to crave human flesh. So, we get zombie junkies who mercilessly dismember and feed upon their friends and girlfriends. Sure, it's cheesy and packed with plenty of silly and graphic effects, but it's fun. And, the scene of Erin R. Ryan (particularly her amazing breasts) in the shower (before she is sadly murdered) is quite memorable. Yow! But I digress.

"Bath Salt Zombies" is a fine B-horror/trash film, with even the soundtrack (featuring trash-punk from the Dwarves, Meatmen, and others) keeping the feel independent and underground. Good work!

"Your American Teen" DVD

This skimpy documentary runs at under an hour, and profiles several teenage girls who experienced sexual exploitation firsthand. Candid interviews with the broken and traumatized teens are compelling, and shows that the road to recovery is long and quite challenging. As well, several "experts" are consulted, including doctors and, inexplicably, Daryl Hannah and the always-annoying Jane Velez-Mitchell (herself exploitational and self-promoting), who are (thankfully) given minimal talking-head time. 

I'm left a bit cold here, with little to really underscore the causes or solutions of such tragic circumstances. Is society broken and dysfunctional? Sure it is. I give credit to the courageous girls who were open enough to be featured here, but the film itself doesn't offer much help or positivity.