That wretchedly drawn-out nomination race leading to the glitzy, cliquey ceremony is but a gladly distant memory. The winners had their moment of glory and the hangers-on got drunk off the dregs. No, I’m not talking about the World Beer Cup. The Academy Awards, darling.
Spring has sprung, which means more socialising and probably more drinking. If you’re still out of the loop, it might just be about time to catch up on this year’s Oscar winner. As so, as the tear-jerking scenes replay in our minds and the soundtracks look set to dominate summer playlists (shoutout to the super nostalgic early ‘00s tracklist of Lady Bird), get ready to dive into your Oscar-worthy binge session, with paired refreshments of an equally international crowd for maximum enjoyment.
I stand by my belief that a bottle of wine is a snooze-inducer when accompanying one’s cinematic entertainment. A cocktail will fully knock you out in a dimly lit room. Anyhow, you know where you are and here are the beers you should be drinking with your Oscar winners movie marathon: Pairings more delicious than Call Me By Your Name’s star-crossed lovers and barrel-aged to infinity.
The Phantom Thread
Beer: Beavertown Brewery’s Smog Rocket
Watch the thespian Don of Dons play a gloriously rich, sensual and successful middle-aged haute couture tailor living in 1950s Central London as his formulaic lifestyle is shaken by the arrival of first love. This is a slow-paced but jarring piece of work is no masterpiece and sometimes it feels more suited to TV drama, but nonetheless beautiful to look at and intricately nuanced. With the dramatic news that this was to be Daniel Day Lewis’ last ever role, you will need something intense and impacting with which to drown those sorrows. Raise a glass to His Royal Weirdness with a characterful, award-winning porter from London’s Beavertown Brewery. Make sure it’s served chilled and in a fine, heavy glass. In the film, Day Lewis knows what he likes and sticks to it. If you’re into molasses, raisins, caramel and smoked German malts, you needn’t leave your imaginary smoking room, nor your resplendent Georgian townhouse’s built-in cinema. Luxuriate.
Beer: Auburn Alehouse’s Gold Country Pilsner
I was tempted to go with Tecate, PBR or Bud to compliment Saoirse Ronan’s Sacramento teenager discovering herself and making a million obvious mistakes before she even gets to college. Then I thought, ‘Hey, even as woke as kids are today, they kinda just binge on what’s right in front of them.’ Thanks to writer-director Greta Gerwig, the film is Cali-centric right up until its young heroine makes the big, old cliché move to New York City. Why not celebrate her naivete-cum-blossoming with a local brew from outer Sacramento’s Auburn county, something her parents would likely have sipped on after a Sunday spent farmer’s market shopping ot stowed away in their garage? Take a trip down coming-of-age memory lane and thank god you’re not a teenager living at home anymore, complimented with this clear golden pour, subtly grassy and herby in part, more minerally than tart.
Call Me By Your Name
Beer: Peroni Gran Riserva
A tale of sun-soaked first love set in 1983’s Northern Italy features an excellent soundtrack (The Psychedelic Furs, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sufjan Stevens) to match its Oscar-nominated performances and Best Screenplay-winning script. Cast yourself back to long lost, but never forgotten, summers, probably more beer-soaked than peach juice-soaked, as the film would suggest. I love a sixer of Birra Moretti when I’m being a lush and a louche for poolside summers gnawing on fruit at father’s Crema mansion (i.e never), but Peroni is slightly older and wiser—both were launched in the 19th century, 13 years apart—a bit like the much talked about age gap in this film. Gran Riserva is unrivalled, light and easy to keep up with during long, grappa-punctuated dusky dinners on the terrace. Also good for Dutch courage to seduce that summer crush under the twilight once and for all. The cinematography in this film is divine. If we’re gonna get all aesthetically hot ‘n’ heavy, these dignified bottles, which look like Prosecco, win.
The Shape of Water
Beer: Er Boqueron
The fantasy auteur behind Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim scooped big at this year’s Academy Awards (nominated for nine, winning four) with the charming and strange tale of a lonely janitor falling in love with a captive not-quite-reptile, not-quite-human water creature from South America. Hidden in the depths of a 1960s Baltimore government building, the top secret nature of her workplace and its grisly plans for the monster forces Sally Hawkins’ lovesick character to smuggle it home and keep it alive with saltwater in the bathtub she previously used for her morning masturbation. The best-fitting pairing for this film would obviously be a home brew from an alien amphibious brewmaster, but, as far as I know, this isn’t being imported far and wide just yet. You’ll have to make do with this Valencian sea-salutin’ lightly hoppy tipple, made from fresh, electrolyte-rich seawater that’s almost healthy.
A Fantastic Woman (Una Mujer Fantástica)
Beer: Cervecería Kunstmann’s Miel
Now this is a heavy one, not to be underestimated or consumed with half an eye. It’s also an extremely rewarding and uplifting experience as a whole. I’m talking about the film and its paired sip. The winner of Best Foreign Language at this year’s ceremony was the director’s fifth feature production and the first Chilean film to win that prize in history. It’s an exquisite portrayal of human strength and devotion that deals with transphobia. The head-turning lead Daniela Vega shines as an emotionally determined stalwart in her turn as the nightclub singer. This is both an uber transgressive and universally important piece of cinema, so save it for the beginning of your next marathon, if you’re already sozzled from the other four. Rumour has it that this natural Ulmo honey ale from Santiago’s finest brewery does ship to the States, which is a welcome thought due to its seductively gentle amber notes that “rescue the ingredients of the south.” It’s unique and sweet, toasted and bitter, and bursting with local pride.