Ultimate 6er | Stranger Things
If you haven’t watched Stranger Things yet (what are you doing?! It’s already been up for a few weeks!), you may want to take a break and read another PorchDrinking article. This Ultimate 6er has some incidental spoilers that are part of the greater lexicon of the show. I won’t say anything overly specific but I will reference the shit out of things and make illusory correlations to others so you had better be ready! If you disagree with me, I swear I will call you a traitor and use your given name, LANDO!!!!!!!
“Nothing is stranger than believing…”
“Something is coming, something hungry for blood . . . ”
“What is it?!”
In this fable, a young boy disappears and his mother, a sheriff, and his friends must confront terrifying forces in order to get him back. Reminiscent of 80’s Spielberg/Amblin films (look at all of those lens flares) mixed with some Stephen King and X-Files, this TV series is addicting as all-get-out! Even though I just watched this series this week (and the week before), I will be re-watching it for months to come!
Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) meet…
Quick caveat: Doesn’t Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers looks just like Edward Furlong in Terminator 2? Am I right?! Anyway, Jonathan and Will (the missing boy) have a very close and compassionate relationship with their mother, Joyce, as played by Winona Ryder, just like Ed Fur has with Sarah Connor in T2, hence the comparison.
It seems like the family relies on one another quite a bit. Joyce is always on the go and super raddled by even the smallest of tasks. When her son (Will, not John the Ed Fur look alike) goes missing, she refuses to believe her son can be dead, and doesn’t hold back the crazy to try to get others to believe her. The entire town thinks she’s living out a Cypress Hill song and gone completely insane-in-the-membrane, but she just knows that there’s something… more to this story.
Joyce goes from super mom to other-side communique to hunt for her son. When she learns that Eleven can shadow-walk in the Upside Down, she let’s El know that she will be right there and that she will not have anything to be afraid of. Fast forward to the ‘deprivasche’-tank, her compassion and sweetness while Eleven is taking a walk on the ‘wild side’ proves to be just he encouragment that El needs to keep going further into the Upside Down to find Will. Sometimes we just need a mom’s voice and presence to really tackle the tough situations and that is what makes Joyce the super mom we all love!
A brew that embodies Joyce and all of her unnerving, raddled moments from season one of Stranger Things would have to be Boulevard Brewing’s Radler. Boulevard Ginger Lemon Radler is a zesty, refreshing take on the tradition of mixing beer with soda or lemonade to create a light, thirst-quenching beverage ideal for warm weather. Radler (literally “cyclist,”) takes its name from active German sportsmen of a hundred years ago, but Boulevard’s version tastes just as good even if you do nothing more strenuous than lifting it to your lips.
Just like Joyce, this Radler will keep you wondering ‘what is going on?’ but still packs in a bit of sweetness and reassurance that everything will work out in the end!
Chief Hopper aka HOP (David Harbour) meet…
David Harbour as Chief Jim Hopper – part Indiana Jones, part broken cop – we meet the Chief of the town as he swills beer after beer and shows up to work drunk/hungover; we learn his nickname is HOP! Like HOPS?! Get it? Seemingly an unwilling participant in the town, we find out that Hopper is so much more than a chainsmoking, Schlitz-guzzling cop-turned-washup. Hopper takes the viewer on a heroic journey to uncover the truth of Will’s disappearance in this small town. As the show continues, viewers are slowly given insight into Hopper’s history, from the breakup of his marriage, to the loss of his daughter, all fueling his eagerness to take chances with his own life to get to the bottom of this harrowing disappearance in HIS town. Hop is willing to take a leap of faith and investigate even though he might not necessarily understand what’s going on.
Dank Hill from Neshaminy Creek Brewing, is neither the keystone nor the building block of the ultimate 6er, it’s just that piece that makes sense and brings everything together. Much like Chief Hop, this hoppy, hazy double wheat IPA packs in quite the characteristics. A brew that has a robust, big full mouthfeel; wheat IPAs combine the hoppy goodness of an American IPA with the crisp, bread-like, “zing” from an American-style wheat beer into one very tasty beer. Neshaminy then imperialized that and made sure not to filter it. A golden colored beer with a prominent flowery, grapefruit hop aroma, a moderate caramel malt flavor and a dominant hop bitterness and flavor.
Much like the unfiltered Dank Hill, Chief Hop may have a murky, unknown affiliation to the US Dept. of Energy now. How much does Chief Hop know? Why did he get in that car? Does he know more than we think? We won’t know until the smoke clears on season 2 of Stranger Things hits the ‘flix.
Eleven aka EL aka D11 (Millie Brown) meet…
D11 or Eleven or EL is a mysterious young lass who joins the D&D crew of young boys’ journey to find Will. But at first viddy, we first experience EL as something very obtuse, we wonder what her back story is. Is she a lab rat? Is she extra terrestrial? How does she have these powers? Is she the monster? Did she take will?
>EL is pretty much ET. She fuels her telepathy and psychokinesis via Eggos™ much like ET gets his munch on with Reese’s Pieces™! Who doesn’t love some Eggos™!? The correlation between the sensory-deprivation and dreamscapes and time travel calls reference back to Altered States and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Those pitch black scenes in the upside down are straight Freddy v Jason dreamscapes and that shit triggers some crazy spookiness. Srsly. EL is such a ba-dass. Gah. She’s the best. So powerful and so kind to her new friends. You can’t NOT love her.
Much like my love for EL in Stranger Things, Avery Brewing released their ‘EL’ Gose that is very ‘salty brah!’ at first taste but, quaff after quaff, is so much more. Strong and powerful, this barley pop is a flavorful quest packed into a 12oz can. A timeless, traditional tart gose (goes-uh) with its zesty and salty disposition is brightened by a tangy citrus twist.
EL must go on a trip to the Upside Down and to do so, she has to shadow-walk via a deprivation tank. (FUN FACT: It took 1200lbs of Epsom salt to make EL float in that kiddie pool! Also, check out Dustin’s Castroville Artichoke shirt!) This dreamland of a beer doesn’t contain THAT much salt but even Adam Avery boasts, “It’s my everyday, six-pack sour.” The sincerity that is building for each and every character in Stranger Things is a direct mirror to the craft beer community and the feeling we get when we recognize the craft and appreciate the ‘story building’ that goes on behind the scenes. Stranger Things is the craft beer of the television world. There. I said it! The ‘EL’ Gose really cranks it to (d)11 and doesn’t hold back! Don’t just take my word for it, Matthew Powers recently showcased it on our site because it really deserves its own feature post.
Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo) meet…
Dustin becomes my favorite character of the show just minutes into the first episode. He is much like a meca-Mouth-and-Chunk amalgam from the Goonies. He’s wicked hilarious and carries an heir of intelligence coupled with street knowledge. Plus his snack game is on point! His goofy antics just hit a nerve that brings back all of the nostalgic feelz.
One of Stranger Things’ greatest assets is the camaraderie among the youth. While Will, Mike and Lucas show their angsty grit in the show, it’s Dustin that is the true ‘golden’ star of the show. He’s smart and funny, a young child of charm and the glue that helps the D&D crew stick together. He uses his keen negotiating skills and evokes most of the master plan via Mr. Clarke, the science teacher. “You always say we should never stop being curious, to open every curiosity door we find… Why are you keeping this curiosity door locked?” You gotta love how much this kid fights for his friend Will and fights to help keep the piece with the rest of the crew.
It’s only fitting that we look at Dustin as the Golden Monkey (joker and scene-stealer, heart gripper that he is) of the D&D Crew. He, like the Golden Monkey is bold, daring and shines through amongst the flock.
Imported malts and Belgian yeast are accentuated by abundant herbal and fruity notes. Strong and carnal, this golden Belgian-style ale glows with goodness. The richness of imported malts and Belgian yeast are tempered by a sparkling approach and overall light body. Considerable depth of character with abundant, herbal, fruity notes make this one to savor.
Dr. Martin Brenner aka Papa (Matthew Modine) meet…
In the place the eye does not see, a mad scientist akin to Barry Nile in Beyond the Black Rainbow, and many prior mad scientists from film past, sees his experiments go wrong. Dr. Brenner (Papa to our endearing little EL) is the monster of the regular world playing with the darkness in the Upside Down. We are charged with taking into question Dr. Brenner and his connection to EL.
Was he really her father? Did EL suffer Stockholm Syndrome and take Dr. Brenner as her surrogate father? In our experience, Dr. Martin Brenner is just as much a monster as the Demogorgon. We immediately move opposite of his testing and controlling attributes to only move further and further with each interaction. Dr. Brenner takes on a darkness of his own, Dr. Brenner takes on a dark Sigil much like a dark demon. Often times, the goat is an embodiment of evil. Dr. Brenner, the grey haired goat of Hawkins.
I think the Black Dopplebock from Gigantic, aptly named Kiss the Goat, is only fitting as we truly start to become scared for our characters. We recognize the story arcs but there is so much left to be seen. Similarly, we know the dopplebock style. We know dark grains and dark malts. But we don’t know this beer. We are so confused by it’s big malt presence yet softness and kindness.
Roasty and toasty like a porter or import stout, this Dopplebock exudes malty deliciousness with a robust backbone built like a tree of black roots (the gateway to the Upside Down?). Kiss the Goat is pretty much the ‘Upside Down’ of beers. The Dr. Brenner of beers. So mystifying and uncharted and unsettling. But we keep coming back to it. Trying to understand why it is the way it is.
Mr Clarke, the Science Teacher (Randall P. Havens) meet…
One of my good homies Justin Michael Vicroy stated it best, “Don’t you just wish that you had the same science teacher in school?” Couldn’t have said it better. Mr. Clarke is the Carl Sagan and of Hawkins, Indiana. As the D&D crew’s junior high science teacher, and a conduit to the science necessary to rescue Will from the “upside-down.” Mr. Clarke explains the scientific constructs of alternative dimensions and time travel and is even a life-line for the D&D Crew when they are building a makefshift-sensory deprivation tank. His talks about magnetic fields also help the young boys find the doorway to the Upside Down. Mr. Clarke and his rebuilt HAM radio seem like a given call-back for season 2 of the show!
Mr. Clarke is the coolest. We know we would watch some movies with Mr. Clarke. I mean, he was showing his lady-friend The Thing when the D&D crew reach out to him on building the deprivation tank. So, from what we can surmise, Mr. Clarke probably home brews and makes cheese (to go with his HAM radio?) so he would definitely be one character we would love to share a brew with! It would have to be a time travel themed beer or maybe a compass related brew. Which is why we think he would love Bristol Brewing’s Compass IPA.
Bristol’s Compass IPA is an ale with zip. Bringing together copious amounts of Columbus, Chinook, and Cascade hops in a tasty combination that lingers through the finish and beyond. Compass delivers big hop flavor with malt in a nice supporting role. A favorite for any hop head, we see Mr. Clarke brewing up many an IPA and we hope this one would just be his go-to on brewing day!
Did we miss your favorite character?! What brew would you choose to pair? Well, leave us a comment or forever hold your Reese’s Pieces, ET!
Until then, I will just be shotgunning coldies by the pool waiting for Season 2!