“Those Aren’t Pillows!” Movie and a Beer is Back W/ Planes, Trains and Automobiles & a Perfect Craft Beer Pairing!

Movie and a Beer is back this week and just in time for the start of the holiday season! Join us as we discuss and pair a perfect San Diego craft beer with the hilarious holiday film, Planes, Trains and Automobiles! Grab your family and get ready to sip and laugh your way through the start of everyone’s favorite time of year!


I am excited to be a part of this collaboration series between myself, and some of my favorite blog writers Dr. Gonzalo Quintero of Craft Beer Tasters LLC, and Eugene Abano of Reviews Galore. Please click their respective links to read their write up, as well as read their craft beer and soda pairing for the film.


As in previous Movie and a Beer features (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,  9, 10 11, 12 and 13.) I will be pairing a craft beer that matches one or more of the themes of the film, as well as keeping it a local pick to represent Three B Zine’s daily motto- Live Local.

The week of this Beer & a Movie feature also happens to be San Diego Beer Week. A one week period where San Diego is transformed from our everyday craft beer wonderland, into an even more extreme craft beer wonderland. In other words, in this guy’s opinion, we are pretty lucky year round with our incredible craft beer options. Especially considering some of these beers are being brewed right here in our own city.

Pairing a local craft beer with the film in question this week, which happens to be the holiday classic Planes, Trains and Automobiles, along with it being Beer Week, I wanted to choose a beer that not only pairs with the film perfectly but one that also helped put San Diego on the map as America’s Craft Beer Capital. For both of these reasons I looked no further than 2013 AND 2014 Great American Beer Festival’s Gold Medal winning Old Numbskull Barleywine from Alesmith Brewing Co.


In this film Neal (Steve Martin) will do almost anything to get home to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with his family. But on the way he meets Del (John Candy) who inadvertently wrecks the entire trip. After a long trip, which includes burned cars, diverted flights and robberies all you would want when you finally reach home is to sit and sip something that would help you forget all the awful things you just experienced. At a strong 11% ABV this beer could definitely assist with easing your mind while also warming your body in the early winter weather.

It is also the Holidays…you know, the best time of the year to spend time and share with your family and friends. Old Numbskull, which comes in a 750ml bottle, is perfect for sharing and will aide in a flawless after Thanksgiving dinner sipper. It is always better to give than to receive and what better to give than a glass of this world-class barleywine? As if you really needed another reason for this to be a perfectly paired beer for this film, let’s be real, Del (Candy) could easily be categorized as a true old numbskull. The beer basically paired itself with the movie.

Old Numbskull from Alesmith Brewing Company is a Barleywine style ale that is full bodied and delivers delicious malt sweetness balanced perfectly with its intensely strong hop bitterness. It pours a deep copper color and flavors range from sweet toffee, caramel to dark fruit. Sweet yet assertive in all the right ways, Old Numbskull, as awarded at GABF two years in a row, is a perfect representation of an American Barleywine and is also the perfect local craft beer to share during a long and often times tumultuous holiday season.


As I said before in my previous feature, the holidays are here. This time, we are actually staring down the barrel of one of the most celebrated holidays of the year, Thanksgiving.

To celebrate the upcoming holiday we wanted to choose two films for the month of November, both of which revolve around the holiday itself. First up is this week’s feature – Planes, Trains and Automobiles. A holiday buddy comedy, which stars two of the best, brightest and funniest comedic actors we have ever known in Steve Martin and John Candy.

The movie is all about Steve Martin’s character, Neal, trying to get home to Chicago from New York before Thanksgiving so he can spend it with his family. Unfortunately, things don’t look good for Neal as the cards are stacked against him from the very start.

While trying to catch his flight, he has a cab stolen by a wide-eyed weirdo, who he again finds once arriving at the airport. This guy is Del (Candy).

With that would appear to be fate, good luck or possibly terrible luck, the two find themselves in neighboring seats on the plane from New York, where Del talks Neal’s ear off until it is eventually diverted to Wichita due to bogus weather in Chicago. Go figure. Neal and Del soon become traveling buddies as one mishap after another unfold before their very eyes.

Throughout the adventure, if you could call it an adventure, Neal stays in a continuously terrible mood despite Del’s repeated attempts to help him see the bright side of their situation. Can you blame Neal? Have you ever missed out on Thanksgiving dinner? The turkey, a little stuffing, the buttered rolls… Ok, let’s not get carried away.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles
is a fantastic holiday movie that tours the emotions most deal with through that time of year – stress, exhaustion, pain, laughter, love, family and caring for others. It is as laugh out loud funny as it is touching. But, in the end, does Neal make it home in time? Where will ol’ Del end up for the holidays? Crack open my perfectly paired craft beer with family and friends, sit back and laugh the night away as you find out.

The Good:
Steve Martin and John Candy are an unstoppable comedy force in this movie. The laughs are huge and long lasting and the movie remains as strong as ever, even after all this time. The gags and jokes are timeless and never fall into the trap of “too slapstick” at any moment. This is a great movie to get into the holiday spirit and a story that you will always remember. Top-notch holiday fun.

The Bad:
When it ends. Although the ending is quite touching.


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