Shorts & Hops
There are days that lead me to believe I really have the best job in the world. One such day involved a visit to independent brewery DigBrew, to taste some of the finest beers on their menu for Shorts & Hops, an event combining, well, shorts and hops! Read on for the thought process behind each selection...
Von Kreepsula Runs Amok | Pale | 3.9%
(dir. Emma De Swaef & Marc James Roels) Belgium, 2012 - 17 mins The links here are twofold: when I first chatted to Oli (co-founder of DigBrew) about this beer, it didn’t have a name, although there was a first attempt at one: ‘Your Mom’. This got me thinking about matriarchal figures, and Oh Willy… came to mind (if I’m honest, it’s never too far away from my consciousness - it’s just so bloody good). When I tasted the beer, the maltiness felt like a big warm hug, and reminded me of drinking ovaltine before bed when I was younger. I’m not sure if I’ve ever come across a film that feels more like a big hug and a soothing bedtime story than this one. It’s also the greatest short ever made, and yes, I’ve screened it many times before, but I make no apology for that - it gets better with every viewing.
23-19 | Sour | 5.2%
(dir. Juanjo Giménez) Spain, 2016 - 15 mins The link here is all about numbers. The name of this sour ‘23-19’ is taken from the code in Monsters, Inc when Charlie announces "we've got a 23-19!" - to alert a 'contamination', and George is promptly shaved and showered. With that in mind, this Palme D’or winning short film is the perfect fit. Full of number codes, it tells the story of two car park security guards who form an unlikely bond.
Buffet Island | Milkshake IPA | 6.0%
(dir. Det Sporadiske Filmkollektivet) Norway, 2018 - 7 mins I love this film. It’s made by a collective in Norway, and their approach to making films is to try and do it in one day, which I also love. Anyway, the link here comes from the bittersweet storyline - at times saccharine, but with just a slight tartness too - a perfect combo, and how I felt after swigging back some Buffet Island. Upon clearing the film with the filmmakers, they approved of the pairing: “Milkshake IPA sounds like a perfect match;) Cold, creamy and a little bit different!“
Cancun | Lager | 4.5%
(dir. Jonathan Hodgson) UK, 2018 - 16 mins The only lager in the mix, it immediately got me thinking about this BAFTA-winning short by Brummie Jonathan Hodgson. It tells the story of a group of lager-drinking students in the 80s, and deals with issues around bullying and manipulation. A sub-link here comes in the way of Digbeth - obviously Digbrew is based in the Birmingham suburb, and the area also played a big part in Hodgson’s formative years, with his band Cult Figures even naming one of their albums Deritend (named after the area that Digbeth forms a part of).
Waka/Jawaka | DIPA | 8.0%
(dir. Bruce Bickford) US, 1988 - 28 mins On discovering this double IPA was named after Frank Zappa’s fourth album, Bruce Bickford popped into my head. Bruce was an incredible animator - he looked like a wizard and made films which had an out-of-this-world vibe about them. He was also Frank Zappa’s collaborator and worked with him on various music videos. He specialised in claymation, and made some pretty bonkers stuff. This is perhaps his masterpiece, but you might feel you need an 8 percenter to make any sense of it.
Shorts & Hops takes place live on Saturday 29th May in Skittish - a new virtual, playful space for online events. You'll need to buy your ticket by midday on Thursday 27th May to ensure you receive your beers in time for the event. See the event page for full details.