Good day, true believers! It is I, Sean Moriarty, here to continue our magical journey through the new frontier of beer and movie pairing. That’s right… beer pairing ain’t just for food anymore…
Pliny The Elder Imperial IPA with Seven
Pliny The Elder pours with a golden, honey-like hue with a light, fluffy head. It has an extremely floral nose with hints of pine. The first sip is very bitter like grapefruit, which then gives way to a sweet piney flavor mixed with pineapple, then has a crisp and bitter finish. This is one of the best beers in the known universe and I can never, ever get enough of it.
The pieces of this beer’s puzzle are all echoed in the film Seven.
Bitter At The Beginning
At the beginning of Seven, we are introduced to the film’s protagonist: Detective William Somerset, played by Morgan Freeman. We see him getting ready to go to work for a short bit, then we enter his normal day on the job: the scene of a homicide. A woman had shot and killed her husband during an argument. Somerset inquires of another detective as to whether their child had witnessed the murder to which the detective replies:
What kind of fuckin’ question is that? You know, we are all gonna be real glad when we get rid of you, Somerset, you know that? It’s always these questions with you. Did the kid see it? Who gives a fuck!? He’s dead. His wife killed him. Anything else has nothing to do with us.
Right at the beginning, a bitter taste in my mouth, just like the beer. A detective with a heart wanting to know if a child may need help coping with one of his parents murdering the other and the response he gets is pretty much, “Fuck you. You’re retiring soon. Not our problem.” I took a big swig of Pliny after I heard that and could feel that other cop’s bitterness towards the world as well as Somerset’s bitterness that the world was different now and he wasn’t built for it anymore.
The Seven Deadly Sins
I’m sure it’s no surprise to most of you that the Seven Deadly Sins play a huge part in this film. Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt are hunting a serial killer who is murdering people in methodically planned ways to punish them for whichever of these sins they are guilty. As I drank my brew throughout the film, I noticed that this particular beverage could inspire me to be gravely guilty of all of these sins.
Gluttony: This beer is so damn delicious that I want to keep drinking it until there is no more in the world to speak of. By that point, I’d surely gain fifty to one-hundred pounds because as we all know, beer has a lot of empty calories and alcohol consumption leads to late night fast food consumption.
Greed: I don’t just want more of this beer;
I want all of it. It’s so good, I don’t think any of you deserve a drop. It’s all for me.
Sloth: Alcohol makes you lazy sometimes. It’s true. Sorry if it’s news to you. As I sit on my couch, swigging ale and watching a movie, I think to myself, “I could do this all day… every day… and be happy.”
Envy: As a card-carrying member of the craft brew world, I am so jealous that my brewery doesn’t make this beer. Screw Russian River for making such an amazing and well balanced Imperial IPA. Our brewery deserves to make it.
Wrath: I was so jealous and upset that my brewery didn’t make this beer that I took one, walked outside, and I THREW IT ON THE GRRRROOOOOUUUNNNNNDDDDD!
Pride: What was I thinking? My brewery makes a great Imperial IPA called Conductor. In fact, it tastes and smells pretty similar to Pliny The Elder. My brewery rocks and you all should know it. We’re awesome. I’m awesome. Yay!
Lust: This beer is making me a little woozy… and a little horny. I think I’ll go upstairs and see if my lady wants to play a little game of “Stuff Going Into Other Stuff.” Not for procreation, mind you… just for fun.
Though this film is mostly suspenseful, horrifying and harsh, there is one character who brings a bit of sweetness to it: Tracy Mills played by Gwyneth Paltrow. She is the innocent wife of Detective David Mills played by Brad Pitt. Throughout the film, her scenes seem to be the only ones with any lighthearted feel to them. They are the ones that keep you grounded through the bitter turmoil of the plot. Pliny The Elder’s sweet, piney, pineapple notes hidden in a maze of pungent hop aromas and flavors are exactly like Paltrow’s scenes in Seven.
Bitter In The End Too
This beer, like this movie started very bitter. Then they both continued bitterly throughout the experience while occasionally surrendering to a certain sweetness. However, in the end, bitterness had the upper hand. After the quick taste of sweetness, a bitter flavor is all that is remembered of Pliny.
At the end of Seven, after it seems that Mills and Somerset have caught their man and justice has been served: all hell breaks motherfuckin’ loose. Apparently, the serial killer had made Detective Mills part of his horrific masterpiece of pain and suffering. We find out that in order to finish his work covering all of the sins, Mills has to kill him (Wrath) because he was so jealous (Envy) of Mills and his happy home that he has killed Mills’ wife and had her head sent to them in a box. As Mills realized what is in the box, an overwhelming feeling of distress washed over me.
The only light in this dark movie was now dead. Mills shot and killed the bad guy meaning the killer won. Mills is going to jail ,and this is the last case Somerset will ever work and it will haunt him forever.
The film, like the beer, left a bitter, acerbic taste in my mouth. The sweetness I tasted and experienced via Paltrow’s scenes were now forgotten and all that was left was caustic.
Pliny not only helped me enjoy this film in a completely different way (i.e. turning me into a sinner of the worst sort), it also helped dull the pain. Let us not forget that beer has alcohol and alcohol is a drug: a drug that I needed to help me deal with the dark and depressing themes of Seven.
I hope you enjoyed this pairing and I encourage all of you to try these two out together. I promise it will be quite the experience.