The Perfect Beer for Halloween Movies
Five all-time scary movies paired with just the right, frightfully delicious beer.
Halloween: just the word itself elicits visions of ghosts and ghouls, costumes and candy and, of course, serial killers, supernatural thrillers, and the scariest of scary movies. What better way to enjoy a finely crafted brew than with a hair-raising movie? (Just be sure to put the beer down so you don’t spill it when startled.) Here’s my pick of some great scary films and the perfect brew for each flick.
3 Floyds Zombie Dust – Night of the Living Dead
3 Floyds (Munster, Indiana) Zombie Dust is all the rage. Highly sought after for its well-balanced flavor and crisp hoppiness, it’s able to turn even the most level-headed beer fan into a determined zombie with one thing on its mind…more beer. And, at a mild 6.2 percent ABV, you won’t be a mindless zombie after just one. So what better way to pair this mesmerizing pale ale than with the George A. Romero 1968 classic, Night of the Living Dead. This movie is both what most other zombie flicks are modeled after, and what they aim to be. Two great classics paired together, Zombie Dust and Night of the Living Dead….mmmm…brains.
Great Lakes Nosferatu – Nosferatu
Great Lakes (Cleveland, OH) makes Nosferatu, an American Amber/ Red Ale with a heftier 8.0 percent ABV but such an extremely well-balanced flavor profile that it’s hard to detect. The rich malt pairs extremely well with its slightly bitter hop finish and gives an even experience sip after sip. For a big beer like this you need a big movie and the 1922 silent film Nosferatu fits the bill. One of the most influential films of the monster genre features the nosferatu, or its more modern synonym, vampire. It has been heralded as the finest vampire movie of all time and several adaptations have been done throughout the years. A reddish pouring beer named after a blood sucking monster, how apropos!
Southern Tier Pumking – A Nightmare Before Christmas
Pumpkin beers are not for everyone, but Southern Tier of Lakewood, New York makes a “Pumking” brew that garners widespread praise and a BeerAdvocate score of 90. From its orangish body to its subtle sweetness Pumking shows many others how it’s supposed to be done. If you are looking for an accessible pumpkin beer, this is the one. However, leave it to Tim Burton to make a movie about Christmas that fits right into the Halloween theme. The character of Jack the pumpkin king calls out for a beer that fits his title so perfectly.
Arcadia Cereal Killer – Halloween
It wouldn’t be Halloween without serial killers and Arcadia Ales (Michigan) makes a Cereal Killer Barleywine which is generally only available in October. It’s color reminds one of drying blood on a cool autumn night but the flavor is full and deep with malt and fruit followed up by a slight bitterness. An extremely accessible barleywine for those who aren’t quite sure what it’s all about. The movie, of course, is a classic. Michael Myers has lived in the nightmares of generation after generation and no matter how fast or far you run, he always ends up right behind you!
Psychops – Psycho
Another beer practically named for one of the best thriller films of all time is made by Wisconsin Brewing Company (Madison, Wisconsin): Psychops is described by their brewmaster Kirby as “A MONSTER I.P.A.” The company says he packs 3.7 pounds of Wisconsin-grown hops into every barrel, which results in an Intense Pale Ale with an 8.0 percent ABV and an IBU rating of 80 putting it in line with many double IPAs on the market. While the hoppy bitterness of Psychops assaults your palate, you can watch Norman Bates assault his victims as they check into the Bates Motel, never to check out. Many will remember the shower scene as one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best film moments. However, the film has all manner of other great points including the eerie performance of Anthony Perkins as Norman, which set the bar quite high for decades of thriller movies to follow.
Christophor Rick is a freelance writer, social media marketer, and a member of the Hi Hat Garage management team. That’s where you can find him most weekends if you want to stop in and chat about beer. As part of his duties at Hi Hat, he is presently managing its beer program.