Streaming and Suds #21 – Clash Of Personalities

Extrovert IPA - Left Hand Brewing - Streaming and Suds

We’ve all taken those online tests to see what kind of personality we are. Extrovert or introvert? Which one are you? They could be some dumbed down pop culture quiz found on Buzzfeed (and there’s plenty of them), or they could be something a little more sophisticated like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The MBTI, designed by a mother and daughter team based on a theory by Carl Jung, breaks things down even further into 16 categories (8 on each side).

Now, I’m hoping most people aren’t too surprised by the results they find when they take these quizzes/tests. According to the MBTI, I’m an INTJ. There are some people, an annoying individual who shares my first name, that think the MBTI is a bunch of malarkey. Then there’s the school of thought that extrovert and introvert are too much of a blanket term. Leading us to ambiverts, those individuals who have the ability to adapt to their social settings.

I’ve always been a quiet (and shy) person. At times to my own detriment, especially in the eyes of my teachers as a kid. I’ve gotten better with age, but I’m still wary of large social interactions. I’m the kind of person that needs to schedule get-togethers well in advance, and if it’s a noisy, busy social setting I might bail hours before due to the stress and anxiety of thinking about it. Sometimes I force myself to go so I don’t come off as a shitty friend, and I do end up enjoy myself, but I need to decompress by myself for several days. I would like to be more social but it is so draining. There are some of you that might get what I’m talking about, and others may not (damn, extroverts).

Anywho, this week I paired a beer, whose name is pretty self-explanatory, with a film about an introvert. Stories about introverts are pretty rare as an extrovert is very action oriented and that is needed to, well, move the story along. There are some really good films about introverts, and they aren’t going to be for everybody as they can be very introspective.

Extrovert IPA - Left Hand Brewing - Streaming and Suds

Extrovert IPA: The Basics

Extrovert IPA: The Details

This beer really delivers on its name. As I tipped back the glass towards my mouth, my taste buds could sense the bitterness before the IPA even hit my tongue. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. For a little background info, this beer is made with barley, rye, and wheat. I haven’t had an IPA from Left Hand before, just their stouts, so I was intrigued with what they had to offer.

Extrovert poured a ridiculous thick head that I was really digging. It was almost three fingers thick that hung around for quite a bit. After some time had passed the head hadExtrovert IPA - Left Hand Brewing - Streaming and Suds receded to that of a little hill-top. I reminded me of boiling wort. The lacing is quite nice too as it clings to the glass. The color is a slightly hazy, golden amber that harkens back to IPAs of the past.

The rye in this beer really stood out to me on the nose. There’s an earthy spiciness to go along with some hints of floral. This is followed up with a malty backbone and tropical notes from the hops. I was getting tons of mango and maybe a touch of pineapple. The nose is very pleasant, and I liked the addition of the rye. I’m a big fan of rye whiskey, and I’m always on the lookout for rye ales.

Now getting back to the taste. If you like piney bitterness this is a beer for you. The flavor is more subtle than the nose and a change of pace. Besides the pine there is citrus (think grapefruit rind), some more rye notes, and caramel. I was thrown off by this change and the bitterness of it. It’s quite a kick to the mouth that lingers well after you’re done drinking. Linger might be selling it short. The bitterness camps out in your mouth and makes residence on your taste buds. The malt brings some sweetness upfront but overall this a bone dry beer. The body is a bit thin, more like a light-medium body, with some decent carbonation. Extrovert goes down easy, and the dryness of it has your mouth begging for more wetness.

Amélie (2001)

Amelie - Streaming and Suds

  • Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
  • Genre: Comedy/Romance
  • Total Running Time: 2hr 2mins
  • Rating: R
  • Availability: Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes

There’s no mistake in pinning Amélie as a French film. It is full of the French existentialism, quirky characters, whimsy, striking visuals, and a distinct color palette. The film tells the tale of Amélie (played by Audrey Tautou), a lonely, quirky introvert who goes out of her way to make the others around her happy. In a sense of being reductive, Amélie is a film that follows the Manic Pixie Dream Girl instead of the male protagonist who falls for her. Amélie could be considered is the OG MPDG. (See also: Natalie Portman in Garden State.)

Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the director, has a signature style to his films. He’s best known for Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children (and the worst chapter of the original Alien franchise). This film is lighter in tone than his others and has a little more playful personality. There is a great sense of childlike quality to this film but it is balanced out with a very adult sense of humor.

The opening sequence, which could stand on its own as a tremendous short, is basically a timeline that breaks down the quirks and events that define Amélie as a child to whoAmelie - Streaming and Suds she is now. Soon we are introduced to the oddball characters that orbit around her. Such as her father whose garden gnome who has absconded to travel the world, a neighbor who paints the same painting over and over, the potential love interest who reassembles torn-up and discarded pictures from photo booths, and her coworkers at the café and its patrons. For all the oddness of the characters they are more than just those distinctive characteristics.

The driving catalyst for the story is when Amélie finds an old child’s mementos box buried in the walls of her apartment. She sets out to finding this man and reuniting him with those cherished objects and memories. Yet, Amélie is an introvert so she does this all from a distance and never personally interacting with the man. When she sees the happiness overwhelm him she goes about changing things for the better for those in her life (or worse, depending on how you treat others).

Amélie does capture the essence of what it’s like to be an introvert. There is the sense of loneliness and solitude, the flights of fancy, and the struggle to make connections with others, but there is a pleasant and bright tone to balance things out. Audrey Tautou does a wonderful job of inhabiting this type of very rarely seen character in film. It doesn’t hurt that she has very wide, expressive eyes that help sell moments of her imagination and breaking the fourth wall. It’s almost as if she is letting you, the viewer, into her world and making a connection with you..

Overall

My tastes in IPAs has changed over the years. When I first started out getting into IPAs this might have been a bit too much for me, but as I grew accustomed to them this would have hit the sport. But now I’m not as much into the resinous piney bitterness, and more enjoying the tropical hopped IPAs. Extrovert has a an IBU level of 75 that comes off more intense than that. This is a solid IPA that’ll find its fans if it hasn’t already.

I’ll admit Amélie might be an overload of quirkiness for some, and I can understand those concerns. While I love these types of films, it can be aggravating when a character is busting at the seams with quirks and nothing else. Yet this film has fleshed out characters, lush visual storytelling, and a sense of humor that could win you over. It might also help you get some insight into that introvert in your life.

 

Adam M. Bruns

About Adam M. Bruns

Adam M. Bruns is an award-winning filmmaker (it was a short about a puppet who wants to get a sex change) with an MFA in Motion Pictures and Television from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. Besides craft beer, his hobbies include film, TV, comic books, writing, drawing, cooking, and feeling the constant, crushing sense of disappointment from watching his favorite sports teams (the Buffalo Bills, the Baltimore Orioles, and Syracuse University Basketball). Some have called him a modern-day Renaissance Man…ok, that was just his mother.

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