Guest Contributor and Local Beer Nut, Dave Morales, hops in the saddle for this BTT Blog Post.

 I had a thought a while ago while binge watching The Rockford Files. There’s so much “filler” going on! Long shots of people walking from building to car, starting the car, then driving away. Cut to a long shot of the car being driven through a city (often multiple shots) followed by a shot of them pulling into their destination. Two minutes or more each time! And that doesn’t include the ubiquitous car chases! That got me thinking about 70’s TV in general. It seems that cars and the action based around cars were a big part of the story lines. CHiPs, Dukes of Hazzard, and certainly The Rockford Files. But I digress.

I’ve been revisiting my youth lately through watching 70’s detective shows. The ones where they use their brains instead of fancy pants science. While I love The Rockford Files, I’ve recently been watching Columbo. Rockford was a classic “whodunit?”, while Columbo was the exact opposite.

The Rockford Files was a weekly adventure. As the affable man’s man dripping with charm, James Garner’s Jim Rockford was always being framed. As an ex-con, he would inevitably get snared into a situation that often arose from a misunderstanding or mistaken identity, only to be smacked around a bit, arrested, held at gunpoint, and either chase or be chased in his gold Firebird Esprit.

And that got me thinking. What kind of beer is this show? What should I be drinking while watching it? Medium paced, zippy action, witty dialogue, each episode unique but predictable. Jim would always prevail in the end. Seemed like a no-brainer. IPA all the way. IPAs are drinkable with a bitter spiciness and a sturdy malt backbone. They’re all hoppy but each differs in various ways. Some are light and fun, while others are dark and moody. And in the end, I always prevail.

Columbo, on the other hand, was different. Each episode was film length and was in weekly rotation with a few other mystery-type shows. You had to want to catch Columbo. And it was worth it. Better shot, better acted, and better story lines. The viewer would see the crime being committed, and often it could be 20 minutes before the title character would saunter into the story. Then the fun was watching how Peter Falk’s bumbling Lieutenant Columbo would catch the criminal at their own game. It was more of a slow burn, with “aha!” moments coming slowly at first, but building to a gratifying solution in the final act.

Barley Wine. This show is for sipping. You have plenty of time to take those first tentative sips with the alcoholic nose and all of the aromas jumping out at you. And as time progresses, those hidden notes start to emerge. The sips become larger. This is really good! Finally everything is solved and you come to that final sip, a triumph of good brewing practice and ever so satiating.

I think I’ll keep this little exercise going on my own. There are so many 70’s detective shows: Kojak, Baretta, McMillan and Wife, McCloud, etc. Even Charlie’s Angels, which I can tell you right now is a Passion Fruit American Wheat. Cheers.

Written by Dave Morales

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