Beer is one of those drinks that regularly creeps its way into all kinds of films and more than that, it can play a key role in a key scene which has become etched into our memories.
Here we’re looking at some of those moments which are memorable, whether for their pure comic genius, dramatic effect or real heart-warming sentiment. Films like Withnail & I (“We want the finest wines available to humanity, we want them here and we want them now!” etc.) are a testament to all alcohol in all its forms, pure and otherwise, there are plenty of other films which put beer at the heart of their scenes or at least use it to create a fantastic, memorable moment.
Here are six of those moments.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
In The Shawshank Redemption the beer scene is a truly thought provoking moment. The 1994 adaptation is a simple moment where our key man, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) bargains with the chief prison guard to earn him and his fellow prisoners some beers after their backbreaking work. The moment is a simple, quiet scene where the prisoners get the chance to relax, with permission and it’s a great testament to the drink too.
Beer on Film – The Shawshank Redemption
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
How would you plan for the zombie apocalypse? Obviously the only sane answer is the decision that Shaun (Simon Pegg) and his right hand man Ed (Nick Frost) come up with, to get to the pub and start from there. Starting at the pub with a pint is the only way to begin if you’re part of Shaun’s zombie-fighting team and it’s a hilarious scene which has something truly British about it. The 2004 film is one of the popular series directed by Edgar Wright and both written and starring Simon Pegg.
Beer on Film – Shaun of the Dead
In Bruges (2008)
The charm of Colin Farrell’s native Irish accent is at its finest in this scene from In Bruges which, for all its outlandish homophobic and black comedic nature, is a truly believable and enjoyable moment where beer is completely at the forefront. The scene is one of the key moments where we get a feel for Farrell’s character in general and it’s one of those films that you should enjoy with a beer in hand.
Beer on Film – In Bruges
Django Unchained (2012)
A modern take on that classic spaghetti western with Quentin Tarantino at its helm, Django Unchained is one place where you’d expect to find a good old fashioned beer and it’s the smooth and stylish way that Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) serves Django (Jamie Foxx) his first ever beer that makes this scene so enjoyable. Beyond this there’s also the added magic that it is Django’s first and we get to see his immediate first impression.
Beer on Film – Django Unchained
Drinking Buddies (2013)
If any film has beer at its heart it’s Drinking Buddies. Far from a single scene with a beer or two, Drinking Buddies is almost entirely focused on the craft beer industry and the relationships that develop because of it. What could be more modern that places a romance in the heart of a craft brewery?
Beer on Film – Drinking Buddies
Ice Cold in Alex (1958)
Arguably the entire plot of this classic World War II set film, is the pursuit of a pint. Following a German attack, Captain Anson (John Mills) must get his motley crew behind British lines, to Alexandria, which will mean crossing the desert in their ambulance. However, there is plenty standing in between Anson’s crew and safety, not least the German Afrika Corps and the crushing heat of the Sahara Desert. And is there treachery from within? The film’s iconic scene comes almost at the end as the survivors stumble in to a bar in Alex.
Even though the film is in black and white, no liquid could be found that could realistically mimic the look of lager, so lager had to be used. By the time filming was complete, Mills had downed several glasses and was reportedly a little “heady”. The scene even inspired rival ad campaigns from Carlsberg and Holsten Pils.
Beer on Film – Ice Cold in Alex