I recently got some really great news: I’ll be traveling across the pond this summer to spend three months studying abroad in England! To celebrate, I’ll be Sipping and Spoiling a great beer and my favorite BBC show.
The show: BBC’s Sherlock
A quick summary: Everyone knows the legend of the great Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Dr. John Watson. But not everyone knows this take. In Sherlock, Holmes and Watson are modern detectives, saving Britain from arms dealers, mass murderers and terrorists. Everything updated: fashion, technology and even the humor. But it’s all distinctly British…as far as I know. I’ll be able to give you a better idea later this year.
The beer: Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s Union Jack IPA
I was a little iffy on this pairing when I first picked it out. I honestly just found my favorite British beer and thought, “Hey, that’d be great with Sherlock!” And then I found out that Firestone Walker Brewing Company isn’t actually British. Whoops. But it actually turned out quite nicely. I’ve been really into IPAs for the past few months, and Union Jack is one of the better ones I’ve had. It’s not overly bitter, and it has a lot of really great citrus notes. But it’s not under-hopped either. There’s no mistaking it for another style like you might with a Hopslam or some other lighter IPA. It’s also a 7.5% ABV, so it’s not exactly a heavy beer either. It’s superb and very drinkable, especially for IPA fans.
I find commonalities here based on the accessibility of Union Jack and Sherlock. Television consumers who haven’t been introduced to British television may be a bit put off. Maybe Elementary is more your speed? Everything is pretty wry and can get campy at times. And it’s not the greatest thing ever that there are only 3 episodes (or should I say movies) per series. But for seasoned TV lovers, Sherlock has got it all. There are noteworthy actors putting on fantastic performances: Benedict Cumberbatch is my favorite Sherlock of all time, and the always underrated Martin Freeman is a brilliant Watson. The writing is spectacular; twists and turns await in every series. And there are lots of really great editing effects that sell the modern take on the 19th century detective. It all seems like bit much – the hour and a half episodes can be hard to binge – but the fact that there are so few episodes creates a demand that keeps Sherlock fans loyal and hungry. And Sherlock is (mostly) free! The first two series are on Netflix. So maybe IPAs aren’t your thing. Maybe find a Newcastle Brown instead? But if you’re feeling daring, find a Union Jack and get started on your new favorite British program.
Hopefully by the end of the spring, I’ll have caught up on The Walking Dead and will be able to get you guys an episode for that. I’m also working on starting The Last Man on Earth and Netflix’s Bloodline. See you soon!