The Lady Eve: What’s The Difference Between Beer & Ale?

My good friend Pete Slosberg sent me this gem, from the classic film The Lady Eve, written and directed by Preston Sturges. The 1941 screwball comedy starred Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck. I remember seeing it when I was a kid (I watched a lot of old movies late at night when I was young) but I certainly don’t remember this beery exchange. One of the main characters is Charles Pike, played by Henry Fonda, and in the story he’s the heir to the Pike Brewing Co. fortune, maker’s of Pike’s Pale, “The Ale That Won For Yale.”


The clip below is about four minutes long, but the conversation doesn’t steer to beer until around the 2:00 minute mark, and lasts for just over a minute.

I’ve also transcribed their beery dialogue from The Lady Eve below. Enjoy.

Stanwyck: “I thought you were in the beer business.”

Fonda: “Beer? … Ale!”

Stanwyck: “What’s the difference?”

Fonda: “Between beer and ale?”

Stanwyck: “Yes.”

Fonda: “My father’d burst a blood vessel if he heard you say that. There’s a big difference. Ale’s sort of fermented on the top or something, and beer’s fermented on the bottom; or maybe it’s the other way around. There’s no similarity at all. [pauses] See the trouble with being descended from a brewer, no matter how long ago he brewed it, or whatever you call it, you’re supposed to know all about something you don’t give a hoot about. [pauses again] It’s funny to be here kneeling at your feet, talking about beer. You see, I don’t like beer. Bock beer, lager beer or steam beer.”

Stanwyck: “Don’t you?”

Fonda: “I do not, and I don’t like pale ale, brown ale, nut brown ale, porter or stout, which makes me ill just to think about it. [hiccups] Excuse me. [pauses again] It was enough so that everybody called me ‘Hopsy’ ever since I was six-years old … Hopsy Pike.”

Stanwyck: “Hello, Hopsy.”

Fonda: “Make it Charlie, will you?”

Stanwyck: [laughs] “Alright, but there’s something kinda cute about Hopsy. And when you got older I could call you Popsy. Hopsy Popsy.”

Fonda: “That’s all I’d need.”


Yule Shoot Your Eye Out

This is just priceless. Eric Warner’s new brewery in Texas, Karbach Brewing, has named their new seasonal beer for one of the greatest holiday movies ever made, A Christmas Story. The 8% a.b.v. seasonal was made with ginger, cocoa nibs, orange peel, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon, and has one of the best beer names I’ve heard in quite some time: Yule Shoot Your Eye Out.


There’s also a promotional video for the beer.

But wait, there’s more. There’s also a second Christmas beer that was inspired by A Christmas Story, this one slightly more subtle. It’s calle Fra Gee Lay — must be Italian! — an ale brewed with spices and aged in Bourbon barrels. It’s essentially the Yule Shoot Your Eye Out barrel-aged, and there’s another video.

Hilarious. Now if I can only figure out how to get the beer. Maybe if I hold up the brewery with my Red Ryder BB Gun.

Short Pour Film Festival

According to the press release, “The “First Ever” short-film festival on the subject of BEER will debut at the Monterey Beer Festival on June 5th, 2010, from 12:30pm to 5pm.” Do you love beer? Have you ever thought about being a filmmaker? Or perhaps you’re already a professional or even amateur filmmaker. If so, here’s your chance to showcase your talent with a short (3 minutes or less) film about beer. The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2010 and the form and rules can be found on the Night That Never Ends website. It’s free to enter your film.

There are four separate categories for you to submit a film under:

  1. Live Action Short Films
  2. Animated Short Films
  3. Music Videos
  4. Commercials

Organizer Jeff Moses expects lots of lighthearted looks at brew, including personal stories about drinking beer with friends or visiting breweries. He also anticipates a few entries by “serious brewers” who’ll reveal the exact steps to making beer. I’m anticipating that Greg Koch will have an entry. Moses says being a bona fide beer connoisseur isn’t necessary for the creative process — just having a “connection” to brew should suffice. He also suggests “filmmakers throw back brewskis after shooting and avoid keg stands so they’re actually able to finish their projects.”

The Short Pour Film Fest will take place on June 5th, 2010, during the Monterey Beer Festival (and is free to festival attendees) at the Monterey Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairgrounds Road, Monterey, California, 93940 and will be free of charge to Monterey Beer Festival attendees.

Short Pour Film Fest honors both individuals who have achieved excellence in short filmmaking and amateur filmmakers. This unique short-film festival showcases film making talent on the subject of BEER.

Films will be shown in the historic ”King City Room”, a 10,000 square foot building at the Monterey Fairgrounds (home to The Monterey Jazz Festival & The Monterey Blues Festival).