While we’re all staying close to home, a great movie or TV show about travel can really scratch an itch. It’s not quite the same as the real deal, but watching characters embark on intense adventures or explore faraway lands helps us appreciate both past trips and ones to come.
Travel makes us laugh, cry, ponder life’s greatest questions, and ignite our taste buds—and so do these shows! So make an event out of it. Gather some special snacks and choose your film-watching beverages carefully.
To help you out, we’ve paired BC Craft beers to go along with a variety of travel movies.
Exhilarating – Hoppy and intense
In the mood for an adventure that will leave you on the edge of your seat and wondering what will happen next? Check out one of these movies and pair it with a beer that will excite your taste buds with intense hop profiles.
In this insane documentary, professional rock climber Alex Honnold attempts to conquer the first free solo climb of the famed El Capitan’s 900-metre vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park. By the way, free solo climb = no rope! Whether you’re a die-hard climber yourself or have never touched a bag of chalk, this movie will ignite your sense of adventure.
Based on the book by Alex Garland, a young guy named Richard travels to Thailand in pursuit of adventure. After growing sick of the beaten path, he discovers an odd map to a secret beach, rumoured to be home to a hidden island community. This movie starts withby sparking your memories (or dreams) of travelling in South East Asia before taking a wacky twist.
Fantasizing about travelling out of this world? Throw on the 2014 hit, Interstellar. It takes place in the future where Earth is becoming uninhabitable and needs to be saved by Cooper (aka Matthew McConaughey), a farmer and ex-NASA pilot. Cooper is asked to pilot a spacecraft along with a team of researchers to find a new planet for humans and it is a wild ride.
Beers to Pair
- Backcountry Brewing: Widowmaker IPA (channelling the Chief in Squamish)
- Driftwood Brewery: Fat Tug IPA (on the beach)
- Central City Brewers & Distillers: Red Racer Super Solar IPA (out of this world)
Soul Searching – Dark, smooth, and complex
Maybe it’s cliche to say we travel to “find” ourselves, but, you know, sometimes it’s just so true. If you’re wanting to relive those soul searching feelings, check out one of these favourites. They pair excellently with rich and smooth brews to soothe your soul.
Into the Wild
This one will leave you pondering some of life’s biggest questions—but it’s also a great story about exploring and the types of characters you meet while travelling. It’s a true story about Christopher McCandless, a young American who decides to leave his life behind to hitchhike across America and into the Alaskan wilderness. It’s heartbreaking yet uplifting and perfectly captures an intense passion for life. Excellent viewing for sipping a rich stout or porter.
Secret Life of Walter Mitty
We can all relate to a life tinged with monotony these days. In Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Walter (aka Ben Stiller) dreams up romantic and action-filled adventures to escape from his dull life. When his job is threatened, he sets out on a real journey to Greenland.
If you’re yearning for a great outdoor adventure, take a walk in Cheryl Strayed shoes in this adaptation of her book by the same name. Recently divorced, Cheryl decides to kickstart her new life by hiking along the 1,100 mile-long Pacific Crest Trail. The simplicity of her trip makes for an emotional journey that channels her mentally and physically. She meets interesting characters along the way but ultimately gets to know herself better.
Thelma and Louise
Thelma and Louise is a feminist icon and the perfect mix of hysterically funny and brutally sad. Thelma and Louise intend to head out on a brief fishing trip, but it leads to a sexual assault and Louise shooting the perpetrator. So they flee to Mexico. While you’re probably not hoping to be fleeing the law on your next trip, it’s an awesome story about two women bonding on the road.
Beers to Pair
- Hoyne Brewing: Dark Matter
- Old Yale Brewing: Sasquatch Stout
- Mount Arrowsmith Brewing: Low Pressure Porter
- Field House Brewing: Dark Sour
Heart Warming – Playful and fun, yet still very satisfying
Looking for some feel-good adventure stories to make you feel all cosy inside? We’ve got a romantic getaway, an animated favourite, and some tear-jerking reality TV on tap for you. Pair them with a rich, fun, drinkable beer.
Under the Tuscan Sun
Who doesn’t love fantasizing about picking up and moving to Italy? In Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mayes, a writer from San Francisco, gets a divorce that leaves her with terminal writer’s block and depression. So, she decides to buy a house in Tuscany to change up her life. There’s romance. There’s beautiful Italian scenery. There are heartwarming moments and a zest for adventure. What more can you ask for?
Name a better Pixar movie, I dare you. Up tackles some of life’s biggest lessons while leaving you with a constant grin plastered on your face. Whether you haven’t seen it yet (is that possible?) or you’ve seen it 10 times, it may be the perfect pick-me-Up for these trying times.
Queer Eye in Japan
Another laugh until you cry/cry until you laugh must-see. In this Netflix mini-series, the Fab Five brings their quintessential message of self-care and compassion to Japanese men and women while exploring the country’s rich culture and cuisine. You get the Fab Five treatment while also experiencing a sneak-peek of Japan!
Beers to Pair
- Fernie Brewing: The Professor Amber Lager
- Main Street Brewing: Cosmic Dancer Australian IPA
- Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks: Kiwami Plum Sour
Culinary – A curated tasting flight
Travelling to eat has got to be one of the best ways to see the world. Meet people and cities from lands near and far through the eyes of some of TV’s most likeable chefs and the amazing dishes they try. Since every cuisine pairs with a different type of beer, we’ve curated a suggested tasting flight so you can embark on a taste bud adventure while you feast your eyes on delicious visuals.
Salt Fat Acid Heat
Get ready to spend four episodes with your new best friend in this Netflix series. Chef and food writer Samin Nosrat travels around the world to explore the central principles of what makes food delicious. You get gorgeous travel content and amazing cooking knowledge! Based on her James Beard Award-winning book of the same name, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is an essential guide for the basic elements of good cooking.
Breakfast Lunch and Dinner
Chef David Chang is, in many ways, the polar opposite to Samin’s personality, but his no BS attitude and down-to-Earth ways are just as likeable. In this Netflix series, he joins celebrity guests like Seth Rogan and Chrissy Teigen to explore the cuisines and culture in different cities around the world. It’s hilarious, introspective, and full of delicious food.
The late, great Anthony Bourdain’s travel series are always worth revisiting. Parts Unknown may be the ultimate show for transporting you to other lands in a way that feels amazingly authentic. He travels across the globe to uncover little-known areas of the world and celebrate diverse cultures by exploring food and dining rituals and meeting fascinating people along the way.
Curated tasting flight
- Luppolo Brewing: La Piazza Italian Pilsner
- Four Winds Brewing: Forgotten Fruit Farmhouse Ale with Quince
- Île Sauvage Brewing: Yuzu Gose
Goofy – Light and refreshing
Looking for some easy drinking and a light profile? Sounds like the job for a classic rom-com or goofy family adventure. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a light and refreshing brew while satisfying your travel nostalgia with some laughs.
Grab your tambourine and let yourself be whisked to a Greek Island, why don’t ya? Mamma Mia is always an instant mood booster, no matter how many times you’ve seen it. Set to ABBA hits, bride-to-be Sophie secretly invites three men who were her mother’s past lovers to her wedding, with the hope that one of them is her father. Scandalous!
National Lampoon’s Vacation
Missing your crazy family road trips? Re-live their trials and tribulations with this classic as Clark Griswold embarks on a cross-country expedition with his family. There’s always a hurdle around the bend when it comes to family travel (especially for the Griswolds)—that’s where the fun is.
Emily in Paris
Okay, this Netflix series is a bit of a meme thanks to its cheesiness and overall “badness”, but it’s also pretty fun to watch while enjoying a drink. It’s the classic “American girl gets swept off to Paris to fulfil her dreams,” plot, which serves as a lovely distraction with the added bonus of French scenery. Make yourself a cheese plate, pour a light and delicious beer, and imagine yourself in Emily’s size 6 shoes for a couple of hours.
Beers to Pair
- Strange Fellows Brewing: Jongleur Wit
- Longwood Brewery: Honey Hop Pale Ale
- Parallel 49 Brewing: Trash Panda Hazy IPA
Perfect for every craft beer lover
Looking for some good old fashioned beer stories instead? Try these on for size:
This is less a travel movie but, if you’re reading the BC Ale Trail, you’re bound to get a kick out of Strange Brew. In a quest for free beer, Canadian brothers Bob and Doug McKenzie end up working at the Elsinore Brewery. Turns out the evil Brewmeister Smith is plotting to take over the world by tainting the beer. Intrigued?
The Beer Hunter
Famed beer writer Michael Jackson’s six-episode TV series, “The Beer Hunter,” from 1989 is available to watch on YouTube, and it is still relevant and interesting today. It includes tours and interviews at famous breweries in Europe as well as some incredible coverage of the early North American craft beer scene.
Happy viewing, everyone!
Show us what pairings you try or what other movies you’re enjoying while sipping BC Craft Beer at home. Tag us on Instagram @BCAleTrail to let us know!