While battles rage in fields far away, you’ll find them here. An almost secret clan, they often look at one another with a silent, knowing look of shared abandonment.
They are football widows, and their season of willful avoidance has just begun. Yes, it’s true. As shocking as it may seem, there are those who walk among us who couldn’t care less about watching a flying pigskin and the grown men who chase it, catch it, coach it. Curse it and congratulate it.
And where will you find these sports non-enthusiasts? Why, look no further than your local mall or lifestyle center, one of their most favorite hangouts.
Don’t judge. These widows are capable of reveling in the cheers, jeers and beers of a diehard football fan, particularly when a shopping trip ends at the movie theatre. Now I know what you’re thinking. Cheers and jeers, maybe. But beers? Not at the AMC Theatre at the Destin Commons. Ahh, but you would be wrong, grasshopper. They now not only offer bottles but drafts. Beer lovers rejoice!
They’ve kept the vibe casual. You won’t find chinking glassware, silverware or servers beckoned at the press of a button here. But the AMC is sporting some pretty swanky new neon menu boards offering movie munchies like mozzarella sticks, jalapeno poppers, hot dogs and pizza. Of course, they still have the classics—boxed movie candies and gallons of irresistible popcorn. And what’s a movie without popcorn?
And we say what’s a movie without beer? Though there are a few stools flanking the lobby concession stand that sometimes host a few drinkers waiting for a flick to start, we’re told most folks like to get their suds and snacks and head into the theatre.
That’s right. You can have your beer and drink it, too, inside the theatre, without so much as missing the previews. Pretty cool, huh?
Even cooler is AMC’s offerings. Sure, they have the standard Bud, Miller and Coors, but there are also a few brewers you might not expect, like Angry Orchard, Sierra Nevada, and the Panhandle’s own Pensacola Bay Brewery.
Believe it or not, Angry Orchard makes one of the few apple ales we really like (and you thought we were beer snobs). Sweet, crisp and authentic tasting, we think it pairs exceptionally well with hot buttered popcorn. There’s Something About Mary Apples that complements salty popcorn particularly well. Next time we might even opt for the huge 32-ounce guzzler cup — a pretty good deal at $9.50 — that we’ve affectionately nicknamed The Big Lebrewski.
Even so, we know Some Like It Hot, and may instead choose jalapeno poppers over the traditional crunchy corn. In that case, we suggest ordering a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, a hoppy, ever-so-mildly bitter brew with a fresh, almost-citrusy taste. On its own, it’s full-flavored yet not heavy, which makes for a smooth and tasty daily drinker. When paired with The Heat, it goes down so easy it can be guzzled (if need be) to put The Big Chill on a fiery tongue.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Pensacola Bay Brewery’s Lighthouse Porter, a rich, dark, almost mysterious beer with chocolate and coffee notes, and a sweetness that resembles dried fruit. Due to its depth, it’s more of a sipper, a good one to enjoy if you’re catching a mystery or thriller. If you feel the need to chew while you view, a big, fat gourmet pretzel might be just the ticket, as it wouldn’t compete with this hearty ale’s unfolding spectrum of flavors.
It’s worth mentioning that the AMC also offers Blue Moon, Stella Artois, Sam Adams and Yuengling, all beers that are relatively unremarkable but definitely not bad. We’d have absolutely no problem tossing any of them back by the flickering light of the screen.
Not all at once, of course, unless we’re willing to risk The Hangover from you-know-where (and by that, we mean Hollywood, of course). But one or two? Oh, yeah. They’d be Gone Like The Wind in a New York Minute.