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The Unofficial Beer of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’

A couple of years ago my town was abuzz with the filming of Christopher Nolan’s new production, ‘Oppenheimer’. You could go watch some of the filming from afar and get glimpses of the stars: Cillian Murphy, Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, and more. Well, the town is abuzz again with the premiere of the highly anticipated film here this week. If you are like me and like to mix your entertainment with a good beer, you are in luck! Los Alamos is home to the unofficial beer of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ at Bathtub Row Brewing.

The brewery is located next door to the house where the Oppenheimer family lived during the Manhattan Project. The beer garden that looks on the house is a real beer garden — not just a glorified patio. I often bring my own lunch, grab a refreshing beer, and sit in the grassy area under the shady Cottonwood or under the shade provided by maturing hops vines that cover part of the space. Both the beers and the atmosphere are terrific here.

Although Oppenheimer was more famous for mixing martinis for guests, apparently he was no stranger to beer. It was said to be an important part of his diet feeding those giant brain cells.

At nineteen, Robert was an oddly handsome young man. Every feature of his body was of an extreme. His fine pale skin was drawn taut across high cheekbones. His eyes were the brightest pale blue, but his eyebrows were glossy black. He wore his coarse, kinky black hair long on top, but short on the sides, so he seemed even taller than his lanky five feet, ten-inch frame. […] His diet often consisted of little more than chocolate, beer and artichokes. Lunch was often just a “black and tan”, a piece of toast slathered with peanut butter and topped with chocolate syrup. […] He weighed so little, never more than 130 pounds, that he gave an impression of flimsiness. As he talked, his long, thin hands made his gestures seem somehow contorted.

— Excerpt, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer* by Kai Bird & Martin J. Sherwin (2005)

In the run-up to the premiere, Los Alamos is just finishing the first ever (anywhere) Manhattan Project Film Series, a survey of the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Manhattan Project story and how it has been portrayed on film over the past 75 years. Hundreds of films have been made on the subject and obviously they are still being made.

In conjunction with the premiere of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’, this week starts Oppenheimer Festival which runs through the end of July at SALA Event Center, adjacent to the historic district in downtown Los Alamos. In addition to the movie, the Festival will feature unique multi-media presentations, props from the movie, documentaries, and live speakers on the history and implications of Oppenheimer’s legacy. Bathtub Row beers will be available on select days of the festival. The brewery is a short walk through the historic district from the SALA Event Center. Check out the link for more info and tickets.

The Unofficial Beer of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’

Great beers from the drinking town with a science problem …

Take a Beer Hike While You Are at It

Click on map image to open an interactive Google map of the beer hike routes

If you like beer hiking, you are in for a treat. As it turns out, the Los Alamos Beer Loop, one of America’s great beer hikes, starts and ends at Bathtub Row Brewing. There are both 5K and 10K variations of the hike. The scenery is great and there are multiple options for great beer and coffee stops along the way. I call it the “Unofficial Beer Hike of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’.

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