Oregon’s frontier mentality, to this day, is considered a badge of honor by the locals. While the rest of the world zigged, the denizens of the Beaver State zagged their own path. With the region’s general penchant for quirk and irony as well, the news that the last remaining Blockbuster in America now is getting its own beer is an “of course this would happen in Oregon” moment.
Bend, Ore.-based 10 Barrel Brewing, bought by AB InBev in 2014, has commemorated the achievement with The Last Blockbuster, a light-bodied black ale that they say has “nuances of red licorice.” The beer will launch at a block party in Bend on September 21.
“We’re stoked to share the home of the last-standing Blockbuster,” said Chris Cox, 10 Barrel Brewing co-founder. “The 10 Barrel team is always up for a fun time, so when we found out that the Blockbuster store right here in Bend was one of the last few remaining in the country, we immediately thought to team up with them to brew something special. Blockbuster is a cultural icon, and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate over three decades of movie fandom with them.”
The beer’s black color could represent the two Blockbuster stores that closed in Alaska despite John Oliver’s best efforts last April to keep them afloat by buying a jockstrap from Russell Crowe’s memorabilia auction—or the brand in general.
In 2004, Blockbuster had around 9,000 stores but, as digital players like Netflix began to run roughshod over video stores, the writing was on the wall. Dish Network bought the chain in 2011 and shut down most of the stores with the two locations in Alaska and the one in Bend remaining. According to The Washington Post, the store’s owners license the Blockbuster name and continue to serve a loyal customer base.
But for the time being, it’s celebration time as 10 Barrel will further honor America’s last Blockbuster by serving the beer at its pub locations in Bend, Portland, Boise, San Diego and Denver for a limited time.