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Aylam Orian: Crafty Celebrity Stories

Actor Aylam Orian (left) regales us with tales of ale.
Actor Aylam Orian (left) regales us with tales of ale.

Actor Aylam Orian joins The Beer Connoisseur for the next installment of Crafty Celebrity Stories, which features the best tales of ale (and more) from leading actors, celebrities and persons of interest.

Aylam was featured in a 2016 episode of NCIS: Los Angeles as David Zahavi, and he is currently starring in the newest addition to the famed Stargate franchise as fearsome villian Dr. Wilhelm Brücke in Stargate Origins.

Beer drinkers like to laugh. What’s the funniest drinking story you can share with us?
Once on New Year’s Eve when I was living in New York, I went with my friends to a party at some guy’s fancy apartment near Times Square. It had great views of the Square and really nice furniture, including a fancy white couch in the living room. As the night went on and the drinking went on, I was so tipsy at one point that I had to sit down on that couch to rest a bit. After a few minutes, I all of a sudden felt the urge to throw up, but didn’t have time to go anywhere. So I threw up right there on that white couch… not sure if anyone saw me, but being really embarrassed (yet still completely out of it), I remember covering it with the nice white pillows that came with the couch. I can’t imagine the poor guy’s reaction the next morning when he probably discovered what’s under the pillows!

Who's the coolest person you've had a beer with?
Charles Thompson, aka Black Francis aka Frank Black, frontman of the super-influential rock band The Pixies! I was studying film and music at the time in college, and visited Los Angeles in order to check out acting schools there. Being a huge fan of The Pixies, and hearing that Black was living in Los Angeles, I had the crazy idea to write to his manager and ask to interview him for the thesis I was writing for school, about modern Punk Rock music. Black agreed to meet with me, and so we met at a bar (that is long gone since then unfortunately) in the ‘valley’ area of Los Angeles. We had a few beers (which he insisted on paying for!), and for 2 hours talked about anything from music to espionage to UFOs to Mexican food, and the possibility of The Pixies reuniting (this was in 1999, way before they even had the idea to reunite, which they did in 2004. But hey, maybe I had something to do with it?!). It was one of the most amazing, and surreal, experiences of my life!

What are a few of your favorite craft beers and why?
I am not sure if you would call these “craft beers,” but the beers that I like the most are Guinness and Czech Pilsner. I always liked the dark, somewhat bitter and heavy taste and texture of Guinness, and it’s also attached in my mind to one of the best periods of my life when I used it drink it a lot: my time in acting school in New York. Now, being vegan, I like it even more since they announced that they’ll be removing the fish parts from their filtration process, which makes it suitable for vegans and vegetarians! I also used to like European beers in general, but when I went on a trip to Prague and tasted their cold Czech Pilsner (which is vegan-friendly too!), I fell in love! Maybe it was the fact that it was the dead of summer, and I was tired and thirsty, but that beer was heavenly! Don’t think I had such a good beer ever since!

Do you have a favorite (craft) brewery or breweries and why?
Due to the above, and to living in Los Angeles - probably not… but I am open for recommendations!

Have you attended any beer events or festivals that you particularly enjoyed? What made them stand out?
Well, I have attended the famous Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, which was an interesting experience. But a nicer experience has been (and I am going to drop the V word a lot here) the annual Vegan Beer and Food Festival in Los Angeles that I have been going to in the past few years. It’s an awesome event attended by thousands of people, and growing, in which you get access to amazing foods from various vendors and restaurants, and UNLIMITED beer tastings from numerous breweries and vendors throughout the day! What more can one ask for on a hot sunny day in LA?

What projects do you have brewing?
I am currently starring on the new TV show in the renowned “Stargate” franchise: Stargate Origins, which literally just started airing last week, on MGM’s new streaming platform Stargate Command. I play the Nazi villain of the show, and it’s great fun! Unfortunately, even though I play a German character, we didn’t have any scenes involving drinking beer so far, but I hope they’ll write us a few next season!

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