Bockumentaries: Beer on Film
Let’s face it. We all have a bit of couch potato in us. But that doesn’t mean we have to let our quest for beer knowledge languish. There are a number of fun and educational videos out there for the beer loving couch jockey. Not surprisingly, it is brew-guru Michael Jackson who delivers the cream of the crop in beer vids. Jackson’s The Beer Hunter three-volume set ranks, undisputed, as the most sought-after video for beer lovers. The VHS box-set includes six segments hosted by Jackson: California Pilgrimage, The Best of Britain, The Bohemian Connection, Germany—The Fifth Element, Holland—Our Daily Beer, and The Burgundies of Belgium. Probably the highlight of the programs is the visit to the Pilsner Urquell brewery, where we step back in time and catch a glimpse of brewing as it was 100+ years ago. Unfortunately, The Discovery Channel, which produced The Beer Hunter, has not yet released the set on DVD. Even the VHS copies, now long out of print, have become difficult to find and costly to buy. Your best two options: check your local library, or hunt for used copies at Amazon.com.
There are, however, some fantastic DVDs as well. Filmmaker Paul Kermizian’s American Beer is a recent standout. Five guys and a minivan set out to visit 38 American breweries in 40 days and, in the process, capture a striking portrait of the nation’s craft brewing scene. Interviews with many of the industry’s micro pioneers give a colorful mixture of beer philosophy, comical stories of early business tribulations and insight into the past, present and future of brewing. You can watch a clip and buy the DVD online at www.sixhundred.com.
Like a good history documentary? Visit store.aetv.com and search for, of course, “beer.” Among others, you’ll find The History Channel’s Brewed In America and Modern Marvels’ Brewing—both well worth the price. Or maybe you prefer some truly mindless entertainment. If so, take a peak at Vintage TV Beer Commercials of the 1950s & 60s, available at BeerBooks.com. It keeps its promise: “Perfect for parties and beer tastings!”