The blog-o-sphere is abuzz with a new film on beer. (Barley Vine, Beer Philosopher, Brookstone, My Beer Pix, etc.) Beer hasn’t fared very well in American made moves, fiction or not, which will all change in April thanks to Anat Baron and her movie titled “Beer Wars.”
Beer Wars looks at the emergence of American craft brewers and their conflicts with the major brewers. The trailers on her website suggest we’ve got a great piece of work here. I simply found the production values so exciting. (However, I did get called up short when the late Michael Jackson came on the screen.)
Anat didn’t land the mega-distribution deal that drives a lot of the movies we see. Instead, she’s following the example of craft brewers and taking a different slant of the film business. She’s rolling out Beer Wars to a selected group of theaters and showing it for one day with a special panel discussion for just opening day. April 16th at these theaters. That’s it fellow beer lovers; one day to show the world your passion for beer. I have a call into Anat this week and should have more background on this feat.
However, this is just what craft beer lovers do. Whether it’s a limited special beer release, a great beer festival, a new market launch for a brewery, we always seem to know when and where. Would you put this out on any networks that you have and help other craft beer lovers catch this film. The trailers are pretty cool and feature a rogues gallery of beer talent.
As for the founding premise of the movie, head-to-head combat between big brewers and small craft brewers, it is a good story for all of us to share. After all, this is an industry of great passion. If you question that, read Maureen Ogles book, Ambitious Brew, and see how it was like as far back as the mid-nineteenth century. (I’m not surprised that Maureen comes to mind when writing about Anat’s work. Both are masters of their craft and have applied it to my favorite industry.) That’s what this industry is like. Passionate, competitive and responsive. The last bit is often overlooked.
When I first read Maureen’s book, I was swept along by her scholarship and her writing. (Another reason I’m excited about Anat’s movie.) She is a delight to read. I stumbled on a section of the book that we ended up reprinting in All About Beer Magazine about the emergence of the light lager, or Bohemian Pilsener, in the United States which came as a response to consumer demand for lighter beer! Now we’re thirty years into the craft brewing revolution and I am still convinced that it is a response to customer demand for fuller flavored beers.
Although the industry may struggle with access to market for smaller beers or argue about the integrity of contract brewing or struggle with “faux” craft beers and breweries, the customers continues to drive the train for whatever they want and, right now, there’s a huge population that’s in love with craft beers. After all, that category is the fastest growing segment of the whole beer industry, again.