The Academy Awards might be over, but there’s one category of film they overlooked. They’re not really documentaries, though they do document a vital element of our culture. Statuettes were handed out for best leading actor and actress, but there’s a new star in some clips that certainly play a leading role in one of the highest art forms. And oddly, though all sorts of awards go to special effects, what do we root for more than the way this particular subject matter affects our beer?
I’m talking about hops. Given that craft beer—while experiencing immense growth on the industrial and consumer interest sides—is still only about 5 percent of the market, it can be assumed at 95 percent (or more) of beer drinkers don’t know squat about hops. It stands to reason that, once consumers discover what hops even really are, they’re more likely to discover what beer can really be.
Where can people learn about hops? I have one idea. And if you can hold your breath ‘till September, there’s Stan Hieronymus’s tell-all book, For the Love of Hops (Brewers Publications). But this isn’t about the Pulitzer for hops. This is for the should-be category of Best Usage of Hops in a Short Film. The following two brewery-produced clips just came to my social-media attention and are highly deserving of being nominees.
Bar Hop-ping: Boston Beer Co. sent some Sam Adams lovin’ dudes around town in what could be a set-up for a joke, “A bag of hops walks into a bar,” to gauge how people react. The best lines come from bartenders themselves: “This does not belong in the bar” and “Get this $#!+ out of here! What do you think this is, Amsterdam?”
Resin: Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Brewery gets spiritual, historical, and downright transcendental about the hop cone as one of the most popular spices on the planet. Is it an ad for their Resin Double IPA? Sure. But moreover, it tantalizingly celebrates our generally agreed upon favorite flower’s place in the circle of life.
Hop Trip: The first one was shot guerilla hand-cam style, the second looks a lot more polished, and both are more succinct yet less giddy than this one I recalled from years ago, Deschutes’s ride-along for their that portrayed the laborious—and worthwhile—efforts that go into making a fresh hopped beer.
Obviously you enjoy drinking this A-list ingredient in your beers. Do you also like learning about hops in breweries’ marketing videos? If you know of any others or have a favorite homemade Youtube vid starring Hugh Mulus Lupulus, please cast your vote in the comments.