I really enjoyed this well shot documentary featuring several craft beer operations in cities like Denver, Ashville, NC and Saint Louis (in the shadow of Anheuser Busch, no less) as well as other locations in California, Texas, Minnesota and Delaware. It’s a visually appealing film, informative and sometimes down right inspirational – the entrepreneurial/American Dream in action!
The Ashville breweries (and there are many!) emphasize relying on using home grown ingredients and sources like the French Broad River, resulting in some wonderful, unique and seasonal brews. Of course, microbreweries have proliferated over the last decade but it was noted that American consumers still go for the major brands and the little guys cut and scrape for about 10% of the market share. But what an interesting and unique segment that is!
Also well depicted is the spirit, hard work and commitment shown by these brewers, often expanded family run operations. The nervous run up to the opening of the Black Shirt Brewery in Denver was particularly memorable after so much work (getting codes approval, piping issues, construction work). It was also interesting to hear occasional commentary from the owner of one of the pioneering microbreweries – Anchor Steam in San Francisco as well as insights from Moonlight’s Brian Hunt. The film does jump around a bit but it’s all good and worth watching for sure.
So next time you mix up a pack of unique beers at Kroger or down your favorite ale at Blackstone’s, give a cheer to the dedicated, passionate folks who worked so hard to make it happen for us lucky consumers!