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External Validation

It’s been 3½ years since Beer Wars was released. I still see plenty of tweets and Facebook posts about the film’s impact on viewers. But it’s nice to be reminded that this film is still relevant. And that it continues to inspire. While I love getting kudos from craft beer drinkers, I’m always delighted to hear from entrepreneurs in other industries about their struggles and triumphs.

Today I saw that Entrepreneur magazine listed Beer Wars as one of 10 Must-See Documentaries for Entrepreneurs.

Here’s their take:

A genuine David vs. Goliath story, America’s small artisanal brewers try to grab a piece of the market share from fizzy yellow giants like Anheuser-Busch.

Why it’s a must-see: Any entrepreneur attempting to break into an established market can relate to the challenges faced by these craft breweries. The point to be taken from this film is to always educate your potential customers on the superiority of your product. Sam Adams’s founder Jim Koch puts it best, “Almost all our beer knowledge comes from Budweiser, Miller and Coors. It’s as if all we knew about food we learned from McDonald’s.”

Lesson: It’s your job to find a way to reach your customers in such a way that makes them realize they deserve better — and better you can provide.


Hitting a Nerve

Now that the film is out there and easily available, it’s nice to hear from folks who happen to come across it on cable, satellite, iTunes, Amazon or Netflix. I love that the message is being heard and that people find the film entertaining and also eye opening. I just found out that a member of the Busch family watched it on demand and recommended it to friends.

Thought I’d share a few of the thousands of comments I’ve received:
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Sticks and Stones

When you make a film, you steel yourself for reviews. You know intellectually that not everyone will be a fan. Like real life, most documentaries are flawed. Your characters aren’t make believe. There’s no script for them to follow. You can’t just make shit up.

And indeed, as expected there have been 2 kinds of reviews – love and hate. Luckily, for my emotional well-being, the positive reviews run at 75%. I’m happy with that. Especially when they come from film critics whose opinions I respect.
Read the rest of this entry »

Oenophiles have SIDEWAYS and BOTTLE SHOCK; now their beer-loving counterparts can claim a film as their own.
- Rotten Tomatoes
A David and Goliath story pitting the country's smallest brewers against the largest.
Beer Wars: Brewed in America, is an eye-opening, funny and righteously infuriating documentary by first-time filmmaker Anat Baron. Her film (think of it as Suds: A Love Story) is also a pretty damning indictment of not just the beer industry but contemporary unfettered unregulated capitalism's disturbing excesses.
- Box Office Magazine
In Beer Wars, entrepreneurialism and opportunity go awry when tainted by greed and a thirst for power.
- Los Angeles Times
Beer Wars certainly raises some interesting questions, the most potent of which is, is this what capitalism is meant to be?
- New Times
For those who are keeping the American dream alive, this spirited documentary raises a toast.
- St Louis Post-Dispatch
A trenchant analysis unapologetic in its rebuke of Big Beer, Beer Wars is heartily recommended for patrons already inclined to opt for the local brew at every tap. It will also appeal to patrons interested in craft foods as well as homebrewed beer and wine and others particular about quality.
- Library Journal