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Nov
21
7

A Star is Born: Sam Calagione


This was originally shown at the Alamo Draft House in April 2008 as part of the Dogfish Head Off-Centered Film Festival.

It’s about fucking time. BREW MASTERS starring Sam Calagione starts tonight on Discovery Channel.

I first met Sam at the Great American Beer Festival in September of 2005. I told him then that he was going to be a star. He seemed embarrassed. But it was easy to see from our very first interview that here was a guy who was the real deal and a natural in front of the camera.

I got to know Sam over the 3 years it took to make the film. He allowed my crew into his home, his business, and into his head. I shot over 35 hours of footage with him in multiple locations across the country. And the rule of thumb worked – about one minute per hour made it into the film. There are so many gems that didn’t fit into the bigger story. Someday I hope to open the “vault” and share.

And Sam has been very gracious since the film came out. He showed up on premiere night in Los Angeles to be with a panel of his peers and at film festivals since then to help promote the film.

And yet he gets flak from “beer geeks” for being overexposed. Seriously, it’s time to stop. Yes, he’s a rock star. Celebrate it. He’s the guy Discovery picked to be the face of BREW MASTERS. And since it’s a positive message he’s espousing, he’s having no problem getting media attention. And that can only help craft beer.

I hope the show does well. I hope Discovery gives the wider TV audience a chance to well, discover it. I haven’t seen any episodes yet but since the show’s producers are also behind Anthony Bourdain’s NO RESERVATIONS, I think it’s safe to go in with high expectations.

So break a leg Sam. I hope you remember me when…

Nov
24
2

Thanksgiving

It’s been an amazing year. I finished my film. Released it theatrically and on DVD. And just closed the biggest deal yet which will get the movie into the mainstream. Announcement to come soon, I promise.

So much to be grateful for. Especially the supporters who believed in the film from the start (before they even saw it) and stood by it despite the naysayers. A big thanks to (in no particular order):
Read the rest of this entry »

Jun
16
3

Beer Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

Need a last minute gift for dad? How about something beer related? Sure, you can buy him a six-pack at the store but if you want to get more creative, here are some ideas…

And feel free to suggest your own. Just add a comment.

Jun
10
2

Taking the Show on the Road

I’m excited to take Beer Wars out to Texas this weekend and Boston the next. This will be my first opportunity to interact directly with theater audiences which is a great opportunity to actually have a conversation.

I’m looking forward to joining Greg Koch (Stone) in Austin, Claus Hagelman (Dogfish Head) in Houston, and to finally meeting Brock Wagner (St. Arnold) in San Antonio, all at the Alamo Drafthouse who have been waiting patiently for the film’s release for quite a while. I’m expecting the Q&A to be quite lively and I look forward to hearing what’s on people’s minds and sharing my experiences and perspective on the issues. 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.
- CNN
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