Monday, March 24, 2008

A documentary - American Beer

Well it's not often that I will talk about a documentary here. This one is worth buying and I hope that in the future I can discuss more documentaries. Especially those of a more light hearted nature. Anything more serious I would put over at It's My Mind.

In any event, let's talk about this documentary. I'm not a beer drinker but for the past few months I've been interested in this idea that people can brew their own beer at home. They choose not to drink a Coors, Budweiser, or even Miller. Those are the mainstream beers out there.

Of course beyond those there are much smaller brewers out there. Some of them you might see at your local supermarket, liquor store, or bar. In other instances some of these brewers might operate their own bars or they may operate a brewpub. Essentially some brewers own a restaurant and they serve their own "homegrown" beer.

This is what American Beer is about. These smaller brewers who had a passion for beer and turned it into a moneymaking enterprise, even if they're not exactly millionaires. It could be concluded that some of these craft or micro-brewers are taking advantage of a market that just doesn't like the beer provided by the more mainstream brewers.

To be sure I haven't had a beer from a craft/micro-brewery. Though I do think about it, besides I can always find my way to Goose Island and have their craft brew when I get the first opportunity. What I do know is that I've had a Bud-light and a Coors and while I drank them I didn't have a great love and this documentary makes me even more curious about how much different these craft brews are.

This movie was a lot of fun to watch. These guys take a road trip from coast to coast from Maine to Washington state. They sampled beers from 38 breweries in 40 days. They interview these businessmen and women who own these breweries. They tour these breweries even taking a look at the oldest brewery in the United States, D.G. Yuengling & Son. This brewery is so old, these intrepid guys literally tour some underground caves where once upon a time they would store the brews before the time of refrigeration.

Some breweries are very well run and they almost look like major league operations. There are those that aren't but they might still be able to get the job done. Most of these brewers started off homebrewing with most having jobs one was a foreign journalist and another was in the computer industry and another still used to be a police detective. They all left their respective occupation/professions to become brewers.

I won't give too much away but this is a great road trip style documentary. Perhaps there might be other roadtrip style documentaries out there. Maybe one wouldn't want to watch a documentary touring bakeries or what not, but surely one documentarian can actually do one about visiting historic sites around the nation.

I would suggest though that you buy this documentary when you get the first opportunity. I don't know if it's available in a video store near you, but surely you can trust the internet to provide you with this documentary.

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