Blood, Sweat & Beer
It's been a while since I reviewed a beer movie. Crafting a Nation was great, and definitely worth watching. Next up is Blood, Sweat & Beer.
Blood, Sweat & Beer is a documentary movie, written and directed by Chip Hiden and Alexis Irvin, that focuses on the growth of two new American craft breweries; Backshore Brewing (Shorebilly Brewing) & The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company. It also sheds light on the explosive growth of the craft beer industry as a whole across the US, and the many challenges faced by new start-up breweries.
Check out the trailer below, as well as my thoughts on the film:
At the beginning of the movie, Backshore, named Shorebilly Brewing at this point, are already a semi established brewery on the Ocean City, Maryland boardwalk. The Brew Gentleman however, are yet to open their doors in Braddock, Pennsylvania.
Backshore, already being established are more focused on the day to day struggle of running the brewery & trying to expand in to the bigger market. There is also a very ugly lawsuit hanging over the brewery that has the potential to shut the business down, with another company having using trademarked the Shorebilly name for use on t-shirts.
The Brew Gentleman's story is more focused on them trying to the doors open and the struggle they face. Alongside that, we get the story of their background and how they got to where they are today.
Despite the contrast between the two breweries the one thing that is present between them both is their passion for the industry, and their passion for creating exciting, great tasting beer. The contrasting locations work wonders for the cinematography of the film; Ocean City being a picturesque seaside town & Braddock, more of a run down, working class steel mill town that is starting to get back on its feet.
The film makers also check in with more established breweries like Sierra Nevada, Brooklyn, Oskar Blues, Rogue & many more. These guys help give a picture of what the smaller breweries have in store for them on the road ahead, and how they fell about the future of the craft industry.
The other point the movie highlights is how threatened by the craft industry that giant brewing companies such as Ab InBev (Anheuser-Bush InBev) & The Miller Brewing Company are, and all the tricks they will try to squeeze the independent breweries out of the market. It is shocking to see.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Blood, Sweat & Beer. If you have any kind of interest in craft beer, whether it be a passing interest, or you are an enthusiast - I highly recommend that you check this one out.
You can find out more about Blood, Sweat & Beer by visiting the link below, where the movie is also available to stream.
4.5 out of 5 hops from this beer lover 🍻
Juice Springsteen & The Yeast Street Band
I love beer. I also love Bruce Springsteen, he's my hero. So when I was browsing Instagram the other day and came across a can of beer that looked like the Born In The USA album...my attention was grabbed.
On closer inspection it turned out to be a beer called Juice Springsteen & The Yeast Street Band. Awesome right?
Created by Amplified Ale Works, out of San Diego USA - this canned tribute to The Boss is a 7percent ABV Juicy Oat Pale Ale. Released in pint cans, the incredible artwork pays homage to one of the greatest rock albums of all time.
I have a great appreciation for can art. I constantly big up Beavertown and Brewdog for their consistently unique efforts. However, this tops the lot; it's without doubt the coolest can I've ever seen.
I don't know much about Amplified Ale Works, and hadn't heard of them before yesterday but I will certainly be keeping an eye on them now.
It's unlikely that I'll get my hands on this beer as I can't see it making its way to UK shores, however if it does I will be sure to shout about it, Springsteen style 🍻
Welcome To Brooklyn
During my epic week in New York, we spent an afternoon in Williamsburg, Brooklyn; home to Brooklyn Brewery.
It was a Saturday, it was my 30th birthday, and we had just been to Greenhook gin distillery which is also in Brooklyn.
After queuing in the sun for around 15 mins, we eventually got into the brewery where we are given our tickets for the free tour. The taproom works on a beer token system, so we got in line and bought ourselves some beer tokens.
Inside the brewery was such a great atmosphere; it was buzzing inside and the walls were covered in cool artwork. We had half an hour or so to kill before the tour, so we got decided to get ourselves a beer and something to eat. There was a varied selection of beers available on draught (around 15) and plenty of bottles & cans too – we were able to get something to suit everyone.
Over the course of the afternoon, I had the following beers:
The tour itself was conducted by a guy called Dan who worked there (I never caught his exact role), but he was very informative and insightful. Despite the sweltering heat in the brewing room, his did his best to give us a bit of history behind Brooklyn Brewery and explain the various stages of brewing. It's actually my first brewery tour, so I found it very interesting and loved getting to see all the various tanks and equipment used to make great beer.
Afterwards, Dan opened the tour up to questions and I got to briefly speak to him. Being from Aberdeen, and also wearing one of their t-shirts, I of course asked him if he had heard of Brewdog! He had indeed heard of Brewdog, and knew that they had great values and made exciting beer - he did not know that they were building a brewery in Columbus, Ohio.
Upon learning it was my birthday, he kindly wished me a happy birthday and gave me a free beer token. The next time I was queuing at the bar, he also let me try a sample of Brooklyn Brewery's latest release; Cloaking Device which is a Brett-fermented strong porter aged in French oak red wine barrels. It tasted great - extremely smooth to drink, and the wine flavour really came through.
We had an awesome afternoon at Brooklyn Brewery. If you are visiting New York anytime soon, and you like craft beer (I would hope you do if you are reading this) then I would highly recommend paying a visit to Brooklyn Brewery! It is a such cool location, filled with great beer and friendly people 🍻
Lets Beer It For New York...
I recently spent a week in the greatest city on the planet; New York City. My wife booked it for my 30th birthday, and it was everything I could have hoped for and more. Everything about New York City was amazing - the sound of the streets, the atmosphere, the people, the food, and what we are here to talk about...THE BEER. I had so many awesome beers in New York; some that I’d tried before and some that were new to me. I didn't manage to keep track of them all, these are just a few:
My favourite of the bunch was Ballast Point Pineapple Sculpin. This was my first beer by Ballast Point, a brewery I’d heard so much about - and they did not disappoint! Pineapple Sculpin is jam packed with sweet fruits and bitter hops, it is my exact kind of go to beer.
Without question, my favourite bar I visited was Beer Authority. This place was awesome. They have 90 beers on draught and over 100 bottles! This was where I tried most of the beers on the list above, including the awesome Pineapple Sculpin. Their beer menu was seriously impressive, as was the food menu...unfortunately we didn't get to try the food.
I can't wait to return to this incredible city one day. I've dreamed of visiting since I first watched Home Alone 2, and now that I've been - I can't get it out of my head...I felt at home there.
There's something magical about being on a rooftop bar, looking out onto Times Square at night with an ice cold beer 🍻
Crafting a Nation
Browsing the documentary section of Netflix the other night; I came across a title called Crafting a Nation. This was the blurb given by Netflix:
"Across the country, craftsmen are brewing a quiet revolution by following their passion, boosting local economies and making some tasty beer."
So naturally, I was intrigued and added it straight to my list.
You can find the movie trailer below:
Here's my thoughts on the movie:
Crafting a Nation follows two Denver brothers; Branden & Chad Miller as they build Black Shirt Brewing along with their family. Their goal is to open a brewery/taproom and It goes through certain troubles they face along the way from financing issues to DIY to dealing with the water & electrical bodies .
Throughout the movie there are interviews with other craft brewers across America - including some big names such as Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues & Boston Brewing (Sam Adams). I thought the interviews with the other breweries were very interesting and did a great job of highlighting the passion that they all share for making great beer. The amazing thing with some of these stories was that none of these guys saw each other as competitors - there were scenes where one guy would be wearing a shirt from another brewery, or guys from different breweries all sitting around enjoying a beer. The cinematography is great, and the way these other brewery stories are intertwined with the Miller brothers works really well
Overall I found Crafting a Nation to be a very insightful look into the business of craft beer brewing. The passions that each of these guys have for craft beer is amazing and extremely inspiring - I only wish there was more time spent showing the actual brewing aspect.
4.5 out of 5 hops from this beer lover 🍻
You can find out more about the movie here:
The craft beer kings of Colorado
I have finally worked my way through the selection of beers by Oskar Blues from my last Beer52 box. It was such a great variety of beers, I felt that I should share my thoughts with you all. The beers that I tried were:
Without doubt my favourite was Priscilla, White Wit Wheat, closely followed by Beerito, Mexican Lager. Priscilla was an exceptional witbier. Taste wise, there is some spice present, with a hint of coriander. There is then a sweetness to it with some slight floral aromas. They all come together wonderfully. Beerito was a fantastic twist on lager. A classic lager backbone with toffee/caramel flavours throughout...very, very drinkable.
Oskar Blues began life as a brewpub 1997, however they did not start brewing their own beer until 1999. And in 2002, they became one of the first craft breweries to can their own beer. They now have 3 locations accross America - one in Colarado, one in North Carolina & one in Texas.
Today, they are one of the few craft beweries to package their beers only in cans & kegs - not bottles. Cans help preserve the freshness of beer, and for me it's definately a noticable improvement.
You can find out more about Oskar Blues in the following places:
Next time you find yourself buying some Buds, Miller or Coors...think again and try to get your hands on some good quality American beer. I for one, look forward to trying more from this craft beer powerhouse
An enthusiastic lover of all things craft beer from Aberdeen, Scotland.