Semi-promotional documentaries seem relatively common in the beer world compared to other industries. For example, Budweiser released one called Kings of Beer earlier this year; you don't see that from insurance companies. I guess the theory is that people enjoy hearing about beer, so they don't necessarily mind if it's, asterisk, sponsored by Budweiser. Speaking of which, over the past couple years, the Brewers Association (BA) — the trade group for independent breweries — has shown a willingness to take more "big beer" like tactics to promote its thousands-strong membership… and now, that includes getting into the movie biz.
The BA has announced the limited release of its first documentary short — called For the Love of Craft. Though the short is currently available for Brewers Association members to view, for now, the BA's plan to release it to the public is by encouraging brewers and guilds "to host private screenings at their breweries, local theaters, and unique neighborhood locales in order to create special events around the film for beer lovers and as a way to draw in new fans."
As of now, five American screens are scheduled according to the BA: Montclair Brewing on September 18, Fishweir Brewing on September 19, Bell's Brewery on September 30, Archetype Brewing on October 15, and the North Carolina Brewers Guild on November 6. Seeing as the film has just been announced, it stands to reason that more screenings may eventually fill out the calendar.
The BA says that the idea for the flick stems "from the BA archive of photographs and more than 80 hours of filmed interviews with innovators of the craft beer industry." And the final cut does feature some of craft beer's biggest and most legendary names. The BA specifically highlights Larry Bell of Bell's Brewing, Kevin Blodger of Union Craft Brewing, Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Kim Jordan of New Belgium Brewing Company, and Jim Koch of Boston Beer Company.
Of course, the inherent problem with honing in on big names is that, if you're an existing craft beer fan, you may already be very familiar with some of these stories. That said, the BA seems to promise that the doc will feature more than hearing about Jim Koch's great-great-grandfather's beer recipe again. "From the luminaries and icons of the craft world, to the industry's newest players, this film takes a deep dive and exposes the desires, dreams, wisdoms, and naiveties of people pursuing their passions—through independence," the trade group touts. Sounds like a pretty appropriate thing to watch while drinking a beer.