The Local Brew

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a show called The Local Brew. Jared Cotton got in touch with me to help spread the word about their new episode. We traded a few emails and got my hands on a copy of their premiere episode featuring Stone Brewing Company. Yeah, I know, not Portland beer related, but they will be filming an episode up here during the summer, so I wanted to help them gain any momentum I could offer. Plus, it would be hard to argue that Stone Brewing isn't doing their share to make the beer world a better place.

Normally, I wouldn't have to state my impartiality, but this is going to be a very positive review. This is not because I got paid to write it (damn!) and I have no affiliation with this company (damn!). The reason that the review is really positive is because the show is that good.

The two aspects that I want to cover about this DVD are content and presentation. These categories do overlap a little, but to me, this is the best way to break this show down. We can measure these areas up to the mission statement on their site:

"In an attempt to put a face on the artistry behind each unique craft brew, we’ve set out to meet the brewers whose passion and skill are setting a new standard for what it means to be a great beer. We'll visit their breweries, hear their stories, and spread the word about craft beer. Along the way, we'll find out what makes local brews local. We'll show viewers new locations (and sometimes familiar ones) through the lens of craft brewing. You can call it an ongoing, purposeful road trip; you can call it passion. One thing is certain: we believe in craft beer."
Let's start with content. The show did a great job of balancing the basic concepts of beer, introducing Stone Brewing, and managing Greg Koch's discourse--all within the 30 minute runtime. When I talked to Jared, he said that they were shopping the show around to get picked up for a television slot. Hence the 30 minute episode. Don't worry, the DVD contains A LOT of extra footage. There some digital cutting room footage, outtakes, and a very cool extra feature called Beer Vs. Wine:
"DVD now includes full episode of the epic Beer vs. Wine dinner at El Bizcocho restaurant, documenting Stone Brewing C.E.O Greg Koch's historic battle on behalf of craft beer against the prevailing popular perception that wine is the only beverage suitable for pairing with fine cuisine."
The show does an intelligent job of knowing what questions to ask and how to ask them. Now, Stone Brewing already has a lot to say. From their CEO to their brewery tour guide, they produce as much information about beer as actual beer. Parsing through the massive amounts of content was probably a lot harder than coming up with content for this episode.

This brings us to presentation. The final show is professional and polished. The delivery of the information is engaging because of the varied mechanisms used to change the pacing and the... Ugh, my tone is getting a bit antiseptic. I think I need a beer.

There we go. [Sound of Stone Russian Imperial Stout Bottle Opening]

Perfect. [Sound of Stone Russian Imperial Stout Pouring]

Much better. [Sound of Stone Russian Imperial Stout Disappearing]

What I mean is, the delivery is not dry and boring. There was a lot of time put into the production and presentation of the DVD. There are many corners that could have been cut to save time and money, but it's obvious from this episode that creativity and quality remained a core value to the creators of the show.

The end result is a great show that gets our stamp of approval. You can get more information and watch the trailer at www.thelocalbrew.com. Buy it for yourself. Buy it for a friend. Do both! It's currently listed at $14.99, and with all of the stuff crammed on the DVD, it's well worth the price.

We're definitely looking forward to their coverage of our scene up here in Portland over the summer. We welcome their perspective on the beer scene here and are happy to have their contribution to the craft brewing industry! Cheers guys, and thanks for the great show!