Battle of the Brews

28 01 2011

I recently watched a documentary (beerumentary?) called Beer Wars. Really, really interesting look into the world of beer and brewing that most of us not only don’t see, but also don’t know about. The movie followed a couple of small-time brewers (including new “celebrity brewer” Sam Calagione – of Dogfish Head Brewery) as they attempt to compete and be successful in spite of big-time brewers such as Budweiser, Miller, and Coors.

If this movie doesn’t influence you to delve into the world of craft brewers, nothing will. The passion that these brewers have for their beer is impressive. Tired of watery and tasteless beers, many of these brewers began their breweries more or less for themselves. They wanted beers that they would want to drink. It’s almost like making money was a bonus.

In my opinion, this is a classic example of “the Man trying to keep a brother down.” The documentary also focuses in on the massive pull the big breweries have over the entire industry. They get first choice of store placement (Ever really pay attention in a liquor store? Bud – and Bud products – have the best allocation of spots in the store. Apparently, eye level is key. Bud more or less creates new products just to take up more space on the shelves to promote name recognition. Even the other big beer companies have trouble keeping up) and control what and how other smaller beer companies get distributed on delivery trucks.

I guess it could be said that this is just another representation of our country as a whole, but I really don’t want to get into that whole discussion! If you’re interested in that idea, or liked the movie Capitalism: A Love Story, then you will enjoy this flick. Anyways, I recommend this movie to anyone who roots for the underdog.

If you have seen this movie, let me know what you think. I’m interested to know other people’s takes. Does this movie influence you to drink craft brews more and name brand beers less (that is, besides the obvious taste factor)?

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