As the lights came up in the nearly empty theater I was sitting in, I felt like I had just seen a documentary made by a charmingly geeky executive formally of Mike’s Hard Lemonade who is allergic to alcohol. Now to be fair at the top, I give Anat Baron kudos for putting the time and effort into this project, after all, it’s good for the American Craft brewing industry, and we’re all interested in promoting the little guys, but c’mon, 3 years to put this thing together??
Let’s start with the positives. The limited cast of characters, Sam Calagione, Greg Koch, Jim Koch, Kim Jordan, Rhonda Kallman, Charlie Papazian, and Maureen Ogle were a good choice. I especially liked Rhondas story as I think what she is going through now, is reflective of what many of the American craft brewers are going through daily. I also very much enjoyed the interviews with the “villains” of the industry and the corporate video clips showing how they plan to cut the competition away like fat on a steak – nice work getting that footage! It will be interesting to see that if AB can slap a law suit on Dogfish Head over the use of the words “Chicory” and “Punk’n”, that they wont slap a law suit on Anat Baron for using their image and footage in her film, signed releases or not.
I’m certainly not a film snob, and like we always say on Beer America TV, taste is subjective, that’s why we don’t rate beer, but this film was preaching to the choir and offered very little in the way of new information to those who know anything about the beer industry. After the first hour, I found myself looking at my watch wanting to know how much longer it was going to continue. The movie was called Beer Wars, I wanted more juice, more controversy, more conflict, more interviews like the brewer at AB who insists that he is brewing top quality beer. I wanted a fat juicy steak, but I got an ordinary hamburger instead.
After sitting through this film and Ben Stein’s babbling moderation after it was over, I felt like I had just consumed an ice cold Bud Light – unsatisfied and ripped off for spending $15 on that 18 pack! With all the hype going into this film, maybe I set my expectations to high, but in the end, I pretty much got what I expected.
What did you think? Agree with me or not, I want to know how you felt about it, after all, the point was to “get the conversation started” right? Let me know what you think, did I miss something?