Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What if they had some Beer Wars...and nobody came?

The Beer Wars movie has been a huge buzz in the beer blogs for the past two months. A documentary about the big vs. little brewers, a must-see, down with the barriers, Sam Calagione and Greg Koch!

I declined to get involved. One, I thought the price of $15 for a one-night showing was ridiculous, particularly given that there were relatively few details forthcoming on the movie. Two, I was actually paying attention over the last 15 years. Which led directly to Three, the movie's topic seemed to be about eight years or more behind the times. There was nothing to write that wouldn't be pure speculation, which would only fuel a frenzy that already looked manufactured. So I skipped it. Didn't write, didn't go.

After reading Harry Schuhmacher's post about the movie, I don't feel a need to write anything further. Go read it. As he points out, other beer bloggers -- "(Andy and Jay and Stan and Maureen, for example, who are among the most respected beer bloggers out there)" -- have already talked about it, and their opinions are good ones; I found myself nodding in agreement as I read them. But Harry's... Harry's read like my own thoughts.

Give peace a chance.


Stan Hieronymus said...

Oh, so that's what it was about. Thanks for the link, Lew. Let's call this closure and move on.

Lew Bryson said...

Hey, Stan, for me, that was closure. That's why I said I don't feel a need to write anything further.

Moving on...already happening.

sam k said...

Excellent work on Harry's part. I hate hearing about the evil A-B, and have been defending them for years. Could be that they'll no longer deserve the support.

I'll check back in a couple of years.

Amy said...

I don't want to nit pick but Andy, Jay, Stan, and Maureen didn't all agree. One camp seems to be that the movie wasn't as good as it could have been. That was my opinion. The other side seems to believe that craft brewing is a movement that requires uncritical support. That seemed to be what Jay was saying. Maureen seems to think that because Anat made a movie we should acknowledge her effort and leave it at that. I support anyone who undertakes an independent project, brings it to fruition and achieves some commercial success. That is certainly what I have tried to do with my own book. However as consumers, viewers, or readers we all have a right to our opinions. Harry's piece is excellent and presents a much more nuanced view of the three tier system. The system was created during Repeal to prevent brewers from owning saloons, and to return alcohol control to the states. The goal was never to keep Americans from alcohol. Both the federal government and the individual states derive income from the sale of alcohol and they want that to continue.Although I can see that shelf space can be an issue for small brewers I don't see throwing the whole system away as a positive or likely step.

Lew Bryson said...

Not to get too lengthy, but...there were things in all of their posts that I agreed with. Jay's overarching theme of presenting a united front was not one of them (as I commented earlier today on Beaumont's blog), but I didn't really want to make this a long post. I was trying to make a statement with its brevity, actually. I certainly agree that we're all entitled to have an opinion; I just liked Harry's the best.

There's no need to lecture me about the three-tier system, either: we agree. (That's why I liked Harry's post.) I'm not one of the loonies that wants to tear it down. Poke a few holes in it, maybe, but I don't think tearing it down would work to the advantage of the craft brewers; it would tilt things even more in favor of the big brewers.

Still, as I said, I didn't see the movie. And I'm still not sure I want to. At this point, I think I'd be better off spending the time with my family and my puppy.

Tom E said...

Thanks for linking to a great read, Lew. I was going to join the bolggeratti out there and post my own review of the movie, but not now.

Tom E