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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hey, let's put on a show!

Hello, Faithful Readers! Time to finally let this cat out of the bag. Back in May, I was approached about being involved in a television show on beer. The idea was "American Beer Blogger," and it would be a blogger who went and visited places, talked beer, asked questions, and did things...and I was the blogger. They'd looked at my blog and liked it (as I recall, the guy (John Wright) said he'd looked at the blog and in one screen laughed out loud twice and saw a Star Trek reference, which was good enough for him.)

I thought about it for a while -- it's silly to think about at first, and if you don't believe me, just take a look at my picture -- and said sure, might as well take a shot. So not long afterwards I was up at Stoudt's at 7:30 AM, getting ready to do a day of shooting with Ed, Carol, and Eddie, and the incredibly friendly and engaging (and professional) crew from Green Leaf Productions in Easton. The guy who came up with the idea, Laz Melan (who owns the Pickled Egg bar in Easton), was there too.

We'd discussed some general ideas about what we wanted to do, but really? No script, not even a plan beyond we were going to talk at the bottling line -- not my first choice, but what the hell -- talk to Carol, and have something to eat. We made the rest of it up as we went along, and you know, it came out pretty well. I'm at my best in front of a camera when I'm not trying to do something from memory, so it rolled out pretty naturally.

Well, what then? Then we did a little more stuff, some wind-up stuff (which we later augmented at my Philly Beer Week event at Devil's Den, out of which you may yet see Christine Gumpper on the TV), and wrapped it, and the Green Leaf guys went back to Easton to edit, assuring me that we had some good stuff in the can. And then, except for the Devil's Den stuff, and a little more taping at the recent bourbon thing at Allentown Brew Works...nothing happened.

Well, not quite. They did show me the clip you see above -- hope you've watched it! -- and I thought, damn, that's pretty cool, and so did my family, but I didn't really show it to anyone else. Not sure why, but I didn't.

And then yesterday, about two minutes before Green Leaf's Kickstarter went up, I got an email from them asking if it was okay to put all those rewards that banked on my autograph to motivate people (HA!) up on the proposal. Sure, I said, why not? And away we went, and yesterday was a wild, wild ride.

So I'm coming to you to ask for help; specifically, I'm asking for money. Please pledge to the Kickstarter. The money's not going to me -- it's not really my Kickstarter -- it's going to Green Leaf to fund the full editing and marketing the idea to a channel. There are rewards, sure, and although some of them do get kind of interesting up towards the high end -- I'd like to come do a screening in your hometown! -- do it for beer. Seriously. And here's why.

I promise you that this is going to be the real thing, not infomercial, or silly-scripted, or "oh, look who I just happened upon today!" It's going to be me, calling a brewer, or bar owner, or beer store owner/manager, and setting up a visit -- just like I do all the time -- going to their place and looking around and asking questions and tasting some beers and having some fun -- like I always do. The only thing I may do differently is some of the stuff they had me doing in the teaser: actually working, if only for a little bit, because that's fun, and it's something I'd like to do anyway. But we'll talk beer, we'll get our facts straight, and it won't be boring.

So think about it, and if you have any questions, ask. I'll be updating this as we go, and keeping my fingers crossed. In the meantime, please spread the word!

Wish me luck! And pledge!


Skip said...

I don't watch much TV these days, but I've got to tell ya Lew, I'm pretty excited about this. I'm sure your great sense of humor and knowledge of the subject will make this show a pleasure to view.

I'm raising a glass right now, wishing you all the success in the world.


Marc said...

I would watch it!

Steven said...

Waitaminnit... were you actually drinking beer from the bottle?!

There goes the BA contingent. ;)

Seriously, this looks fun Lew! But I'll only support it if, once in a while, you take the foodie superstars to task -- Guy Fieri or Alton Brown trying to talk beer, Anthony Bourdain drinking nothing but Heineken no matter where he goes -- and all the while trying to tell us to eat good food.

Uh... Firkin? :D

Lew Bryson said...

If I get a chance, I'll do that,'ll be oblique. Too much good stuff to talk about to take time to talk about bad stuff other people are doing. I mean, I guess you could make a case that I shouldn't be talking about food!

But yeah, it's definitely going to be fun.

Rich said...

I thought this was going to be a web thing...awesome that you are going to try to pitch it to a channel. Good luck and I would definately watch it.

Richard said...

Very cool video Mr. B (B is for Bryson, Beer or Blogger, take your pick). Curious, how did the Stoudt's feel about being the "ginny pigs" for your pilot show?

Congrats and future success!

Lew Bryson said...

They were actually on-board before I was. Full cooperation. I've known Carol and Ed for years.

Unknown said...

This is an amazingly good idea, and I sincerely hope it takes off! I've done my part by writing about it on my beer blog, and I will be pledging too. Prost!

The Professor said...

@Lew ("... Too much good stuff to talk about to take time to talk about bad stuff other people are doing...")

That statement alone tells me this is coming from the "right place" and would be a fun show worth watching. Besides, if Tony Bourdain likes Heineken, what of it? To each his own. There are certainly lots of worse choices.

Good luck, Lew...sounds like a great project!

Steven said...

Well, I sure wasn't trying to turn Lew into a dark crusader, it just seems that beer gets little respect on TV -- and it's often from those who want us to be respectable of good food and what they're telling us is good food. So why not good beer?

Just saying. Regardless, I know Lew, and I know that this could be a pretty fun show to watch based on subject matter and personality.

Ryan B Anderson said...

Lew, are you at liberty to disclose which network will be showing your show if you secure the funding?

Lew Bryson said...

The funds are to complete the pilot and market it to a variety of channels. We don't know who might be interested yet.

JohnRz said...

Congratulations Lew. Just wish this could involve Whiskies too! Be careful where the money comes from though, if it's financed by the brewers some may think it taints your reviews. I sincerely wish you luck!

Lew Bryson said...

Money's not going to me, it's to the production company. As for taint...they'll just have to judge for themselves.

Amish rob said...

awesome lew ,can't think of a better guy to do a beer show!
Amish Rob

Anonymous said...

Lew It's been several months now and thousands raised. Just were is the the BEER BEER BEER BEER BEER Show?

Lew Bryson said...

Still trying to get it on the air. Working on individual PBS stations takes a while...