Saturday, June 8, 2013

Beer Culture Hopumentary

This hour long flick runs us through the beer culture of the North American state of Colorado. Featuring great music, well handled camera shots, beautiful editing and some in dept conversation about the craft beer society in Colorado. Show casing Upslope brewery, New Belgium, Equinox, Avery, Left hand, Oskar Blues and Wynkoop (the guys who made good on their April Fools joke).

[caption id="attachment_633" align="alignright" width="290"]Papazian_Charlie Charlie Papazian, King of Craft Beer[/caption]

You learn some fun facts and see some familiar faces, Charlie Papazian being the required beer ambassador to any hopumentary.

Most are hunky dory with success stories, jokes on how stupid yet determined they were on fledgeling micro brewery start ups and how through all odds they were able to pull together their love of community with a few bubbly brews.

The down sloping aspect of the film was the Upslope guys. Call it my yeasty sense but I didn't give a hoot about the guy backing the brewery because I felt like he was one of those people who had seen beer culture pop up and figured it was a sure thing investment. After his wife looked him in the eye, pen to the paper of their second mortgage and told him that he had better make this thing work, the guy seems to have lost all connection to the joy of the brew. His Argintian brewer looks like a dedicated, honest bloke with the American Dream stamped on his back, while the backer was just that- the money and the idea on back of another's dream dust.

[caption id="attachment_635" align="alignleft" width="300"]IMG_2232 Manly or Boring?[/caption]

Two things that closed the door to Nitch's love of Upslope: the labeling of the beer (on cans, because that is the cool thing to do now) which was reminiscent of the silver bullet advertising from Coors and an odd joke about alien immigrants. When setting up their new China made fermenter the owner joked about there being a Chinese person stashed away in the delivery truck. Does beer culture need to be part of comedy about how horrible the work conditions are in a country that people would hide themselves in the manufactured items simply to escape? Perhaps it is one of those "need to be there to get it" kinda things or my dislike for all things made in china got in the way. Can one buy a new fermenter made in America? Upslope seems like a business that takes cues from it's competitors and cuts moral corners to make ends meet.

Equinox had the right of way with talking almost entirely on how they use local products as much as possible. Not all the time, but to the best possible degree. Beer culture is more then just money and beer. This concept of keeping it local was driven home by the finalizing debate over the Colorado liquor store changes.
"The consumer thinks beer is beer. We think beer is beer," Jason Hopfer in an attempt to lobby for the equal right of chain markets to sell higher alcohol.

[caption id="attachment_634" align="alignleft" width="300"]NewBelgiumBeer_TBL_66_resized New Belgium Brewery[/caption]

Beer Culture isn't beer is beer or boring as plain. It displays the passion involved in the beer society surrounding Colorado and the diversity of the time. As with all these films, I await future installments to determine rather or not craft beer bubble burst, breweries get stucked into Macro world or if dopple gangers saturate the once blissful world of brotherly beer love. Time will tell.


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