Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Blood, Sweat and Beers....the Movie...

Writing a blog about beer has introduced me to some pretty cool people who share my passion for good beer (and good people).

Last week I received an email from Chip Hiden, a fellow craft beer lover who has been working on a documentary film- "Blood, Sweat and Beer",  which tells the story of two new breweries.

Now, I'm a sucker when it comes to helping promote the craft beer industry, and anything that supports it. Here's some info from the press release for the film:

Blood, Sweat, and Beer, a new independent documentary about the booming U.S craft beer industry, recently launched a crowd-funding campaign and released a trailer.

Blood, Sweat, and Beer is a feature-length documentary exploring the explosive growth of the craft beer industry, and the dramatic journeys of two start-up breweries.

The film follows a trio of 23-year-olds as they struggle to start The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company in Braddock, PA. Matt, Asa, and Brandon hope their brewery will help this once-prosperous steel town bounce back from decades of neglect, violence, and population loss.

The film also tells the emotional story of Danny Robinson (Shorebilly Brewing Co./Backshore Brewing Co.), an Ocean City, MD boardwalk brewery owner and restaurateur whose empire is threatened by an aggressive trademark lawsuit that could leave him penniless.

In addition to following these stories, the film explores the massive cultural and economic impact of craft beer in the United States.

Alexis Irvin and Chip Hiden, the co-directors/producers, filmed for 15 months in 14 states across the U.S.. The pair interviewed over 100 breweries and beer experts including: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Charlie Papazian, founder of the Brewer’s Association, Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., and many more. The trailer was recently featured on Paste magazine's website and on

Hiden and Irvin, both 27-year-old Maryland natives, have a rough cut of Blood, Sweat, and Beer and need to raise $12,000 by November 2, 2014 on to fund the finishing costs of the film. 

I asked Chip how they came to choose these two breweries specifically, out of all the new breweries opening in the US. 

Chip: "We knew from the start that we wanted to find passionate people and brewery stories with a narrative arc - we wanted brewers that were pursuing a big goal, dealing with challenges, or going on some sort of journey. We thought interviewing start-ups would be a good place to start looking for these stories."

"We first interviewed Danny Robinson from Backshore Brewing Co. (formerly Shorebilly Brewing Co.) on the day that he cut the ribbon to open his brewery. We really liked his passion and enthusiasm for beer and entrepreneurship and how candid he was on camera, so we decided to keep checking-in with him and capture his first year of business as he pursued a distribution deal. A few months after that, Danny's story took an unexpected turn when he was hit with a trademark lawsuit over the name Shorebilly and was forced to change the name of his brewery. As of right now, we're still waiting on the verdict of the lawsuit, which could cost Danny hundreds of thousands of dollars and might cause him to go bankrupt."

"We first met Matt and Asa from the Brew Gentlemen Beer Company at a Cicerone exam in Washington DC. We were instantly intrigued with how young they were (22 years old at the time) and how big their ambitions were. A few months later, we decided to check out their under-construction brewery in Braddock, Pennsylvania."

"When we first entered Braddock, it was like driving onto a post-apocalyptic film set. Homes and historic building were boarded up or falling apart. Ivy crawled over front doors. Trees grew through front porches and roofs. The streets were empty, and most of the businesses were shut down. We learned that Braddock was a once bustling steel town and had been left for dead many years ago. Now, led by the efforts of renegade Mayor John Fetterman, Braddock is struggling to make a comeback - and Matt and Asa want their new brewery to help liven up Braddock and bring manufacturing jobs back to the area.

"We felt that this effort to use beer to help rebuild a community was a great second storyline.

Check out the trailer above, and give some thought to donating a few bucks to the kickstarter. I'd love to see this film on the big screen.


Bill aka MDB

Monday, October 6, 2014

MetroWest Brew Fest- Thursday, October 9th.

2014 MetroWest Brewfest

Attention Craft Beer fans- I'll be at the Holliston Business Association's 4th Annual Metrowest Brewfest this Thursday, October 9th.

This year over 40 breweries will be represented pouring over 150 of the finest brews and meads in Metrowest and Massachusetts. The Brewfest will include live musical performance from the local band Hillbilly Pop. Food will be available for purchase provided by the Holliston Superette and Dogs on Fire.

100% of the proceeds from the Brewfest will benefit the HBA Capital Scholarship Fund Trust which also includes the Holliston Community Action Fund. The fund is an emergency fund designed to provide timely financial assistance to community people in need as well as provide annual financial assistance to charitable and civic organizations serving the community.

Tickets are $30 each and available to purchase at Fiske's General Store (Washington St., Holliston), 5th Avenue Liquors in Framingham and Millis, or at the door on the night of the event.

For more information, call 508.893.9941.