Blood, Sweat and Beer is on my radar at this year’s Film Festival in Newport Beach. I caught up with the Directors for a quick Q&A about the film. Read on.
Q: How did you decide on telling your story through film?
A: My co-director and girlfriend, Alexis Irvin, and I travel a lot with our first documentary, The Dream Share Project, which we’ve screened at about 200 colleges. As we’ve been traveling, we’ve noticed that there is a craft beer revolution brewing in almost every town we visit – breweries and craft beer bars are springing up everywhere. We knew that there had to be a story in the midst of the explosive growth of the craft beer industry.
Q: How in-depth was your research while filming in Braddock, PA?
A: …We filmed with the owners… Matt Katase and Asa Foster – Matt and Asa are a pair of 22-year-olds fresh out of college. They are seeking to use their brewery to revitalize the once-prosperous steel town of Braddock, PA. For the last several decades, Braddock has been plagued by violence, apathy, and neglect. However, the Brew Gentlemen Beer Co. hopes to bring manufacturing jobs back into town. This story grabbed onto our hearts and wouldn’t let go – we knew we had to make a film about it.
Q: What makes craft beer special?
A: For decades, the only kind of beer available in the U.S. was a light lager style. Basically, there were 3 major companies alll making this same kind of light beer – Budweiser, Coors, and Miller. However, craft beer gives consumers so much more choice – beer can literally have hundreds of different flavors, from bitter, to sweet, to spicy, to roasty, and on and on. It’s really exciting to live in a time when food and drink options are becoming more diverse.
I think consumers also really enjoy buying local products and meeting the people who produce their food and drink – which is something the big faceless corporations can’t offer.
Q: There are a lot of craft beers coming to market, How does their brew stand out?
A: Your question is one that we explore in the film. With so many breweries opening up, there seems to be some worries about whether or not the market is over staturated. Right now, the craft beer industry has had consistent growth for over a decade and is showing no signs of slowing down. There are over 3000 breweries in the country, which is the most we’ve had since prohibition.
I think we will continue to see increased demand for local breweries like the ones in our film: Backshore Brewing Co and the Brew Gentlement Beer Co. I’m not sure we’ll see too many more huge national craf beer brands like Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, and New Belgium.
Q: Will you be at the Newport Beach Film Festival?
A: Yes! Our film is screening at 6pm on Friday April 24th. We’re flying in to be at the screening for a live Q&A after the film. We’re also going to have an after party at Iron Press following the event. Tickets to the screening are available here: http://tinyurl.com/mqcxp7z
Q: Without giving away too much of the story, what do you want the audience to know about Blood, Sweat, & Beer?
A: This film is about much more than beer. It’s about the people behind the pint and the entrepreneur’s journey from blueprint to brewery. Even though beer is a fun product, we don’t shy away from showcasing the struggles and the blood, sweat, and tears behind the brewery doors.
Q: What can we expect next?
A: Blood, Sweat, and Beer was made entirely by two people – Alexis Irvin and myself Chip Hiden – which means that we have to wear many hats – cinematographers, editors, and now full-time publicists. All of our energy is devoted to promoting the film and trying to distribute it (netflix is a huge goal for us)
We have a bunch of ideas for new films – one project is tentatively called “Pretty Poision” and is a documenaty about dangerous chemicals in U.S. which is known to cause cancer and fertility problems and has banned by other countries.
Check out a few stills from the movie:
I look forward to Blood, Sweat, & Beer. Join in the fun this week in Newport Beach. #beachiebeautyapproved