You may have seen Drinking Buddies, the movie that charted two couples relationships with the backdrop of a Revolution Brewing in Chicago. Now, the City of Angels has their updated version with “L.A. Beer” a sitcom Web series taped in front of a live studio audience.
It is a workplace comedy set in a brewery that stars Sam Daly (“Hot in Cleveland”), Arianna Ortiz, Kevin High, Alicia Ying, James Lontayao and Sarah Stoecker. The series is Executive Produced by Sam Miller a staff writer on the CBS show “Mom”.
The series will debut with five episodes on YouTube beginning May 11, in conjunction with American Craft Beer Week. Five more episodes will be posted in June to match-up with L.A. Beer Week.
If you were a fan of Season 1 of BrewDogs then you will be quite happy with the first episode of season 2. You have a great brewery to get to know in Fullsteam. With their motto of Plow to Pint. You have a great location craft beer in North Carolina (curiously not Asheville though). And a beer that will require working out after drinking it.
But for me, that pales in comparison to the two reasons why I enjoyed the Yahoo Sneak Peek. Bacon and Pie. Of all the segments of the show, I love the food pairing the most. And right off the bat, they mix beer with my favorite dessert, pie. Toss in that the baker at Scratch Bakery,Phoebe Lawless, is not a beer geek and the task for Martin and James becomes a challenge. And they relish a challenge. The pies looked awesome. More so than the beers. It made me wish that I was in the bakery when they were filming.
Second was the bacon. Beer brined bacon! That was then added to the beer! Fat and all. And from a local artisan no less. Again, I was suddenly hungry for bacon. The theme of the beer was most caloric hence the bacon and the maple syrup. A true breakfast beer.
Though I am amped for the LA episode. This was a rollicking good start.
A new beer show has arrived on Vimeo, it is called Limited Release. And it chronicles the craziness and passion of those highly sought after beers. They start with Kate the Great (which may be slightly less hyped since the head Portsmouth brewer has now left), they move on to Dark Lord and then to one closer to home, Black Tuesday.
They videos are a fun which I wasn’t expecting since I am not a big fan of these hyper hyped brews when there are so many other great beers out there. Nice chunks of history of the style of beer and the brewery. Check them out. It is much better than some of the new shows that will be airing later this year. Plus now you don’t have to brave the crowds.
I do not watch much TV. I have my favorite shows. I don’t miss Community, Fringe, Parks & Recreation and Doctor Who but I do not watch any of the “occupation” shows like Storage Wars or Deadliest Catches or logging or wifery.
But I would like to see a show on craft beer. Especially if it was focused on someplace where I can’t go or can’t go to often enough. But as you can tell by what my current favorite shows are, I am nowhere near the target market of practically any network. I am too old. I do not buy what is advertised. I am way too discerning a customer and I simply do not believe that clutching a BMC (Bud-Miller-Coors) beer will automatically attract ladies to my side.
And that is half of where the problem lies. The average beer geek is not in the demographic that advertisers (floundering as they are in the age of skipping any and all commercials) want to reach. First of all, they buck trends. Something that is practically anathema to an industry driven by watching trends and capitalizing on them. You have a hard time selling a crappy sub sandwich to a person who is actively looking for quality in a product.
Secondly, the craft beer world, though growing as opposed to the downward spiral of BMC, is still but a small percentage of the world of BEER. So even though we are passionate and love to watch our people in action and will tune in and talk about it ad nauseum on the interwebs, still only make for a modest success at best. And you just cannot pit a pittance of viewers against the unlimited ad cash of the BMC and hope to keep a show on the air. Discovery and Dogfish Head and the amazingly magnetic (I have seen the magnetism in person) Sam Calagione could not pull enough to surmount that mountain.
But I am still not pessimistic about the future marriage of Craft Beer and TV. I think it can work. And it will work in two different ways.
First, you will see craft beer in more and more product placement. TV needs to pay the grips and props and actors and if commercials ain’t doing the trick then the in show ads will have to. And with our breweries growing bigger and bigger, there might be some loose cash for a modest placement because it is the step before commercials. I envision seeing Sierra Nevada in a bar scene or being pulled from a fridge in New Girl. (instead of the faux Heisler brau).
Second, there will be a cable show about beer but it will be on the travel angle or the cooking edge. A straight up occupation show it will not be. My crystal ball guess is that a home brew show will be first to make a mark and then a travelogue with a host going from city to city talking with the craft beer folk in each town. Maybe in a van like the A-Team had. Wouldn’t that be cool?