A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Brian -

I'm Wit you on this. Who FN cares about the corporate side of beer?

rompinreggie -

Alan, You should be flattered that someone thought of you as a celebirity, worthy of a free pass. But, Miller, Buttgeiser, Pabst, Coors etc. are comparible to MacDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and maybe Arby's Bun and Run. You want good food, you go to Ma and Pop's Burger Joint down by the docks. You want good beer, you must hunt for it. Even when you find it, it may be in such demand, you have to get lucky to be at the right place at the right time. Going to the gala gala one night movie would be a waste of time; you could be quaffing back some great back room ale somewhere, and save the gas driving to a theater.
Me, I live where no small breweries exist. If I go to the bright lights(Vancouver) even then it's a challenge, so I have succumbed to second best, Scottish Belhaven, St. Andrew's Ale or Hobgoblin by Wychwood Brewery in England.
I hope you are not off the list of 'important and pretty people' to be invited to these events.

Steve -

Reasons I'm going to Beer Wars:

1) I love beer and I love learning
2) I like documentaries
3) I like supporting indie filmmakers, musicians, etc.

I almost decided not to go because of the Ben Stein deal. I was like "How dare they put his name on the marquee! I'm not giving him a dime!" But it's obvious that Baron's investor required a celebrity to promote the film, and I can understand why. If he wasn't such a lightning rod for controversy, this would be a non-issue.

And yes, this film will be mostly preaching to the choir. But, I convinced a friend to go with me. He likes good beer every now and then, but he hasn't quite "gotten there." Maybe seeing this film will make him want to drink more good beer more often?

It sounds like you're jaded because of the PR "machine" Baron has assembled. But I think it has been quite unobstrusive and civilized, especially compared to big Hollywood marketing. You're a voice in the beer industry, it comes with the territory. And of course your welcome to say No Thanks.

Knut Albert -

I couldn't agree more, Alan. I have been spammed about this for a long time as well - I think their PR people have seriously underestimated the irriation over the endless stream of boring press releases.

Alan -

Reggie, you are right. I am flattered and I am grateful for the good I get out of beer blogging but Knut hits it on the head. Every day, PR interns send this release or that expecting free advertising but when a sample is requested... silence. Or worse - something like indignation that I am not doing my part. And, given where I live, I never get to go to anything anyway... which also speaks somehow to the problems of the craft beer movement.

The other thing is that I think that the medium of choice - essentially a closed circuit presentation at a string of movie houses - is just weird. It is so weird that that would be actually something that might make me want to go. But it also smacks too much of celebrity for me. Except Ben Stein. I like him. I am against beer celebrity in the same what I am against elite socialists - its an oxymoron. It also goes against what I think we really need - a comprehensive North American beer consumer's organization which discusses a healthier beer experience at a fair price under safer and freer community regulation rather than the celebrity, the neato and extreme.

So go. I am not counseling against it. I just don't want to go myself. I am, after all, only the voice of me. And I wouldn't be able to fit in the five hour drive to the nearest showing anyway.

Lori B -


Twitter search brought me to your blog and I feel a need to comment. I love the fact that so many people have an opinion about the beer industry and what they view as right and wrong.

I am not justifying the PR campaign of one of the brewers. This did not come from the filmmaker. What I'd like to raise is have you ever considered how difficult it may be for an independent filmmaker to get their work out to the public in today's world? This is not a Hollywood film but the hard work of a small, independent who invested 3 years of their life into bringing it out.

I have not seen much coverage on how hard this feat has been - it's been mostly complaints about the “hype,” theater locations etc. This is the first film about beer EVER to be shown in a mainstream theater and 440 no less. And it's an independent film.

You may love or hate the film (when you get to see it) and that's the point - the conversation. You don't need to give a rat's ass; that is your choice. But it would be great if people got to see it before it got dismissed.

Will you blog about the movie later this week, without seeing it or wait until you do? The so called “hype” is not just being created by Beer Wars; it is a cycle. Independents trying to get their word out and others being upset and offended by how they do so.

Thanks for listening!

p.s. I wish one of the theaters would have been closer to you (and I am truly sorry that it's not) because I would have loved to read your honest thought on the film on Friday

Alan -

A link to who you are would be nice, Lori. Are you associated with the film? I am not suggesting you were nor should be but you are keenly affected.

As for this: "...have you ever considered how difficult it may be for an independent filmmaker to get their work out to the public in today's world?" I believe that is exactly what I was complaining about. The chosen path turned me off and I vote with my pocketbook though, to be fair, the distance and the border had much to do with that decision.

Hyping something whether this movie, extreme beer or a celebrity brewer is an obfuscation and a side track creating an independent cycle that obscures. But as no news is bad news, I am sure as many or more will think about attending due to my post so I would not worry about "if people got to see it before it got dismissed."

Steve -

@irrelevant outraged ranter:

I think I'm starting to see your perspective a little clearer. It appears that Kallman is attempting to hijack the film for marketing purposes. I found it really weird that she was on FoxNews with Baron. If I found out that the two had some sort of partnership, Baron would loose all credibility with me as an indie filmmaker. That being said, my reasons for going to the movie stand.

Alan -

That is cool. Tell us how it was after you go.

Anat Baron -

A few points to clear up...
As the filmmaker I can assure you that I have no financial involvement with any of the brewers in the film. Or anyone in the film for that matter. This is truly an independent film.
Rhonda is one of the subjects in the film and that's why she was on Fox & Friends with me. I was not aware that she was using the film to promote her company an have not seen the press release. I'm sorry it's caused such a negative reaction and hope it doesn't impact the perception of the film or the event.

Alan -

Thanks for that. And I don't think any of that needed clearing up as it seems pretty clear that the PR people have stirred the pot one way or another. You are getting a bit caught in a cross fire which I certainly stoked due to my irritation at the bigger problem.

Have a good showing tomorrow. Just for being so swell I will put up a post for comments from those who are able to attend Thursday evening.

rompinreggie -

Whooooaaaa, or should I say Wooooooow. This film, be it good bad, a true pack of lies, a blurry clear piece of someone's efforts, really has got some feathers ruffled. Nothing better than great banter. Keep it up.
All of you, have really tweeked my curiosity. Out here I will have to wait for our store to get it in on reel to reel. If this, what appears to be such a controversial film is as informing as this blog has been recently, I must see it, and form my own opinion. I promise not to comment, but won't miss everyone's comments this Friday.

Knut Albert -

And now twitter is filling up with Beer Wars again. Give me a break! (And yes, I've blocked the direct posts!)

Alan -

Oddly, the panel appears not to be paid or even have their travel expenses covered as Charlie Papazian has just twittered:

"Trying to go standby on a very early morning flight to Los Angeles tomorrow. For now it's time to head home for a homebrew."

Hmmm... I wonder if he says that last bit every day.

Adam -

Now this is what it's all about. Thanks Alan for keeping this an open discussion.