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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Alan -

On the other hand, beer is waaaay better photographed than food is.

Laurel Dempsey -

maybe Jordan?
Although I am of course not objective

Simon Tucker -


The Beer Nut -

I thought BBC 4's recent Timeshift: <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b019c85h"The Rules of Drinking</a> was very close in style and tone to what I'd want in a good beer show. And I thought Pete Brown played a blinder in it.

The Beer Nut -

I thought BBC 4's recent Timeshift: The Rules of Drinking was very close in style and tone to what I'd want in a good beer show. And I thought Pete Brown played a blinder in it.

Gah. It's too early for proper HTML.

Alan -

Simon, that's the sounds track that follows me around all day, too. If you compare where Jackson and beer was then with Oz and James, you can see the contrast between them. Jackson is not yet hooray but he has to be so basic. Handy that I have grocery store French from being Canadian and worked in Holland, too. Thanks for the link.

Pivní Filosof -

I had a rather long cameo in a pilot for a TV show about Czech breweries that got nowhere really. The idea, in my opinion, was flawed. The plan was 13 episodes, each of them presenting a brewery, from regional to multinationally owned. Nothing wrong with that, but it was sponsored by PIlsner Urquell (or so these people told me), and I think there is a lot more to tell about beer than just "this is the mash tun", "this is where the beer ferments", "these are the lagering tanks". "Here, have some". There was no plan to visit maltings, hop growers, brewpubs or pubs.

That's what I would like to see, a show that not only shows me a few breweries and their owners, but also the other links in the chain...

dave -

The "iron brewer" show (or at least, an "iron brewer" type of show) taped the pilot (or part of the pilot) at Boston's Harpoon brewery. They sent out an email, a long while back, for people to be in the audience. It really didn't sound like a pleasurable experience in the least ("Has their water hit the proper temperature?!?!? What type of hop pellet are they using, b/c they all kind of look the same?!?!?").

I'd go back to the previously discussed "Top Beer" as a show I would watch.

Oz and James Drink to Britain certainly was an enjoyable watch (though James got a little bit whiny at times).

For a movie American Beer was pretty good. Though probably to "rah-rah" for your liking.

Craig -

I agree that a format like Drink to Britain might work better. As entertaining as Lew is, I think you need an "under educated in the world of beer" star to pull it all together. What made the James May/Oz Clarke show enjoyable was the Felix and Oscar slant the producers took. It was the dynamic of the two men, not necessarily the topic that was successful.

Jeff Alworth -

At the risk of losing one of my great ideas by injecting it into cyberspace (but also at the risk of gaining it, since all my ideas die eventually) I offer a brainstorm I had a few years back.

Find four to six start-up breweries that each have radically different plans. One's a brewpub, one's a production brewery. One's focused on small-batch artisanal beer, one is focused on making a business of mainstream craft beer. Find someone who comes out of a brewing background and someone knew to the business. Nano? I'm sure you could find some high concept stuff, too, which would be fun (like Ommegang before it was Ommegang). I interviewed a not-yet brewery in North Dakota that planned to sell only Belgian ale. Make sure you have regional variation and breweries located in places with friendly and unfriendly laws, easy and hard distribution, and so on.

Find these entities at a very early stage in their lives and film them for a couple years. Some will make it, some won't. All will struggle. Along the way, the art and business of beer will be unspooled to the audience, whose interest is piqued by the travails of the entrepreneurs as they make their way through the minefield of starting a business. In the end: triumph, loss, and a much edified audience.

Sean Liquorish -

I wondered about this the other week myself and concluded a short run series is possible, but would like to see it in the fashion of "food and drink" from the 90's with mix of studio and OB's. I've posted it here http://www.seanliquorish.co.uk/blog/?p=784

Alan -

Maybe called "Two Fat Gentlemen"?

Bailey -

Jeff's idea is a good one. We've had no end of shows here about guys opening bakeries, starting farms, restaurants, etc.. -- the business angle and the fact that something is at stake provides narrative drive.

This from a couple of years ago was interesting.

Ron Pattinson -

I thought the Oz Clark and James May programme was dreadful. Two ignorant twats more interested in making man-bonding jokes than the supposed subject of the programme. Highlight being Oz's "facts" about Porter which were total bollocks.

I'd like to go around filming interviews with retired brewers. Not to make a programme, just as an historical record.