An interesting if rather rough tough article on beer and TV in the paper today:
"It was maybe too scripted and wasn't a beer show," said Lew Bryson, a beer writer and blogger from Pennsylvania whose own television show "American Beer Blogger" recently was broadcast on the Bethlehem/Lehigh Valley PBS affiliate. "It was 'The Amazing Race' for beer. I think people were tuning in and looking for more of a beer show. We're going to fumble at it for a while." The "Brew Masters" failure will make it more difficult for television executives to greenlight another beer-focused program because networks keep an eye on each other and copy successful formulas, industry insiders said. That's why there are multiple shows about pastries, tattoo parlors and storage lockers. It's not that people aren't trying to get a beer show on television. There's no shortage of pitches, including one that pits brewers against each other a la "Iron Chef."
Nice to see a lack of the usual hedging of the truth when it comes to things beery. I wouldn't have suggested it was "The Amazing Race" so much, however, as maybe "Cake Boss" or some other such upper channel cable glorified infomercial. But the point is a good one. It was a mess. But was it as much the problem with beer as the program? The only great representation of beer on TV I have seen so far was the bits of Oz and James Drink to Britain.
What I want in a TV show is a version of the old Jancis Robinson 10 part series on wine from BBC2. It was structured as a course for consumers as opposed to a brag up for a brewer or, worse, the hooray for everything approach that is so uncritical that it fails to engage. And I sure don't need "Iron Brewer" as, be honest, beer making looks really dull. Not cooking and baking. That's fast. Zippy. You see the creation made before your eyes in minutes. Yeast - even during secondary fermentation - have nothings on the "oohs" and "aahs" of someone testing the sauce or icing. Compare that to "look! grotty scum floating on a rocky yeast head floating above future ex-wort." Ain't happening.
But find a spokesperson for the movement, a great voice that speaks objectively and intelligently about the movement without having any skin in the game? Now that is what we really need. Who could that be?