Big beer bad. Micro-breweries good.

Filed Under: Reviews/Giveaways

When I was still writing for b5media and specifically their Spirits category – booze not ghosts – I was sent a movie to review: Beer Wars.

As seems to happen to things I intend on watching or reading, one of the kids quickly carted the DVD off and it wasn’t until Tucker rearranged the living room that Beer Wars was rediscovered.

In an effort to watch something that didn’t involve stuffed animals or princesses and also with a smidge of mean-spiritedness – since we are now satellite free and the kids really wanted to watch a cartoon DVD – Tucker popped Beer Wars in and we settled down to what we hoped would be 89 minutes well spent.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a beer connoisseur. I’ve tried my fair share of beer and have decided the mainstream domestic offerings aren’t for me. I probably went into this already a bit biased against “the big three”.

And, in fact, I don’t even like the “foreign” beer that much. I’m just not a beer girl. Give me a nice gin and cranberry and I’ll follow you to the ends of the Earth.

But, hey! I like documentaries and I was game. Plus the kids were bugged by it and I was feeling punchy.

The whole takeaway of the movie is that just about all the beer you buy, if you just run into your local gas station or local supermarket, you’re buying from one of the three main beer makers – Anheuser-Busch, Miller or Coors. And then there was the merger of Miller and Coors – that went through, right? Which doesn’t necessarily change the market share so much as it concentrates that share down into two companies.

Big beer bad. Micro-breweries good.

And Beer Wars [affiliate link] made a pretty compelling argument…even if the music that always seemed to play when Anheuser-Busch was shown was a bit ominous.

The two highlights of the documentary were Jim Koch from Samuel Adams and Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales.

I bet you’ve heard of Koch and if not him then you’ve probably heard of Samuel Adams – the beer not the Founding Father. Great TV ad campaigns and they’ve managed to keep it “real” while still claiming their part of the beer market.

Dogfish Head was a whole new thing to me. Their packaging is freakin’ awesome and the owner/creator Calagione [and his family] have put their financial asses on the line and they’re expanding and it looks like their bet just just might be paying off. If there was a distributorship closer to us, I’d be throwing down the cash to try their wonderfully named brews in a hot second.

So bottom line?

Even if you’re not a beer lover – but you enjoy witty documentaries – you’ll like Beer Wars. 89 minutes well speant.