Brews and Books is moving to BrewsAndBooks.com! Please change your links, bookmarks, RSS or e-mail subscriptions. This feed will no longer be updated after March 31st. Thanks for understanding, and I look forward to seeing you at the brand-new site!
Rally the troops!
Haven’t you heard? There’s a war on – a battle for the very soul of the American beer drinker. The creative entrepreneurs in the craft beer industry are fighting the corporate behemoths of beer, the huge companies that sell about 95% of the beer in the country. Not only that, but the distribution system for US beer is stacked hugely in favor of the big beermakers, creating a huge barrier small brewers have to overcome to even get their beer on store shelves.
If you want to see a modern day David versus Goliath story, you need look no further than the American beer world.
Anat Baron’s Beer Wars, coming to theaters nationwide April 16th, tells the story of this ongoing battle. For one night only, the movie will be shown at 440 theaters nationwide (including one here in Maine in Brunswick). After the showing, Ben Stein – yes, that Ben Stein – will lead a live discussion with America’s leading independent brewers and experts, simulcast to the theaters.
If the trailer and buzz for the film are any indication, Baron has put together an awesome documentary in Beer Wars. The struggle of craft brewers is shown mostly through the eyes of Sam Calagione (of Dogfish Head) and Rhonda Kallman (of Boston Beer Company), though other interview subjects range from the CEOs at Miller and Coors to brewery founders, store owners, and lobbyists.
This movie hits on a trend in public sentiment, as people realize the importance of supporting local and independent businesses in a community. As Anat put it herself when asked why people should care about the movie and the struggles of small breweries;
If you want to decide what beers you can drink, you should care. If you believe in consumer choice, you should care. If you believe in free enterprise, you should care.
And you should care! Love your local, support independents, and shop indie (beer)! I know I’ll be at the theater on April 16th when this movie premieres, and I hope you are too. Spread the word about the documentary, “Stumble” it, and become a fan on Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook.