Coelacanth Brewing, AltDaily.com, bottleBOX & 80/20 Burger Bar are pleased to cohost a Special FREE Screening of “Blood Sweat, & Beer” – a documentary about the explosive growth of the craft beer industry and the dramatic journeys of two start-up breweries this Saturday night.
We spoke to co-director of the film, Alexis Irvin, about the beer business, using the wine industry as a model, and the positive impact of a booming local beer economy.
AltDaily: What is something you learned about the craft brewing industry through the filming of Blood that came as the biggest surprise to you?
Alexis Irvin: I think running a brewery sounds like a dream job to a lot of people, but there’s so much tough work going on behind the scenes we don’t know about as the consumer. For many small brewers, it truly is blood sweat and tears to get that tasty IPA or tripel to your glass.
The boom has been absolutely incredible to witness over the past few years. What’s your prediction for where the craft beer industry goes from here: plateaus about where we are, steady indefinite rise, or this is a bubble that will burst at some point?
We’re just now at the level of breweries as before prohibition, so I think there’s plenty of room for growth. There’s 8,000 wineries in the US, why can’t we have that many breweries?
Consumers often develop zealous brand loyalty for craft breweries they love. It’s almost the way someone loves a sports team, or their hometown. The reason for this must be more than just good beer. What are your thoughts on the source of the enthusiastic brand loyalty?
Beer is delicious and I think it’s a real point of pride for people when something that tasty comes from where they live!
I say Bud Light, you say ______________.
Excellent for frat parties!
What are your thoughts on the Hampton Roads brew scene? Did you follow the Coelacanth Brewing Company situation, or the City’s eager pursuit of Stone Brewing, and if so, thoughts?
I’m not from VA so I don’t know too much about the Hampton Roads brew scene – hopefully I will become well acquainted this Saturday 🙂
What’s going on in a local craft beer scene that means it has reached maturity? What are the telltale signs of success?
I think if people are making pilgrimages out to your town to drink your beer, you’re doing something right.
What cities should Hampton Roads be modeling itself after, craft brew wise?
So many great beer cities – Portland, San Diego, Philly, Asheville, Denver… all of these towns not only have great breweries, they have great restaurants too.
What laws or incentives have you seen that help grow a local craft brew economy?
Braddock, PA, a small town which we feature prominently in our documentary, and it’s a great example of how incentivizing local start ups, including craft breweries, can have a positive impact on fledgling local economies. We talked to several local and state politicians in the documentary to get their perspective on the positive impact of beer on an economy.
We’re excited for the viewing this weekend! What’s your elevator pitch to people on why they should come out?
This is an event in three parts. Please join up at any time. From 5 pm – 6:30 pm there will be a Beer Tasting @ BottleBox [325B West 21st Street]. At 7 pm is the Screening @ Coelacanth [760 A West 22nd Street]. The screening will include a Q&A session with the film makers. 9 pm is the “After Party” @ 80/20 Burger Bar [123 West 21st Street]. Space is limited! Please reserve your tickets here.