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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

"I am a craft brewer" Vid--Oy

A video titled "I am a craft brewer" has been circulating the internets over the past few weeks. For some reason, I never stopped to look at it--until now. Man, is it tripe.

The idea is to distinguish craft breweries from faceless corporate industrial breweries, yet the video is so overproduced and badly-written that it sounds a whole lot like faceless corporate propaganda. The swelling music, the painful sincerity of the speakers, the insistence on first-person readings of pap that obviously came out of a marketer's brain--all of this is terrible.

This is one of those times when a less-produced and funny approach would have been way, way more effective.


  1. Yes! Finally someone else who doesn't like this vid. I've been trying to convince people it's crap ever since I saw it. The video should have celebrated craft beer rather then just trash BMC.

    Between this vid and his speech he gave at a beer event Grag Koch has officially made my list of people I don't like.

  2. the Doctor posted the video about 1-2 weeks ago and described it as inspirational. ;-}

    I think the MEAT of what is being said is inspirational, but the video is as you say, "Overproduced" and looks similar to what the "Corporate world" would produce...kind of a strange hypocrisy??

  3. Ask yourself the following questions:

    "Who was this video made for?"

    Or if you dislike ending sentences with a preposition:

    "For whom was this video produced?"

  4. OutsideLookingIn12:54 PM, May 05, 2009

    Ralph, that is the question. The main problem is that the video went viral. This was meant for an internal pep rally of craft brewers. Some of those insiders posted it on the internet and now have made the craft beer community look even more insular and self absorbed.

  5. Heh heh.

    Heh heh.

    When I commented on the video a week or so ago, my head was handed to me on a platter, nicely chopped. (Mostly in private, I might add. My e-inbox was on FIRE.)

    (Good thing I'd toned down my original thoughts before I posted them. (My original thoughts being "Ugh.")

    Heh heh.


  6. I can't help but think that this kind of complaint sounds a lot like, "I liked them before they were famous." It doesn't work for me with "indie" rock, and it doesn't work here.

    Or perhaps even better, that fantastic line from some homebrewers/craft brewers: "Not brewed with adjuncts." Huh?

    I'm not even really sure what "overproduced" means: That they had someone who knew how to light? How to edit? That it wasn't just the product of some guy in his basement opening up iMovie for the first time?

    I don't know how this compares to "corporate" (all beer companies are corporations) videos, but compared to something like Beer Wars, this was pretty fantastic.

  7. ^^ Amen John. Sounds like some folks are reaching.... trying too hard to hate it for the wrong reasons.

  8. Chris Nascimento6:10 AM, May 06, 2009

    I have been too busy to see this video, but I will say this about Greg: I have found him to be an extremely approachable, friendly guy. He is great to talk to & more than willing to talk about homebrewing, great tap houses & anything else related to brewing, plus some things that are not. I don't think one video should be taken to define him, Stone, or anyone else. I saw some comments regarding judgements made on him from this video, I felt I needed to share my thoughts. If you wish, you may share with me your thoughts & opinions @brewnas on Twitter or



  9. I enjoy this video and love seeing all the faces of the brewing industry but about 1/2 way through began to think, are we still talking about beer? It seems far too serious, as if the topic is fighting world hunger...

    I love all the attention craft brewing and beer wars has received, but lets not forget that we're talking about suds here!

    Perhaps some humor and less production would have made it more in line with the brewers and beer nerds I know...

    Still a fun video, keep fighting the good fight Greg!

  10. Based on my traffic flow, I'd say my comments are getting picked up somewhere. In case anyone reads down this far, let me say that I intended no insults to the obviously very sincere intention of whomever made this video. I am in wholehearted agreement with the sentiment. But as a movie buff and one-time indie documentary film wannabe, I find the execution wanting. That's my only criticism.

  11. Jeff,

    Your blog post got Tweeted by @Cicerone_org and I Tweeted the link to your blog from @StoneGreg and @IAACB (the I Am A Craft Brewer account). It got retweeted by @BeerAdvocate.

    Thanks for the good words. No worries any's good to have a conversation and I in no way take insult. "Tripe,""pap," "poorly written" and "overproduced" are pretty mild. ;-]-=

    Amazingly, more than half the shots were shot with a little HiDef camera about the size of a Nerf football (and only twice as heavy) that we UPS'd to folks and they shot themselves. The Mayor of Denver, John Hickenlooper, had a professional camera crew do his shot (turned out a little rough, and the "nerf" camera that we sent to Ron Jefferies --- his wife shot his footage --- turned out better). It's amazing how inexpensively something can be 'overproduced' these days!

    True, Chris & Jared* that edited it are indeed actual professionals.



    * Different Jared than the poster for whom on their official "people I don't like list"...errr, at least I think it's a different Jared. LOL

  12. It's propaganda, but not faceless corporate propaganda. Afterall the simple fact is there are actually many faces in that video, it's what it was all about, putting some faces to the craft beer industry. This day and age people can produce things rather nicely on a Mac and an HD camera bought at best buy. Also the craft beer industry is full of funny approaches, less-produced approaches (after all the majority of great craft beers out there are all produced on what I would call a "less-produced" approach!). It was nice to see a produced spot put together to represent the industry in a more "professional" manner so-to-speak. Seeing this video for the first time when it was originally shown was inspirational for the craft industry, and seeing it now still is. It sums up the industry quite well, that it is a compilation of many, everyone is a supporter of everyone else and the industry as a whole, and let's many entrepreneurs out there say the 1 simple line that they are a craft brewer, it's a great thing, and it's all just about great beer.

  13. Hey Maureen-

    "I was a craft brewer." That's the movie I want to make. Because, I was at one time, according to the BA and the video. But alas, I work for August Schell now, and we are not craft brewers (just ask the BA). Never mind the fact that we will celebrate our 150th year in 2010 as the second-oldest family owned brewery in the US. We survived prohibition, a Native American uprising that burned New Ulm to the ground, and the vanishing of regional breweries in the 70's and 80's. Forget the fact that we sold a tree on our grounds in the 80's to pay the bills. Discount that we brewed a German Pilsner and Weizen in 1986.

    Because, the fact is, the bulk of our production uses corn as an adjunct. And even if you discount that beer, we would still produce a larger volume of non-adjunct beers than most of the top craft breweries. But hey, what does that matter?

    No, I am not a craft brewer, and I'll happily be that for another 150 years.


    David Berg
    August Schell Brewing

  14. Jeff-

    Sorry, I thought I was posting to Maureen's site, but you have it here as well.

    David Berg
    August Schell Brewing

  15. Cue the soft-focus lights.

    Cue the Sarah McLachlan.

    Cue the Golden Retriever.

    Yeah, I had to get a stronger beer in me to watch this thing, and boy is it a doozie.

    Memo to Craft Brewers:

    1. Corn and Rice can make for some decent additions to the fermentables. They are not intrinsically evil.

    2. With this video you folks are trying to sell me on a bill of goods, and I do not like that prospect.

    Memo to everyone else:
    Drink what you like, folks.

    As for me I'll drink whatever I can afford!