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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Go See "The Love of Beer" This Saturday

The Bagdad Theater is the site of the world premier of The Love of Beer, a documentary about women in the craft brewing industry. Alison Grayson filmed it mostly in Portland, and there are a lot of familiar faces. The thrust is that women are slowly making their way into a male-dominated world and being accepted on their own terms. It's not a feminist document (or if it is, it's only in the most mild, third-wave feminist mode), but it does expose some of the challenges women face. Grayson's point of entry was Sarah Pederson of Saraveza and Tanya Cornett at Bend Brewing. The movie follows them along over the course of about a year.

The film isn't a perfect documentary. It has a bit of a shaggy dog feel, and I think it would have been stronger if it had followed Cornett's story and used other women in the movie--Lisa Morrison, Teri Fahrendorf, and Pederson--as examples of other women doing other things. (I shot a documentary about the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake, and I recognize the challenge Grayson faced of reconstructing a narrative out of a potpourri of interesting footage.) Some of the music cues are strange and the chronology isn't always obvious. But never mind that. It's a very heartfelt movie and an honest one. You get a revealing look into the lives of women, see their challenges and supports. As a bonus, there's some really nice footage about the GABF, which will be new to anyone (like me) who hasn't attended. For Portland craft beer fans, it's a must-see. The feel-good movie of the year!

Saturday August 20th 730pm
Bagdad Theater, $6
3702 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214
Advance ticketing at Cascade Tickets


  1. The Love of Beer is informative and at times moving. But it has an unfinished feel to it. I thought the film would give general coverage to a number of women. That's not what it did at all. Grayson focused mostly on Sarah Pederson and Tanya Cornett. Lisa Morrison, Chris Crabb and others were reduced to cameos. The scene with Don Younger is terrific and there are many positive things here. The film is definitely worth seeing. But it falls short of what I hoped for.

  2. Pete,
    I wanted to have an intimate portrayal of some of the women involved while giving a broader introduction to the different jobs available in beer and some of the women who filled them. Unfortunately with a limited budget and the time constraints of a feature, I wasn't able to showcase everyone and went with the people whose lives were currently going through the biggest changes. I'd love to be able to turn it into a series and really get to profile more of the women involved...we'll see where it goes. Thanks for watching!

    Thanks for the honest review!

    -Alison Grayson

  3. Alison, I really enjoyed the movie and you captured some extraordinary footage. May this be the calling card that launches your next doc--or more to the point, gets you lots of funding for your next doc.

    Best of luck--