Beer Films in 2019


Chris McClellan


Beer movies, beer shows, beer documentaries…forever niche and yet inspiring in their creativity, passion, and authentic representation of the growing beer communities around the country and around the world. I put out a list a few years ago of beer movies that shouldn’t be missed if you’re a fan of the business, and it seems that the well is starting to run a little dry these days. Here’s the latest list for 2019’s watch list, featuring some oldies and goodies and some fresh faces to the media landscape. All of these are worth a watch, and while you might have to pay 5 bucks to watch them, you should…they’re all entertaining and drip with enthusiasm for the industry we love. They’re in no particular order.


1. Chinga Tu Pelo

This film is about 5 Rabbit Cerveceria, a Latin immigrant-owned craft brewery from Chicago, and their decision to stop brewing the Trump Hotel's private label beer ("Trump's Golden Ale") after he announced he was running for president. Not only that, but they took things a step further and brewed a beer in protest (Chinga Tu Pelo), which roughly translates to "F--- Your Hair" (hence the name of the film).


2. Brewmaster

Douglas Tirola details the rise of craft beer’s popularity and follows two enthusiasts chasing their American brewing dreams. Featuring a litany of industry magnates like Garrett Oliver, Ray Daniels, Jim Koch, Sam Calagione, Rob Tod, John Kimmich, Jennifer Kimmich, and more. It’s a little difficult to follow, but it’s energetic and passionate.


3. Pray For Snow

Pray for Snow is 10 Barrel’s (ABI-owned) high concept attempt at putting their lifestyle on display through the crucible of snowboarding, fun, and beer. It’s entertaining and worth a quick watch at 25 mins.


4. The Irish Pub

This film is a tribute to the greatest institution in Irish society - the public house, or more specifically, the traditional Irish publicans who run them. The characters in this exceptionally endearing film all run and own pubs that have been in their families for generations and it is through their warmth, wit and wisdom that we gain an insight into the heart and soul of the Irish pub.


5. Drinking Buddies

Luke and Kate are co-workers at a Chicago brewery, where they spend their days drinking and flirting. They're perfect for each other, except that they're both in relationships. Luke is in the midst of marriage talks with his girlfriend of six years, Kate is playing it cool with her music producer boyfriend Chris. But you know what makes the line between "friends" and "more than friends" really blurry? Beer. It’s been out for a long time, but it’s fun and you should watch it.


6. The Michigan Beer Film

Michigan craft beer embodies the uniquely American spirit of blue collar authenticity combined with innovation and entrepreneurship. Starting at Greenbush Brewing Co, the documentary travels the span of Michigan from Sawyer to Marquette and Grand Rapids to Detroit. Visiting brewers like Scott Sullivan, Ryan Sylvester, Eric Kuhnhenn, Joe Short; Hop growers like Brian Tennis, Joel Mulder, Jeff and Bonnie Steinman; Entrepreneurs like Ben Fleckenstein, Michael Kiser and Stephen Roginson. The Michigan Beer Film celebrates old core values in a new generation of community-conscious consumers and the proliferation of the Michigan craft beer industry. At the same time, the film addresses some challenges that brewers and entrepreneurs encounter in the midst of the industry’s rapid growth.


7. Garret Oliver Critiquing Beer

Epicurious challenges beer expert Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster of Brooklyn Brewery, to guess which one of two beers is more expensive. Garrett breaks down pilsner, Belgian White, IPA, Munich Dark Lager, barrel-aged and fruit sour beers before making his guesses. It’s actually very entertaining and educational.


8. The History of Pilsner Urquell

You cannot be a fan of beer without knowing a little bit about the history of the most popular beer style in world history…Pilsner. Coming from humble roots in the early 19th century, Pilsner’s meteoric rise started in the Czech Republic at the Urquell brewery….


9. Craft - A California Craft Beer Documentary

A few years old now, but California has over a thousand breweries now, and has been our country’s leading light in great beer since 1960’s. You should watch the full film when you have a chance…it should inspire you to go drink some great local beer.

Chris McClellan