Pour with Vigor!
So begins the story of our story
As Directors and beer enthusiasts, it was an incredible experience for us to discover and document the amazing and compelling stories of the remarkable characters in BEERS OF JOY. This journey for us began as a desire to make the world’s greatest documentary about beer.
Having tempered our vision with the reality that we’d get 2 hours to tell the story of the world’s most ubiquitous brewed beverage, we refined our scope to follow people we had become passionate about. We first encountered individuals seeking to certify themselves as true experts of the craft of beer, Cicerones, and discovered the elite realm of Master Cicerone which at the time only 13 people had achieved. Among the several dozen people pursuing that ultimate certification, we met Ryan Daley and Joe Vogelbacher. Ryan’s story captivated us as a family man from upstate New York, achieving Master Cicerone would literally catapult him up in his profession of raising the awareness and cultural intelligence associated with beer.
Joe, on the other hand, had dedicated the past half decade to launching his brewery Sugar Creek Brewing Co. in Charlotte, NC. With his partners, they had carved for themselves an early and important place in their market of independent craft brewers, themselves seeking to bring the best of Belgian style brewing to their region in the US. Achieving Master Cicerone for Joe would validate their beer in a way few other distinctions could, as well as arm Joe with the ability to better guide customers and beer enthusiasts through the world of beer.
You might think that we thought the story would be complete just with our immersion into the lives and communities of these two men. Alas, beer is bigger than that. We wanted to anchor our perspective with a look at the tradition and historical influence the beverage has had in this and past civilizations. We encountered two more characters we knew our audience would relish some vicarious adventures with, innovation brewer Tonya Cornett and the Home Brew Chef, Sean Z. Paxton.
With Tonya, we were privileged to get a glimpse of a brewer literally at the top of her game in crafting new beers pushing the boundaries of flavor. She has one of the most successful competition records of any American brewer in recent history, and her team at 10 Barrel Brewing Co. in Bend, OR continues to innovate and delight their consumers in OR, CA, CO, and ID via their brewpubs. What does a brewer with this track record seek out for motivation? It turns out her passion for tradition is as strong as ours, and we followed her to Europe (Germany and ultimately Italy) in pursuit of both the old (brewing Berliner Weisse in the traditional methods) and new (well, we don’t want to spoil that for you).
Sean, in counterpoint to Tonya’s European exploration, honed in on the origin story of American brewing. Combining his career as a successful and prolific chef with his personal love of brewing, he revealed to us early on his enjoyment of researching the history behind recipes, styles, and flavors. That said, he hadn’t yet had the opportunity to personally explore the roots of our own country’s history as it related to beer and culinary styles. Little did we know the pivotal role brewing has played throughout American history since our founding.
If you’ve read this far, then you’ve graced us with enough attention to understand the premise we put before you in our film. We encourage you to check it our on our on demand page to find out where you can watch the film today, and we gladly encourage you to pair it with your favorite brew!