Some insight provided by co-Director Scott Owen:
When you have the opportunity to spend any time at all around someone that is a master, a master at anything, it's usually an eye popping experience. Master Brewers, Master Sommeliers, Master Cicerones, Master Chefs, Master Builders, any one that has dedicated the time and practice to becoming one of the best in the world at anything is a marvel. Think of Star Wars without the mastery of John Williams' score, life at least for me just wouldn't be as sweet.
Watching them taste and identify ingredients is just unbelievable. The inspiring part of our journey meeting these masters is that they are so normal... they aren't hermits living in the mountains studying ancient tomes. They are all normal, which is great news for the rest of us. We can all do something to the level of mastery if we just want to put in the time and dedication necessary... I'm starting on Monday, now where did I leave that remote?
Such was the life we lived while filming Beers of Joy. It was bouncing from one master-of-craft to another. It was exhilarating, humbling, and always inspiring. We were truly blessed to be able to spend time with Innovation Brewmaster Tonya Cornett and drink her beer. She is one of the best brewers on planet earth hands down (and has the medals to prove it). The specific degree to which she can predetermine a flavor target, figure out how to achieve that flavor through the process of brewing beer, and have the resulting beverage not only meet, but more often redefine your expectations is nothing short of mastery.
We traveled with Master Chef Sean Paxton aka Home Brew Chef who threw together some of the best meals I've had in my life. Most film projects have craft service, but really the service here was the palate expansion rendered unto us thanks to the talents and abilities of Sean who seems to enjoy sharing a meal as if it were an additional form of high level communication akin to dynamic conversation. Our crew would certainly agree.
Then watching anybody that is studying for Master Cicerone like Ryan Daley and Joe Vogelbacher is astonishing, the amount that they have to know is a Herculean task. It’s part dedication, determination, and ordination, really… you have to learn an encyclopedia of knowledge gathered around beer, from brew through service… present your knowledge through multiple means of testing such as oral exams, written essays, and more… then develop and exercise your senses to taste and smell as if they were your eyes and ears on a journey.
We like to say that privilege of this film was the people — the four main characters who granted us intimate access during fascinating vignettes of their lives — and that’s the truth. You’re lucky to get this much time with masters, if ever once, and we got it with them among other luminaries during the making of this film. We among the film making team are all better because of it. Cheers!