A Crazy Day of Filming and Brewing

On June 16th, I posted this picture online. Here’s the story behind it.

Documentary instagram

Lights, camera, action brewing! In my own house and the only person on camera is me. For more than seven hours, three documentary producers (Natalie, Eddy, and Chris) taped a mic to my chest (all “wearing a wire” style and everything) and followed me around with lights and cameras as I brewed a batch of beer, while continuously peppering me with questions. How did this happen?

My wife, Tracy, and I occasionally hold house concerts where small acts play for a small group of people in our living room and I serve beer at them in the hopes of gaining a few new fans.  During a break in the music at one show, as I’m serving beer  and talking to five people at once, a friend of a friend said she met a guy who is doing a documentary on homebrewing and asks if she can pass my contact info along. Of course, I agree, but don’t really think much of it. Three days later, I get an email from her new contact stating that they’ll be in town the following week and would love to interview me. Yeah. Sure. Why not. Also, do you want me to brew beer while you’re here? We could start early and go through a batch. 

Of course they jumped on that idea. They showed up around 10:30 on a Tuesday morning and I’ve got all the gear set up and the batch ready to go. They set up some lights; completely rearranged the front porch for the interview section, and off we went. I honestly had no idea what to do when I started. I think I just stood there and said, “So, we’re recording?” “Yep!” Then reminded myself, that they are here to watch me brew beer, so I just started going through my usual brewing routine.

Step one: when brewing beer; drink a beer. So I grabbed a glass from the cupboard, heading to my kegerator in the basement and pulled pint of my Balanced Rock Rye IPA. All with the primary videographer following me; capturing every step. Ok, I guess I can manage this. I’ll just keep going. Grind the grains, heat the water, assemble the mash tun, mash in, and on. After a couple of minutes, I decided I should talk a little, so I explained what I was brewing, and the off camera producer simply started asking questions. The conversational flow never stopped. They were great. Fun to work with, I got to learn their story, and they seemed genuinely fascinated with mine. It was certainly a whirlwind. After they learned that Rockhound is actually going to be a real thing, and was only six blocks away, they wanted to see it, so off we went to look at a construction fence and some concrete pillars.

At the end, they filmed a little segment that they are calling “Pour it Forward” which I thought was a great idea. They supplied me with a couple of bottles of homebrew from the last homebrewer they interviewed to try on camera. After, I presented them with a large 22 ounce bottle of one of my wood aged beers to provide to the next group.

The crew of Home Brew Film (Twitter; Facebook; Instagram) has been at this for about two weeks by this time, and will be filming, off and on, for the next year, it seems. I can’t wait until the finished product is out – likely late 2016 or early 2017, according to them. They are talking to homebrewers, professional brewers, craft beer lovers; everyone they can find. I hope to encourage them to come back around after Rockhound is open so that they can have a follow up to my story.  I wish them the best on the rest of their journey.

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