I wasn't able to get out Thursday night to the Beer Wars screening and after-party, but I did send my trusty foodie intern Anna Linesch out to watch a movie and drink some beer. Here's her report:
Things were pretty quiet on the frontline of the Beer Wars screening. People shuffled in mostly after the lights went down and Anat Baron, the producer (who is allergic to beer herself), broadcast a live speech about the film.
The documentary was very informative (as it gave more stats than a high school sex ed class) about how the big guys in the beer world have bullied the independent brewers. Anat traveled across the U.S. to seek out homegrown companies like Sam Adams, Dogfish Head, Moonshot, New Belgium Brewing and others to tell their stories about starting from scratch. She also held taste tests using Budweiser, Miller, and Coors to prove to Americans that the majority of them consume a beverage that tastes more like tonic water than actual beer.
Behind-the-scenes tours of independent breweries were interspersed with shots of August Busch III refusing interviews and humorous vintage cartoons and advertisements. While it was informative and interesting, the movie could have been shorter. The crowd was getting antsy for a beer toward the end.
The after-party at Farringdon Pub in downtown Summerville was low-key with an intimate crowd of beer lovers around the bar, anxious to try some of the unique beers. The draft list boasted a variety of ales and lagers that reflected what the film emphasized about small breweries, including a heavy and flavorful Stone Imperial Russian Stout, Oskar Blues Gordon’s IPA, a fruity but full Allagash White Belgian beer and the local Coast brew.
And if you had some extra change you could try the $10 Founder Kentucky Bourbon Stout (it’s not available in the state but Farringdon managed to get their hands on some), the $17 Avery Maharaja, or the $18 New Holland Dragon’s Milk with hints of caramel and vanilla. All in all, the evening was a fun night for Charleston's beer lovers.