Brew Masters Season 1
Many of us
who enjoy a cold glass of amber liquid have, at some point in our lives,
fantasized about what it would be like to work in a brewery. Imagine a
job where you share in the profits, so that every time a batch goes
wrong it’s not just the boss’ money being poured down the drain, it’s
yours. A job where you take home a carton along with your pay check.
Where you knock off early on Fridays to sample the week’s brew and play
games. For most of us these things remain a dream. For the folks at
Dogfish Head brewery, Delaware USA, it’s what they do.
Masters, season 1 is a six-part documentary from the discovery channel.
It follows the exploits of Sam Calagione, founder and boss of Dogfish
brewery, as he travels the world in search of exotic ingredients and
forgotten recipes for beer.
episode we see at least one new beer created. The cameras take us
through the whole process, from inception to brewing to the final
is carefree and fun in its presentation, with Sam himself providing the
narration. It‘s also surprisingly informative, in an easygoing kind of
way. You’ll learn all sorts of things about yeast without even realising
it, and various beer-related facts and narratives are scattered
throughout the show by ‘Beerology’ snippets.
most interesting aspect by far is the extraordinary way that Dogfish
look outside the box for their next best-selling beer. The company motto
is ‘Off-centred ales for off-centred people,’ and this mindset is
personified by Sam and his ’try anything, rule out nothing’ approach.
have ever thought of drinking a beer fermented from chewed corn, whose
main active ingredient is human saliva? What about a beer infused with
the cedar wood off-cuts from a hand made surfboard?
perhaps you’d like to try the long-lost beer of the pharaohs, which uses
wild yeast captured in the shadow of the great pyramids? Everything
about Dogfish seems to be about risk and adventure. Sometimes taking
that risk means they’ll have an award winning beer at the next big food
and drink festival. Sometimes it means pouring thousands of dollars down
show is entertaining as a whole, some bumps start to appear around
episode 4. Something goes horribly wrong with the editing here: Scenes
are disjointed, narration is cut off halfway through and we jump from
one place to another with no warning. And episode 6 has an unfinished
feel to it- probably as a result of real world events which were meant
to but didn’t quite sync with the filming of the show.
Unfortunately this may be the first and last time we see the folks from
Dogfish on our television screens, because the show was not slated for
return on the Discovery channel. This is a bit of a shame, because there
is a lot to like about the show’s presentation and content, and if given
the chance it could have grown into something truly worthwhile.
series about beer, Brew Masters does just about everything you expect
and want it to do: it introduces you to the characters who have made
brewing beer an art form, it informs you and it makes your mouth water.
Now all we need is taste-o-vision, and the experience would be complete.