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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Next Great American Brewer

I first heard of this show last year when they were calling for homebrewers to audition, and until recently I had hoped the project had died out. After watching this all too long promo video for the show, I still wish it had died on the table.

In case you don't know, I had a show that was oddly similar to this one called B.Y.O.B. TV last year.  From what I hear we did fairly well in the ratings - at one point beating out SNL in the Bay Area.  Not saying I believe that (though when was the last time SNL was funny?), but it's a good piece of info and makes me feel good so I'm sticking with it.

At any rate, if you haven't seen this new show promo, hide the sharp objects and go watch it.

Back?  Wipe the bile off your chin there, and let's talk about it.

The obvious complaint I have is that it's fairly close to our show.  Homebrewers competing to be the best brewer by doing brewery tasks, cooking with beer, brewing beer, etc.  It does differ from ours as there are no men wearing lipstick or playing Liars Meat, but the structure and many of the competitions are direct ripoffs.

Ok, so that's out of the way, let's deal with location.  Chicago, they say, is one of the centers of craft beer in the country.  Um ... seriously?  Goose Island is there, and they make good beer, but that's about the sum of it.  Why not do it in San Diego, Portland, Denver, San Francisco, Seattle, anywhere but Chicago?  I assume it's just to be close to The Sieble Institute, but to say that town is the center of anything but blues and knife wounds is just a joke.

During the planning phases of our show, we talked about having one of the challenges that homebrewers have to do is some sort of marketing thing.  After seeing that part of the new show plugged in the promo video, I'm extremely glad we didn't put it in our show.  Who really wants to sit there watching homebrewers pitch their bottle labels to people?  It just seemed like the most boring thing to watch, and I'm very pleased that we didn't make our audience slog through it.  Not to mention that most commercial brewers don't have a say in their brand marketing, so I'm not really sure what this has to do with the best brewer in the country.  I can make a mean beer, but my art has never progressed much farther than putting shorts on stick figures.  Does that mean I wouldn't make a good brewer?

Back out of the actual show for a second and look at the marketing ...

Douche bag new host
Greg from Stone Brewing

Anything about this seem familiar?  Did this show have a single original idea, or did they just take bits from various areas and re-package them with an easy-to-use applicator?

Aside from the content, production value is just as - if not more important than the activities on the screen.  One thing you learn when shooting video is to always check your White Balance (the setting that makes the color white seem like white).  Even in the promo the whites where very yellow in the indoor shots, and when they weren't yellow the shots were dark and poorly lit.  Come on, kids!  You are supposed to be professionals, how do you shoot footage and not have the white balance set right?

To be honest, I stopped watching their video halfway through.  Which makes me feel a bit bad for them, because if they can't even hold my attention in a sizzle reel, how can they hold it for an hour?

No, it's not sour grapes. I don't care that they stole bits from my show.  I'm just sad they took them, squatted over them, and laid cable.


  1. Jason,
    This does read a bit like sour grapes. Lets face it, KOFY-TV didn't have the highest production values, either. Add to this the appearence of the Anheiser-Busch-InBev marketing machine to promote the distibution of the show and it looks like it could be a commercial success.

  2. And the blonde was cute

  3. Steely Dan!!

    Ugh - ripoffs are stupid -
    Nothing is original anymore - everything is either remade, stolen, or re-written to appeal to the masses, not unlike yellow beers. Tone it down, remove personality, spice it up with visuals, and people will like/watch it. Go rent Idiocracy and tell me what you think.

  4. JP- Come to Chicago, we'll buy you some beers, there's a LOT more than Goose Island here.