Bradford on Beer

Sam does Discovery Channel

Posted November 23, 2010 by daniel 6 Comments | Post a Comment

I’m sure you’ve all watched the Big Show — Sam and Dogfish Head take the Discovery Channel, and Sony, by storm.  It was quite a romp actually.  We got a great glimpse of Sam’s envelop-pushing, madcap, genius and a great look at the team of stalwarts who executes his vision.  Fabulous combination.

Meanwhile we also got a great look at the irreverent screw-ups that beset small breweries.  We saw the wonder of creating a great beer juxtaposed with the hilarity of the silly things that can hamstring getting the beer into a bottle and out the door.

All in all, a delightful peek behind the curtain.  Frankly, I thought Sony got a free ride here.  I’m sure they drove the train on putting the whole project in place, but, let’s face it, we’re only talking about a rerelease of an historic album; not the creation of a new work of art, as Sam and his Merry Pranksters affected.  (Do you remember where you were when your first heard Bitches Brew?  I can.)

The fun bit was how cyberspace was all a buzz over the Blue Moon ads.  There remains this concrete distinction between a beer from a craft brewer and a beer from a major brewer.  There is something ineffable about this that consumers get and respect.

I think Blue Moon is a serious work of art and love the painting metaphor that they use.  I don’t think the team behind Blue Moon has any illusions about being a craft brewer.  (They could do a better job of telling everyone where it comes from!)  People buy it because they like the beer and/or like the marketing.  Anyway you cut it, they are getting turned onto something other than the ubiquitous light lager and that’s fun.

So, let’s applaud light lager drinkers who take a run at a Belgian wit and let’s rejoice in the Belgian wit drinkers who take a run at something wild from Sam and his Merry Pranksters, like maybe a bitching Bitches Brew.

Talk to me.  What’s your opinion.

Add your commentsComments

  1. 1

    “I don’t think the team behind Blue Moon has any illusions about being a craft brewer.”

    Don’t you think you should ask Keith Villa?

  2. 2

    “Don’t you think you should ask Keith Villa?”

    Why ask him? Blue moon was formulated and first brewed at Matt Brewing Company in Utica long before Keith Villa was employed at Coors, I think that is the reality. It was’94 or so when I recall the big press releases of how Coors found Matt’s to be the perfect partner brewery. I know that when you take the Coors tour one is advised that Vila et cie created Blue Moon, but the tour guides shrug when I shared it started much earlier than they say, and at Matt Brewing.

  3. 3

    If Im not mistaken Blue moon comes from coors. I have nothing against macros and in fact love budweiser (yeah i said it). Im also a home brewer and have a palate that can appreciate all styles of beer. as far as wits go Blue moon sucks. as far as dogfish, they make some really amazing beer. Bitches brew was not one of them. Did anyone notice all the people at the tasting saying they didnt get any of the honey flavor? I agree with them, i had a bottle of this beer about 2 months ago and it just tasted like an over the top stout with barely any hints of the honey brew. wouldnt drink it again, but the bottle is awesome!
    And i of course remember where i was when i first heard bitches brew!

  4. 4

    To say that most of us had big expectations for Sam’s show would be an understatement. Fortunately, the show was even better than expected. It was interesting to see Sam and his team actually make up a recipe that fused two completely different styles of beer. Their creativity will inspire both commercial brewers and homebrewers like me to continue to push the envelope in our creations.

    As far as the Blue Moon ads, my wife and I simply laughed about them. While I find Blue Moon to be pretty uninspiring, it does seem to serve as a good gateway beer from light lager to better craft beers. That is undeniably a good thing!

    Can’t wait until the next episode of Brewmasters!

  5. 5

    Although there were some interesting parts, it appeared to be more of an info-mercial for their new brew. Dogfish Head is a good brewery, but no way near being one of the best. It would be disappointing to have the series all about them.

  6. 6

    Just to be clear, I started working for the Coors Brewing Company in 1986 the day after I graduated from the University of Colorado. Then, I went to Belgium to get my doctorate in Brewing from 1988 to the end of 1991. In 1994, my first big project was to create a craft brewing operating unit for Coors. We named it Blue Moon Brewing Company. It was a lot of hard work and I never thought it would be as successful as it is today.

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