Not long ago, your choices for decent beer weren’t much better than your options for the next president of the United States. They were all pretty much the same. They all lacked flavor, and they all kind of sucked.
Thankfully, the brewing landscape in America has changed for the better in the past couple of decades. What you might call the “Craft Beer Revolution” has included many Wisconsin breweries – from Leinenkugel’s and New Glarus to local startups like Stillmank and Badger State Brewing.
However, going from home brews to beer-making expertise isn’t always easy. A new documentary film explores the challenges and triumphs of craft brewing, and it’s coming to one of Green Bay’s most-popular brewpubs at the end of this month.
Filmmakers Alexis Irvin and Chip Hoden are bringing their award-winning project, Blood, Sweat and Beer, to Hinterland Brewery on the evening of June 30th.
The documentary, which follows two startup breweries, has received positive reviews on the film festival circuit. Now it’s going on tour with screenings all over the country this summer.
Irvin and Hoden understand exactly what it’s like to make an entrepreneurial leap. Several years ago, they left their jobs to pursue filmmaking. That’s what led them to this project.
“Aside from the delicious beer, Chip and I were really attracted to the entrepreneur’s journey of starting and operating a small brewery,” Irvin explains. “What happens when you bet everything – time, money, your professional hopes – on beer? That’s the story our movie tells, putting everything on the line for a dream.”
Following your dreams has become somewhat of a specialty for Irvin and Hoden. They launched The Dream Share Project, which tells the success stories of people who’ve pursued their passion. The Dream Share Project includes a book and documentary film of the same name as well as workshops for aspiring dreamers.
Watch the Trailer for Blood, Sweat and Beer
Craft brewing represents some of the biggest small business success stories in America. The filmmakers point out how it’s an industry that has seen “explosive growth,” adding that it’s one of the few products left we can still say is made in America.
Small breweries provide tens-of-thousands of jobs around the country and are typically very active in the community.
Of course, even though there are many successful small brewers, starting any kind of small business comes with plenty of bumps in the road.
The stories told in Blood, Sweat and Beer show one brewery dealing with a trademark lawsuit that could close them down, while another tries to thrive in a small Pennsylvania steel town devastated by economic changes.
The national tour for Blood, Sweat and Beer started earlier this month, and Green Bay will be its 13th stop on a 35-city tour in which breweries become movie theaters. Irvin says she’s noticed that people are often surprised at how much the film’s storylines impact them.
“People always come up to us after and say – ‘I didn’t expect this to be so emotional, I thought I was watching a movie just about beer!’ Blood, Sweat, and Beer is about the craft beer industry, but it’s more about the people behind your pint – their dreams, struggles, and hopes for a successful future.”
In the articles WhooNEW has written regarding local breweries, we’ve discovered a sense of camaraderie you might not expect among companies that are also competitors. Brewers often share space, trade advice and cross promote with each other. The first-ever Green Bay Craft Beer Week, held in May 2015, is a perfect example.
Irvin thinks that sort of teamwork and friendly competition is part of the nature of the beer-making business.
“Beer brings people together! And, I think craft breweries are united together under a common goal – get more people to drink good beer.”
Good beer will certainly be on hand at Hinterland Brewery in Green Bay for this event. In fact, everyone who purchases a ticket to the screening of Blood, Sweat and Beer gets a free pint. We’re told Hinterland will be pouring their Orange Evergreen Session IPA.
Alexis Irvin and Chip Hoden will also hold a Q&A session after the showing.
- What – Screening of craft brewing film Blood, Sweat and Beer
- Where – Hinterland Brewery, Green Bay
- When – June 30th, 6 pm
- Admission – $10 at the door. Click Here to order tickets online
- More info – Visit the film’s official website
- Social Media – Stay updated on Facebook and Twitter