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Beer Pioneers™

Beer Pioneers

Beer Pioneers: The American Craft Brewing Revolution

Beer Pioneers: The American Craft Brewing Revolution is a feature-length documentary film directed by Jay Sheveck about the recent history of beer in North America. It reveals the real and personal stories behind the revival of craft brewing (the return to traditional brewing methods and use of classic ingredients) and the resurgence of microbreweries. The film re-visits historic breweries and places of interest and examines many of the milestones of good beer movement. Through intimate interviews, the successes and struggles of the early pioneers are re-told on-camera by many of the pioneers themselves.

The Story

Decades after Prohibition was repealed, American beers hardly deviated from one style-an effervescent pale lager which was light in body, color and flavor. There was hardly anything that distinguished one beer from another. By limiting variety large brewing conglomerates and national brands dominated the market.

THE REVIVAL: In 1965, a small brewery in San Francisco was rescued from closure, and by 1968 it reintroduced its flagship beer as a 100-percent malt beer. The brewery was the Steam Beer Brewing Company, and the beer was Anchor Steam. America finally had its first distinctive traditional beer since Prohibition.

THE RENAISSANCE: From the late 1970s through the 1990s American beer experienced a renaissance: full-flavored "boutique" ales and lagers appeared on the landscape...hand-crafted in small batches by artisans in tiny breweries. Began by Anchor's model approach to its traditional beers, the resilience of Jack McAuliffe and his hand-built "micro-brewery" called New Albion, and an ever-growing number of homebrewers on the home front, and influenced by United Kingdom's own CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) movement, the good beer movement gained momentum.

This new craft beer wasn't an easy sell. Early craft brewers struggled to change the public's perception of American beer and the big breweries protected their territory. Even so, craft brewers fought the uphill battle, and found their audience. During this craft brewing revolution: microbreweries reappeared, homebrewing was legalized, and brewpubs were born and flavorful craft beer was re-introduced to the consumer in nearly one hundred different styles.

THE REVOLUTION: Today, craft beer and microbreweries have been fully integrated within North American culture, even if at only ten percent of the market share! More breweries have opened (and stayed open) since the last peak in the late 1800s-and all of these newcomers today are producing traditional or experimental beers!

The Documentary

So, who brought craft beer from relative obscurity to the masses? What do we really know about the early trailblazers? How did they create this movement? Who are these beer pioneers?

Looking back at this short time in history, Beer Pioneers™ explores the history and evolution of craft beer in North America, from the earliest pioneering ventures like, Anchor Brewing, New Albion, Merchant du Vin, the American Homebrewers Association and the Maltose Falcons to the modern incarnations and spin-offs of the craft beer world like micro-distilling, brewers guilds and beer hotels. The documentary takes an in-depth look at the people, places and events behind the early grassroots efforts of the craft beer renaissance and today's thriving craft brewing revolution.

Filmed over a 20 year period, director Jay Sheveck interviewed many of the early pioneers and revisited dozens of historic breweries and events that helped shape the modern day craft brewing industry. In all, Jay filmed over 100 interviews and 300-plus hours of footage on broadcast-quality Betacam and HD. Archival photos, films and breweriana compliment the narrative, shedding even more light upon the earliest days.

Beer Pioneers™ reveals the behind-the-scenes story of the American craft brewing revolution unlike anyone has before. The final feature-length documentary will premiere in early 2014 and then be released on the film festival circuit.

It's about the beer!

The Cast

Final billing for the theatrical release is still pending, but the 117 great people who were interviewed for the film include:

Alan Sprints, Alec Moss, Alex Puchner, Allen Young, Art Larrance, Benjamin Myers, Bert Grant, Bill Owens, Bill Ward, Bill Yenne, Brendan Moylan, Brian Vessa, Bruce Brode, Bruce Proshal, Bruce Winner, Byron Burch, Carol Stoudt, Cassandra Peterson, Charles Bamforth, Charles Finkel, Charles Hiigle, Charles Rixford, Charlie Papazian, Chris Atkinson, Dale Katechis, Dan Gordon, Daniel Bradford, David Geary, David Heidrich, David Hummer, David Logsdon, Davis Tucker, Dean Biersch, Denise Jones, Dick Cantwell, Dick Yuengling, Jr., Don Younger, Donald Barkley, Donald Erickson, Donald Thompson, Doug Henderson, Ed Stebbins, Ed Stoudt, Fal Allen, Faust Angotti, Fred Eckhardt, Fritz Maytag, Garrett Oliver, Garith Helm, Geoffrey Larsen, George Hancock, Greg Koch, James D. Robertson, Jay R. Brooks, Jeffrey Brown, Jack McAuliffe, Jim Koch, Jim Schlueter, John Mitchell, John Scahill, John Vittori, Judy Ashworth, Julie Ann Johnson, Junior Gomez, Keith Greggor, Keith Gretenhart, Ken Grossman, Kurt Widmer, Mark Carpenter, Mark Silva, Mary Thompson, Matthew Reich, Maurice Coja, Maribeth Raines, Mark Jilg, Michael Ferguson, Michael Jackson, Michael Laybourn, Michael J. Lewis, Michael Lovett, Mitch Steele, Nancy Ponzi, Nick Hughes, Norman Franks, Pete Slosberg, Phil Baxter, Philip Loen, Ralph Olson, Ralph Woodall, Ray Daniels, Richard Norgrove, Jr., Richard Ponzi, Richard Wagner, Rick Hoppe, Rob Widmer, Robert Rabe, Ronald Gansberg, Rose Ann Finkel, Sam Samaniego, Shannon King, Stephen Beaumont, Steve Harrison, Steve Mason, Steve Parkes, Steve Safford, Steve Wagner, Stick Ware, Thomas Dalldorf, Thomas de Bakker, Thomas Henderson, Thomas Schmidt, Timothy Wallace, Timothy Wilson, Tom McCormick, Uli Bennewitz, Vinnie Cilurzo, W. Stephen Jones, William Newman and Yashpal Singh.

Quick Sheet

Title:Beer Pioneers: The American Craft Brewing Revolution
TRT:Approx. 135 minutes
About: Beer Pioneers is a documentary film about the history of craft beer in North America and the stories behind the resurgence of microbreweries as told by the pioneers themselves.
Status: In Post-Production
Delivery Date: October 2014
Format:HD Video
Directed by:Jay Sheveck
Written by:Jay Sheveck
Dir of Photog.John Frontuto
Edited by:Darren Ayres
Production:Beer Guppy Multimedia, Burbank, Calif.
Web Site:www.BeerPioneersMovie.com
Fan Sites:FaceBook

©1994-2014 Jay Sheveck, d/b/a Beer Guppy Multimedia. All Rights Reserved.

©1999 Jay Sheveck, d/b/a Earthbound Entertainment, Inc.

™ "Beer Pioneers" and the alternate titles "The American Craft Brewing Revolution" are trademarks of Beer Guppy Multimedia

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