A company from Sacramento, California — The Idea Factory — was in town Monday and Tuesday shooting a pilot for a new television show about craft beer. They’ve already done several successful cable shows, and their work can currently be seen on the Garden Channel, the DIY channel and Discovery Health.
The host is brewer Jennifer Talley, who is from Squatter’s Pub in Utah. Idea Factory producer Peter Holmes saw Talley in a video she did for her brewery and thought she’d be a good host, making the show both about brewers (and brewing and beer) and by brewers, which I think may be the first time for a television show. In talking with the producer, their initial pitch will likely be made to the Food Network or similar cable channels. And I think that makes sense, as there is significant time devoted to beer with food in what they filmed already.
They started out with Talley interviewing Shaun O’Sullivan at his 21st Amendment Brewery & Restaurant. In the afternoon both O’Sullivan and Talley visited Magnolia and sat down to talk with owner Dave McLean over some food and beer. Then on Tuesday they filmed at Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa. They filmed at both the new production brewery nearby and at the brewpub. Later Bruce Paton, the beer chef, cooked some food and he sat down with Talley and Russian River owners Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo to talk about the pairings while they enjoyed both the food and beer.
While it’s obviously hard to say too much until it’s been edited, the raw footage I watched seemed pretty good. Everybody I met involved with the production from the producers, the cameramen and make-up all seemed professional and did a great job. Plus, they were all very genuinely nice people. The participants seemed natural on camera and it had the feel of a conversation you’d want to listen in on. The passion that many of us feel for craft beer (and food) comes out pretty easily and this was a good illustration of that principle in action. We all love to talk about beer. The only question remaining: is the rest of America ready to listen?
I wish them luck and it would certainly be great to see a show about craft beer that’s done by people who actually know what they’re talking about. So keep your fingers crossed. I’ll post updates as I learn more, but I imagine this is a long, slow process.
For more photos from the beer show tv pilot shoot, visit the photo gallery.