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Discovery cans Brew Masters; is ‘Big Beer’ to blame?

April 02, 2011 By: mike Category: Craft beer, Oddities

Brew Masters logo
Well, it’s official. Discovery Channel’s show about the craft beer business, Brew Masters, has been canned.

The  web has been abuzz  this week with accusations that “Big Beer” threatened to pull ads from the Discovery Channel if Brew Masters was kept on the air. Brew Masters stars Dogfish Head’s Sam Caligione, who takes viewers across the globe in search of exotic ingredients for his beers.

The controversy started with a couple of tweets from the Travel Channel’s Anthony Bourdain, host of No Reservations. (No Reservations shares the same production team as Brewmasters.)

Anthony Bourdain's tweets

Other sources have since confirmed the cancellation. Five episodes have aired, though a sixth episode of Brew Masters focusing on a New York rooftop brewpub involving Caligione, may still air when the eatery opens this summer.


Anyway, if you got hooked on Brew Masters, you’ll appreciate Brew Minions, a parody from the guys at Ska Brewing.

It’s 22-minutes long, which is too damn long. It could use a good edit. But Caligione, who is the butt of many of the jokes, was good-natured enough to make a cameo in the video, and it’s worth checking out.

Brew Minions, A Parody from David Thibodeau on Vimeo.

Bitches Brew and beer karma

November 23, 2010 By: jeff Category: Craft beer, Memphis


Good karma

About a month ago I was at Joe’s Wines & Liquor checking out the beer aisle when I struck up a conversation with their beer rep, Will Miner, from Southwestern Distributing.  We talked for a while about various beers we had tried recently, and he asked if I had tried Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head.  (You may have heard about Bitches Brew in Sunday’s premier episode of Brew Masters on Discovery.)

I told him, sadly, I hadn’t (as I mentioned in a previous review).  At that point, he told me they had just found a stray case in the warehouse, and he would call them and have it sent over.  I was psyched and immediately texted Grant and Mike to tell them we would soon have a new beer to sample.

Well, it turned out that there was no case in the warehouse, or if there was, it disappeared.

Bummer. But, oh well.  It was cool of him to try and hook me up either way.  The FuzzyBrew gang was told of the mix-up, and we just chalked it up as a loss.

About a week later, I get this picture of Grant texted to me late night from Mike.

bad g

Bad karma

Remember, my instinct when I thought I scored a bottle of this beer was to share and set up a tasting session.

Oh, if they only knew the beer gods were watching.

So Saturday afternoon, I stopped in at Joe’s to get my Beers of the Month, and they hand me a brown bag with “do not charge” written on it.  Inside was my own bottle of Bitches Brew!

It turns out that Will had taken a bottle from his personal stash because he felt bad about the confusion.

Now that is a move by someone who knows the beer gods are watching.

Will Miner, you are the man.  Thanks again.

Brew Masters on Discovery this November

November 03, 2010 By: grant Category: Beer in the news, Travelin', Video

Dogfish Head Brewery founder Sam Calagione hits the road in a couple weeks with a new show on Discovery Channel exploring the world of beer. Brew Masters debuts on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 9 p.m. Central.

From the press release:

BREW MASTERS follows Sam and his partners in suds as they travel the country and the world sourcing exotic ingredients and discovering ancient techniques to produce beers of astounding originality … Sam sets out to recreate ancient ales that have been discovered at sites around the world from Egypt to Peru. He travels to Rome to research old world Italian beers as inspiration for a new site in New York with Mario Batali. A visit to New Zealand introduces the idea of making the first tomato based beer. And back home, Sam is tasked to come up with a commemorative beer called Bitches Brew to celebrate the 40th anniversary release of Miles Davis famous recording.

It’s a beer-tasting road trip! I watched Sam in the thought-provoking Beer Wars, and he’s an entertaining guy. Watch the preview here. I’ll definitely be setting the TiVo.

Sure wish I could get my hands on a Bitches Brew though.