Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I've made no secret of the fact that I'm a huge Lew Bryson fan. For those of you who DON'T know who Bryson is, he is one of the finest writers with whom I've had the privilege to work, a beverage journalist who specializes in beer and spirits, but really, just a terrific writer. Lew was always my special guest/John Madden for all of the Golden Age of Beer in Philadelphia Tours I conducted during the halcyon days of Philadelphia's The Book and The Cook food festival

Well, it looks like Lew has what it takes for TV, too.

Bryson and producer Rudy Vegliante are shopping a pilot for American Beer Blogger, which Vegliante describes thusly:

AMERICAN BEER BLOGGER is a half hour television series dedicated to all
facets of the ever growing craft beer market. From home brewing, to micro
beer; viewers will experience the very best of the craft beer culture. In each
episode, Lew will visit a different brewer, each of which has their own sets of
quirks and ways of doing things. Lew will talk to these brewers, get to know
them, will show us first hand the various methods and techniques used in
creating a craft beer. From the tiniest bottler to the largest manufacturer, Lew
will get his hands dirty. Topics such as bottling, food pairing, manufacturing,
distribution, history, technique (and so much more) will all be touched upon

as Lew spends a day with these brewers. Some doing well in the business, others not so well. Thankfully, the DIY nature of this business can lead to some pretty unforseeable results as Lew lends a hand and helps out in any way he can. Lew will show us all the kinds of micro-breweries currently out there. From the smallest, hippest label to large manufacturers.

AMERICAN BEER BLOGGER sets out to entertain the viewer as well as educate on this rapidly growing industry. Through humor and a charming, hands-on host, our show will not only be entertaining for the microbeer enthusiast, but also enjoyable for the average viewer as well.

Top Gear with beer... Top Beer if you will.

They've partnered with Kickstarter, an company that helps small businesses raise capital, to raise money to produce the show. I'm a backer, and you should be, too. One look at the trailer for this show, and you'll be hooked. Great production values, as they say in the trade. And Bryson is a natural. Here's what he told me about the filming in a recent e-mail:

We met up at Stoudt's [Brewery in Adamstown, PA ]at about 8 AM on a morning in late May with NOTHING planned or scripted. We knew we were going to tape...something about the brewery. Everything was done seat of the pants, and most of it was done in one take. I hadn't ever done much interviewing on camera before, but it felt pretty natural. Ed Stoudt has a ton of camera time, and has been doing the tours at the brewery for years; he was completely at ease. The stuff in the bar and on the sidewalk (when I'm in the other shirt) was done at Devil's Den during my Philly Beer Week event there, and if anything, that was even less scripted. I walked down the street, greeted some people I knew at an outside table, and on the spur of the moment, stole a sip of their beer. Felt right, did it. That's probably what the whole thing's going to be. Real reality.

So here's a project we can all get a thirst for. I think we may have found our next TV star.


Anonymous said...

Who is really going to watch this? You are playing to a very selective audience here. Most people would not find someone visiting a brewery or a bar and then blogging about it all that interesting. This is going to be a very hard sell to any channel. This format has been so done so many times over the years. Not to mention you can see this thing on Youtube with a beer blogger with a digital camera.

RICH said...

I disagree. Lew's personality will make this a distinctive 30 minutes of TV. This is perfect Travel Channel /Discovery Channel stuff. It has their production style down pat and no one has YET to pull off a compelling beer show for any cable channel. This is that show.