I am really going back to my roots recently immersing myself in documentaries which have always been my true passion. We very rarely talk about Documentaries on this site and I for one am going to work very hard to correct that. My latest foray back to the documentary Genre is Anat Baron’s Beer Wars which gives you an in-depth and well educated perspective on the beer industry and how Amheiser Busch aka Budweiser is able to stay on the top and keep their thumb on the small craft breweries who are simply trying to survive and provide an alternative to beer drinkers. Around the globe there are alot of stories of David vs Goliath but I never before thought about that in comparison to my beer drinking and Beer Wars has opened my eyes.
I did not know this but general beer sales have been plummeting in recent years and craft breweries are the only brands which are on the climb and this documentary follows a few different craft brewers as they brew their beer, go to trade shows, try to find distribution and fight the man in the form of Budweiser which is portrayed as the evil corporation out to crush the little guy and spew beery evilness across the globe. From creating multiple lines to keep the beer shelves full of bud, to controlling distribution and even in the case of Doghead beer sueing them for making Pumpkin beer, when Doghead was the first to do so.
What makes this documentary work so well is Anat Baron who not only directed the documentary but also provides commentary on the documentary. Anat Baron came from the Beer Wars having worked for Mikes Hard Lemonade as the General Manager which makes her the perfect person to take on this topic.
Anat is clearly in my view touching on a topic that seems to have really bothered her. She crafts a very well conceived documentary in which she reveals the flaws of the current beer distribution system and how a few large beer companies (Budweiser, Molson and Coors) are able to use the three tier beer system to keep little breweries from ever becoming a threat. Beer Wars is a great documentary about the trials of entrepreneurship, the risks of going against a big corporation and the passion that some people have for making a great beer. For craft brewers it’s about the art and profit is secondary and Beer Wars clearly shows a world that I did not even realize existed. When I finished this documentary I drove to the liquor store walked past the Budweiser stand and bought myself some local Ontario craft beers. Watch the documentary and something tells me you might do the very same. A fantastic film!