If there’s a beer nerd’s dream job, I think the Brew Dogs have made it.
Brew Dogs is a TV show on the Esquire network (which, who knew Esquire had a network?) hosted by Scottish brewers James Watt and Martin Dickie. These guys also founded BrewDog Brewery in Ellon, UK, which specializes in weird and wild beers that occasionally push the limits of what beer can be. Like, in 2010, they brewed The End of History, a 55 per cent ABV freeze-distilled beer packaged in small taxidermied animals.
These guys know beer, and they get to travel all over the world because of it. A curse upon them! I want to be them. Going on three seasons, they traveled to different cities around the world (mostly the US) to collaborate with a craft brewery in each, with what they call “brew stunts”. Basically they brew beers in extreme and preposterous situations.
If you haven’t seen the Vancouver episode that premiered last week, I’m going to spoil it for you. They brew hot chocolate stout whilst bombing down the backside of Blackcomb Mountain.
It’s worth watching. They collaborate with Jack Bensley, brewmaster at Main Street Brewing and they haul a mash tun down the side of a mountain. They go ziplining, and attach the mash tun to the zip line. It’s gimmicky as all hell, but as riveting as reality TV gets. A mash tun on a zip line? Come on!
Now that I’ve seen it, I’ll place Brew Dogs alongside Property Brothers as the only reality TV worth watching. (Yes, Property Brothers.)
There’s absurd sense of humour weaving throughout the program, and the Brew Dogs themselves are extremely knowledgeable about their beer. How their MSB collaboration actually turned out is a different issue all together (I wasn’t invited to the taste test they filmed at the brewery last winter), but this sort of exposure proves that Vancouver has arrived as a recognized international beer city.
Kardashian sisters they are not, but Watt and Dickie are reality TV stars of a popular TV show and, for better or worse, now hold considerable weight in the craft beer industry. A nod from them, in a televised format, is something not just for MSB to celebrate, but Vancouver as a whole.
I hear it said often that Vancouver’s beer scene is way behind other cities. We have the breweries here, but we don’t yet have the beer. We’re still too young. Maybe this is true. And maybe Watt and Dickie were bluffing when when they lauded Vancouver’s innovations so far. It is reality TV after all.
But they do reach a segment of the American population that probably would otherwise have no idea had a burgeoning beer culture. Vancouver’s out there now, in a way we haven’t really been so far. Some dude watching in Louisville, who probably can’t locate Vancouver on a map, has had Main Street Brewing beamed into his eyeballs. This is good! The show also listed its Top 5 Vancouver breweries, which were as follows:
1. Central City
2. Powell Street Craft
3. Parallel 49
The order of the list is questionable, and Main Street isconspicuously absent (Why would they profile them if they’re not considered one of the best?) but I’m willing to forget all that because our groovy local industry has been featured on American television! Reality television, yes, but American all the same. It’s truly surreal watching my local watering hole immortalized in high quality digital cinematography.
I guess what I’m saying is, Brew Dogs is a good show and reality TV will surely save us all. Go team.