I love to watch anything and everything about beer…especially craft beer! So a month ago when I heard about a new beer documentary called Brewland I got really excited. I wanted to see where I could get a copy of it. I was disappointed to learn that it was still in production, but that got me thinking…if I couldn’t watch Brewland the next best thing would be to interview the man behind the film, Director Michael Sills. It was great to speak to Michael and learn more about his film Brewland and why he decided to make a film about the craft beer industry. Along with learning about Michael’s film we also discuss beercations.
A documentary exploring the craft beer industry and culture in the United States is a great idea for a film. How did you come up with idea to make this film?The idea for the doc stemmed from a trip to Vermont with my wife to try some the beers fresh from the source I heard so much about from friends of mine. After being in that environment, you realize there is a great story up there, so initially I wanted to do a piece about three brewers and the success they found. After digging deeper, I realized the more interesting story was VT as a microcosm to the entire industry, so our project shifted. More time working on the project passed and we came to another realization: the craft beer industry as a whole.
Can you tell us more about the film Brewland?So right now, Brewland has filmed about a third of what we want to and have a lot more to go. The more people we can talk to, the better the story is going to be, so we have some traveling to do. We are just about to start an Indiegogo Campaign to raise some money to complete everything.
I am sure you have learned a lot about the beer industry in the United States while filming. What would you say is the most interesting thing that you learned about the craft beer industry in Brewland that you didn’t know prior to making this film?
That there were so many damn beers, but more importantly so many good beers. These guys are experts at a craft (no pun intended) that at points can be very precise and their attention to detail is tremendous. To watch them work is really something, just the care that goes into it.
You have interviewed brewery owners, business’ that support craft brewers and writers. How did you pick the subjects that you interviewed?A lot of our choices came from recommendations or word of mouth, but after that just long periods of research, finding people with interesting stories or something unique to the craft beer movement.
The craft beer scene has been growing at a rapid pace in the last 12 plus years. From the information that you received while making your film do you think the industry can sustain this rapid growth?
I'm not sure, it's pretty split with the people we have spoken to about what the future holds. Some believe its fine, some are preparing for possible another collapse. Hard to say, but in my opinion, I think something’s coming, but it can be avoided. It’s going to all come down to communication and unity.
When can we expect Brewland to be released and where will people be able to find it?Hopefully the project will be completed by the end of the year, that’s our goal.
Beercations are becoming more and more popular recently. If you could go on a beercation any place where would you go and why?I want to go on a beercation to Europe, specifically visit the monks of Beligum and try some fresh trappist beer, especially Westvleteren.