Brewmance is a loving and surprising look at the world of craft beer making. The documentary is more than just a love letter to hops. It is an exploration of a culture and how it can bring people together. It also shows the shockingly competitive side of the business. Through it all, it contains an atmosphere and tone that is perfect for the subject.
A documentary about beer sounds like it will be silly and fun with some interesting facts thrown in. Brewmance does carry a light hearted air that is helped by some neat animations and characters. Most of the shots are done during the day or in brightly lit rooms to add to this atmosphere.
This does not mean Brewmance ignores the more serious issues of the craft beer making world. It is startling how deep the film is willing to get. There is some corporate espionage and one upmanship It is not the type of backstabbing seen on Wall Street, but it does give a sense of how contentious things can get.
Beer is not going to bring the world together, nor does the film ever suggest this. Still, there is a great sense of camaraderie and fellowship in Brewmance. From the father and son duo that have bonded over making beer to the business partners that work together despite their clashing personalities, the documentary has a strong sense of togetherness.
Brewmance is so focused on the people involved it tends to forget about the history of craft brewing. There are some great interviews with names such as Jim Koch the cofounder and chairman of Boston Beer Company (makers of Sam Adams). The film constantly touches on the past, but it always seems like something more could have been added.
That being said, this never gives a bitter taste to the documentary. At its heart, it is clearly about people and that feeling is never lost. Brewmance is a winning documentary that will leave a nice aftertaste.
Brewmance will be released on major VOD platforms April 13
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