Crafty Pint / 30.07.12
Back in the 1980s, Saturday mornings in the Pint household were never properly underway until the opening bars of the MASK theme tune kicked in. It was, quite clearly, a poor man’s rip off of Transformers yet, equally clearly, had quite an impact at least one young mind. Not only is resentment still harboured towards the younger brother who broke or lost many of our MASK toys but the aforementioned theme came instantly to mind when the men behind a forthcoming pilot on Melbourne’s Channel 31 first got in touch with The Crafty Pint.
Essentially, it was a case of: “We’re going to start shooting for a show called Craft Beer Crusaders in which we plan to…”
At which point, the remainder of their sentence was drowned out by: “MASK crusaders, working overtime, fighting crime…” Still, the team at MASK was highly effective at fighting crime so let’s take it as a good omen for their fight against crap beer.
Fighting the good beer battle are Melbourne beer lovers Mark and Dan. In another sign of how the online world is having an impact on the beer world, they met when the former expressed his interest in creating a beer show along the lines of Oz and James Drink To Britain on Twitter and the latter put a metaphorical hand up to help; in no time, they were bouncing ideas off each other over beers at Mrs Parma’s.
Pitched as something of a conversation between beer lovers, their friends and, ultimately, you, the public, and taking in visits of microbreweries across Victoria, Craft Beer Crusaders is set to start filming at The Local Taphouse St Kilda this Saturday.
“It will start with a heated discussion over who brews the best beer in Victoria, then in each episode we’ll visit three of four breweries and at the end of each people can vote for their favourite beer from those featured,” says Mark, aka JustBeer_NoBull on Twitter. “The idea is to get the public involved in choosing the best beer, which they’ll be able to do through our website, Facebook or an app we’re having developed.
“The winning beers from each episode will go on tap at the Taphouse so that people can come along and sample them all and vote for their favourite on the night.”
Their intention is to have the pilot shot and ready for screening on Channel 31 in the coming weeks. Beyond that, they believe the show has potential for a Foxtel channel or SBS.
“If we can get funding [after the first series] then we’d go and do the same thing in New South Wales or WA,” says Mark.
The aim, says Dan – aka Dan_Hanna on Twitter – is to showcase the history of each brewer but also to explore different aspects of the craft beer industry and where it’s heading in conversation with those brewers. There will also, says Mark, be “fun in there too”.
The pair describe themselves as “passionate enthusiasts”. Mark brews at home, while Dan picked up a taste for better beer while living in the UK and now runs beer tasting evenings for friends on weekends when not chasing the weirdest and latest beers (his ultimate goal is to visit a North Korean microbrewery, apparently). Since their first meeting, they have been through many names for the show, including Something Brewing, Upper Glass, Two Men In A Keg and I’d Tap That, before settling on Craft Beer Crusaders. With a collection of mates on hand with the skills to shoot and edit the show – plus a couple of guys who they also found through Twitter – they’re ready to embark on their crusade to convert and educate.
“People are curious about craft beer, but don’t know where to start,” says Dan. “Beer lists can be intimidating so we want people to come away [from the show] feeling they’ve learnt something.”
As well as following Mark and Dan’s adventures in beer, including Dan’s regular online beer reviews, via Twitter, you can monitor their progress on the show via their Facebook page.
Photo above shows Mark (left) and Dan (right) hatching plans at 2 Brothers.