For the love of (beer), you should see this movie

November 5, 2011

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog

For the love of (beer), you should see this movie

So, I get this email. Subject: “Beer, Women and Film Heading to Hood River.”

In my mind, I am formulating a way on how to convince the editor that this is most likely going to be our top lead story for the week. No, maybe for the month. OK, maybe the greatest thing that’s happened all year.

I look at the subject line again. Is this true? Women AND beer AND film are coming to Hood River? Maybe it’s a spam. No, it didn’t go into the junk folder. Dare I open this email? Can opening this email save and inform Hood River at the same time? There’s only one way to find out.


Ohhhh, now I see . . . a FILM called “Love of Beer,” a documentary about WOMEN who work in the beer industry, is coming to occupy Hood River.

Whoops, I mean will be shown in Hood River at Dog River Coffee.

And as soon as I can find a quick way to drive around all of the Occupy Mosier folks, I’ll be heading down the road to see it.

(BTW, just as I finished writing this I got another email; Subject: 2nd Annual Beer Fest in The Dalles.....)

Interview with Alison Grayson, producer of the movie “The Love of Beer”

1. Please tell us a bit about your background and how you got interested in making a film about women in the beer industry.

I was raised in N.J. and went to Drexel University in Philadelphia for a B.S. in film and video production. I moved to Portland a few years ago and was soon introduced to Portland's beer community. I was amazed at how warm and welcoming the community was and how ready and willing the industry was to help each other, even though, technically, they're competitors. I frequently attended beer festivals and noticed that there was a pretty equal number of men and women in attendance but that equality didn’t translate to the people working in the industry. I began to wonder why, in such a warm, welcoming community, more women weren't involved in the industry and how that could be changed. I also kept meeting inspiring women that were working in the community and I knew that I wanted to tell their story.

2. Hood River has perhaps one of the pioneers in oregon's craft beers - Full Sail. Did you interview Irene Firmat for this project?

Unfortunately, I did not. I am a huge fan of her work and what she's done for craft beer but, because of scheduling complications, we were unable to cross paths. There are so many amazing women in the beer industry, and I think I would need to create a series to be able to talk to all of them!

3. Your movie has been out for a few months now. How has the response been?

We premiered during Portland Beer Week on August 20 to a theater of 350 people, and since then we've done several smaller screenings, including a premiere in Bend. We've been very well received and the word has been spreading. In the next couple of months we're lined up for screenings in other cities and at different beer weeks. We're also entered in several film festivals, once those are over we'll be able to premiere in larger cities and have DVDs and Bluerays available for sale.

4. Can you tell us briefly what should someone be paying attention to during a beer tasting — is there specific protocol (like wine) to follow?

First off, a disclaimer: I am in no way a beer expert — many official beer judges go through sensory perception classes to really fine tune their palate; however, there are some basics for tasting beer, similar to wine.

When you get a beer, take a moment to appreciate the color and body. Give the glass a little swirl to release some of the aroma (nose). Smell is a huge part of how we perceive taste and allows you to really appreciate all the subtle flavors of the beer. Now, give the beer a sip. Many beers have complex flavors and mouth-feels. You might notice one flavor note when you first taste the beer, but by the time you swallow, it may taste completely different. The key to tasting a beer is drinking it slowly and really savoring it.

5. Do you have a favorite beer?

I have a few beers that I'm quite fond of but new are beers constantly coming out and its hard to pick a favorite. I'm going to cheat and say that sour beers are currently my favorite style because of their robust, complex flavor profiles.

6. Finally, are guys allowed to see this movie?

Hell yes! (or "Absolutely!", depending on your censoring needs). “The Love of Beer” is a celebration of passionate people who are doing what they love. This is a movie for all people — men, women, beer drinkers, and non beer drinkers (though hopefully this will help convert them). The ultimate goal is for gender to be a non-issue in the beer industry rather than something to categorize by. We're focusing on the women in the beer industry because we felt their stories hadn't been told yet.


Doors open at 6 p.m., show at 6:30 p.m., at Dog River Coffee, 411 Oak Street. A beer tasting will be held at Volcanic Bottle Shoppe, 1410 12th Street, at 8 p.m. led by Sarah Pederson, who is featured in the movie. Alison Grayson will also be on hand. $5 film, $12 tasting, $15 for both.

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