I attended the screening of “Locally Buzzed” at Original Gravity. I didn’t know what to expect out of this movie but the concept seemed similar to “American Beer”. I didn’t want to see another movie about a group of people drinking to the point of exhaustion while stealing air time away from the breweries. The Locally Buzzed film makers must have felt the same way because even though they did a eight day road trip they saved it for a montage toward the end and it did not get in the way of the subject. It wasn’t a Michael Bay style montage either. It showed a charismatic group of friends just having fun on a beer tour.
The film is essentially a love letter to the Michigan breweries. It is perhaps a strange circumstance that we both should be in love with the same breweries (I know that sounds corny but it’s a Casablanca reference). So a true critical look at the film will be hard.
“Locally Buzzed” is more about the subject than the film makers which is a refreshing change from the other recent beer documentaries. That subject is all Michigan beer, how and why it is great and most importantly the cooperation that exists between breweries. It features a series of interviews from the smallest brewery, Tim Bies from Red Jacket Brewing Company, to the largest brewery, Larry Bell from Bell’s (not having him would be like not having Scorsese). The interviews are divided according to topic with cut-aways to the interviewees and is easy to follow. Matt Greff orating about the economy becoming more local fired me up. I also liked that the U.P. breweries were given their well deserved due. We trolls seem to forget that there is another peninsula.
I hope that this film preaches to people who aren’t in the choir. Especially after I heard that a local beer distributor said “Wow! Michigan usually doesn’t go for different styles of beer.” I also had a clerk at the local store just last week say she didn’t know that beer was made in Michigan. It would be great for the film to reach industry people like them in and out of Michigan.
Overall I enjoyed this film. It was informative and entertaining. If it is playing near you please go and see it.
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