A TV event that I have been eagerly awating since I heard of it last year starts the first of their three part series this Sunday October 2, 2011 at 8pm. It is a story of a driven minority sucessfully pushing their morality onto the majority. It’s Ken Burns’ Prohibition and I have been anticipating this for almost a year. Southeast Michigan was a hot spot for rum-running so the subject should be of interest to anyone in this area no matter one’s thoughts on drinking.
The seed for the series was planted when Ken Burns bumped into Daniel Okrent while he was doing research for his book Last Call so the series is based on much of the book. If the series is as good as his book this will be a great watch. The book is both informative and entertaining. It delves into the story of people coming together for a single purpose political action that has become the blue print of these groups ever since. It covers everything from the pre-Civil War beginnings of the Temperance movement that slowly built itself into a huge movement gathering strange bed fellows such as suffragettes, industrialist, religious groups and the Klu Klux Klan to the actual prohibition; the half-hearted attempt at enforcement, the loop holes and the end of the era with the passing of the 21st Amendment.
I hope this documentary is as good as Okrent’s book. One thing I can say is that the story of prohibition in America is an extremely interesting one and all the reviews that I have read say that he did capture that. There is even a Civil War style letter that is written to Julius Stroh. Below is a copy…
The thirteenth of May 1932
My Dearst Stroh’s Bohemian Beer,
On this the eve of our march that I must feel will return you to my hand I feel the pangs in my soul due to this long fifeteen year seperation. Whilst the mere thought of a unsuccessful campaign tomorrow saddens my heart. And if I not return I will take with me the memory of your fire roasting flavor into the next life for my love for you is deathless.
But do not shed a tear for I have come to the conclusion that victory will soon by in hand but only our persistence will ensure the conquiring of oppression. When one resides in a world where beer is worth nothing and nothing is worth everything there is one perceptible course of procedure which is to fight.
This has nothing to do with Michigan beer specifically, but goes to show how far that craft beer has come as a whole. For those that aren’t aware, Discovery Channel is launching a new show called Brew Masters featuring Dogfish Head Brewing Co’s own Sam Calagione! This should be an incredible look into the mind of arguably the most innovative brewer in the world, and will expose the masses to everything that is craft beer. While I’m sure that this may not be as in-depth of a show as some would like, odds are that it will be the best beer-related series ever produced.
From Discovery’s website:
Each week on Brew Masters, Sam Calagione, maverick, family man and entrepreneur owner of Dogfish Head Brewery travels across America and around the globe as he explores new ingredients and techniques and collaborates with other craft brewers to come up with the next great brews.
About Beer Nation: A Web-Based Series Exploring the Craft Beer Revolution.
Every time you turn around, the taps are multiplying at your local bar. What was once 2 or 3 beers on tap, is now 10 or 15. And these new beers often come from smaller, more creative breweries.
Join us as we explore the raging craft beer revolution and discover all there is to know about beer from the brewery to your pint glass, including the brewers, the drinkers, and everyone else that makes this a Beer Nation.
DIY Network – Yard Crashers
Wednesday February 18 @ 8 p.m. EST
This home brewer’s mess of a yard is quickly transformed into the ultimate backyard brewery. A custom steel wrap-around bar with a dual-tap beer tower serves as the centerpiece, accented by barstools made from recycled kegs. The party space extends past the bar to a brick “fryer” pit and a keg table topped with beer caps. More Info here (including future air times).
*DIY Network will typically post episode videos of their shows – when they do, I’ll post the link.
“Ah that’s just drunk talk…sweet, beautiful drunk talk”
-Barney from The Simpsons
What does the TV show “Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil” have to do with beer? This weeks episode is Beer versus… lets say… “unwanted plant life in your yard”. (I know it’s idiotic but I’m not sure if the Monroe Evening News let me get away with even writing the name of it.)
Anyhow, If you haven’t seen the show, Lewis Black is the judge/host. Two comedians argue about which of two topics is the down fall of civilization. The show is okay and the amount of laughs depends on which comedians are on that night. Next week should be real good. It is Greg Giraldo versus Patton Oswalt.
Arguing against beer this week is Andrew Daly. He is a funny comedian with a dry sense of humor and has some great lines about beer drinkers. Although the jokes are based on beer drinking stereotypes and none of the jokes hit close to home. Although the slam on Shawn MacGowen of the Pogues was a little rough and inaccurate. It was more likely “Streams of Whiskey” that caused his look and not beer. I’m more of the philosophizing Publican that likes to discuss why are we letting the fringes run our country and whatever happened to Olde Frothingslosh. It is still worth checking out.