Friday, October 2, 2009

"Beer Wars" --- The Trailer

It's not beer, it's fermented, industrial sludge. It's NOT beer!

DOTOF™ to the estimable Steve Simels: The "Big Three" USer "beer" manufacturers--Anheuser-Busch, Coors, and Miller--don't make "beer." They make mildly alcoholic "malt beverages." Proof of this assertion came irrefutably during the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany when the Germans invoked the "Reihheits" (purity) laws to prohibit "Budweiser" kiosks from advertizing "beer."

..."Ducks in a Row Entertainment's DVD of Beer Wars: Brewed in America, an eye-opening, funny and righteously infuriating documentary by first-time filmmaker Anat Baron.

Baron was the former general manager for Mike's Hard Lemonade (sort of the Bartles and Jaymes or Zima of the new century) so she obviously knows a little something about the spirits biz, and her film (think of it as Suds: A Love Story) is a sort of Michael Moore-ish look at how three gigantic corporate entities -- Anheuser/Busch, Miller and Coors -- not only sell a demonstrably crappy product but use their enormous monopolistic clout to squeeze out smaller entrepeneurs who try to challenge their hegemony. It's your basic David and Goliath story (told through the eyes of two of the aforementioned small entrepeneurs) with Baron as its peripatetic narrator and conscience, and while it's a tad heavy-handed at times it's also a pretty damning indictment of not just the beer industry but contemporary unfettered unregulated capitalism's disturbing excesses. Given our current economic climate (not to mention the health care debate -- the beer companies will definitely remind you of some of the current players in that little brouhaha) this is a film with all sorts of resonances beyond its immediate subject.

The trailer to give you an idea of its at times cheerfully bemused agit-prop approach.
Addendum: This is one of the FUNNIEST beer ads EVER!

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