A career in beer sounds fun — and it can be. But it's also a lot of work. The documentary film Brewmaster, which will be screened as part of the sixth annual Flatirons Food Film Fest, tells two stories about that work. One concerns a young New York attorney who decides to dedicate himself to learning how to brew, with the goal of eventually opening his own brewery. The second is about a corporate beer educator who is studying to become a master cicerone, a level of accomplishment that only eleven other people have achieved.
A star-studded cast of beer celebrities are also interviewed throughout the film, including Brewers Association founder Charlie Papazian, Cicerone Certification founder Ray Daniels, Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver, John and Jen Kimmich of Alchemist Brewery, and beer author Randy Mosher.
Papazian and Daniels will both be on hand for the screening, which takes place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. They'll be joined afterward by Betsy Lay, a homebrewer turned pro at Lady Justice Brewing in Denver, for a panel discussion on beer making that will be moderated by Westword beer writer Jonathan Shikes (that's me).
"I am always on the lookout for new quality feature films on craft beer because of its relevance to Colorado and its craft-beer community," says Julia Joun, the founder and organizer of the six-year-old Flatirons Food Film Fest. "They are harder to find than you might think. The last time that we screened one, Craft Beer, by Craig Noble, was in 2014. As for Brewmaster, I love how it blends the compelling personal stories of its two main subjects, Drew and Brian, with the history of craft beer as told by some of its most important players."
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The four-day festival, which celebrates exceptional culinary cinema, runs October 11 to 14 and takes place at various locations in Boulder. It includes screenings, expert speakers, discussions and food-related events. Other topics this year include Cuban food stories, children and family traditions, and there will be an homage to Anthony Bourdain.
The beer events all take place Thursday, however. At 5 p.m., Daniels leads an intimate beer-tasting dinner at Squared Pizza + Beer, 1123 Walnut Street. Admission ($55) includes a ticket to the screening of Brewmaster afterward, as well as the panel. Alternately, at 5:30 p.m., Local Table Tours owner Megan Bucholz will lead a group on a ninety-minute beer and bites tasting tour in downtown Boulder. Stops include the Post Brewing Co., West Flanders Brewing and Squared Pizza. Tickets also include a seat at the Brewmaster screening.
The film itself, followed by the panel discussion, screens at 7:30 p.m. in the Canyon Theater, which is located behind the Boulder Public Library at 1001 Arapahoe Avenue. And then, everyone is invited to continue the discussion at the Brewmaster After-Party at the Kitchen Upstairs, 1039 Pearl Street.
For tickets and info about the beer events and all of the Flatirons Food Film Fest, go to flatironsfoodfilmfest.org.