Film on Tap: American Craft Beer Week

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Crafting A Nation's Courtney Cobb with Scott Metzger and Davis Tucker

The Brewers Association proclaimed May 13 - 19 as this year's American Craft Beer Week, which means film-and-beer events are taking place across the nation. Just down the road in San Antonio, the documentary Crafting a Nation premiered at the Alamo Drafthouse Stone Oak last evening. Unfortunately I missed the screening, but I did get to the premiere after-party at Freetail Brewing Company. There I caught up with producer Courtney Cobb and a couple of the featured subjects in the film: Scott Metzger of Freetail and Davis Tucker of North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewery (pictured above with Cobb).

The Crafting a Nation filmmaking team has been traveling across the U.S. this week with their film -- director Tom Kolicko hosted the San Diego screening. Cobb reports that the team is holding off on the Austin premiere so that they can "do it up really big" since central Texas was a featured region of the film. I heard a few of the audience members got a bit teary-eyed during a couple of scenes, and hope to see the movie for myself in Austin soon.

As I reported earlier this month, tonight the Violet Crown Cinema (VCC) debuts their new series CineBrew, a retrospective film program paired with regional craft beer tastings. Brewery representatives from Jester King Craft Brewery will discuss the brewing process and how each of the beers attains its own style. Featured Jester King's Metal series of farmhouse beers will include Black Metal, Funk Metal and Viking Metal. My personal favorite featured is the farmhouse imperial stout, Black Metal, along with Funk Metal, a sour barrel-aged stout. Viking Metal is a truly unique beer aged in an Old Tom gin barrel and based on the ancient Swedish Gotlandsdricka, brewed with birchwood smoked malt, juniper and Myrica gale.

Viewers can enjoy the craft brew while watching the digitally remastered and previously unavailable 1992 documentary Dream Deceivers: The Story Behind James Vance vs. Judas Priest, preceded by local filmmaker Kat Candler's powerful short film Black Metal, which screened at Sundance and SXSW this year. Candler and Black Metal producer Kelly Williams will participate in a Q&A following the screening, with Dream Deceivers filmmaker David Van Taylor participating via Skype. Tickets can be purchased at Violet Crown Cinema or via the theater's website.

Flix Brewhouse released a new beer in honor of American Craft Beer Week, the Melting Pot Honey Rye Pale Ale. This subtle pale ale features malts and hops from across the globe. Flix Brewhouse just announced their second location will open later this year in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Brewers Association announced this week that 2010 Master Chef Finalist and native Texan Chris Spradley -- who resides in Houston -- is hosting a new TV show about food and beer called Breweries, Bars and Beer Food. The show is about “great beer, great food, the people who brew it, the people who cook it and everyone who loves both!” Viewers will get a behind-the-scene look at breweries across the U.S., showing the brewing process as Chris speaks with the men and women in craft beer.

The show will also feature chefs local to the featured brewery, who will prepare dishes matched or cooked with the featured beer. The recipes for the dishes on the show will be available to the viewers on the website after the show airs. Future Film on Tap columns will keep you up to date about upcoming episodes of this craft beer-related videos.

Later this month and in June, enjoy the cult classic The Big Lebowski Quote-Along at the Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter with discounts on The Dude's signature drink, the White Russian. The Drafthouse has also introduced the recurring signature event, Broadway Brunch, and this month's featured film at the Ritz is the classic musical Cabaret. I'm a big fan of the Alamo Drafthouse brunch menu, with many items pairing quite well with a mimosa.

[Photo credit: "Scott Metzger, Courtney Cobb, and Davis Tucker," by Debbie Cerda, for use by request.]