New Violet Crown Series Blends Craft Beer and Film

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Jester King Black MetalOne of the breweries I featured in my first Film on Tap column is Hill Country-based Jester King Craft Brewery, one of the winning plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission (TABC) regarding labeling and marketing. That case helped grease the wheels for the Texas Legislature to work closely with the TABC, craft brewers and other stakeholders to introduce legislation that impacts Texas craft brewers. The bills have made it through the state Senate, with a House vote expected by mid-May.

Jester King is participating in a less controversial endeavor next month, as the Violet Crown Cinema (VCC) has announced their new series CineBrew, a retrospective film program paired with regional craft beer tastings.

The series debuts on Wednesday, May 15, and will feature Jester King's Metal series of farmhouse beers: Black Metal, Funk Metal and Viking Metal. Brewery representatives will discuss the brewing process and how each of the beers attains its own style. 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.

"When I was doing research on a film about the heavy metal scene, I caught Dream Deceivers and that’s where I found inspiration for our short film," Candler said in the press release from Violet Crown. She called Dream Deceivers "a powerful and heartbreaking documentary."

"We're honored to be part of the inaugural CineBrew," Jester King co-founder Jeffrey Stuffings told me via email. "We have a lot of respect for what VCC does to promote independent filmmaking, and we're pleased they've chosen to pair it with artisan beer. It is no surprise to us, but VCC has created one of the most original events we've ever taken part in, and we think it's going to be a unique, enjoyable, educational event for patrons."

"The guys at Jester King are constantly pushing the boundaries of what beer can and should be," said Violet Crown Cinema Bar and Café Manager Mark Stowe in the press release. "The beers we’ll be tasting will surprise and challenge the palate of even the most sophisticated beer lovers."

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.