Brew Hampshire

Rated: Not Rated

        I’ve long been interested in beer. Since (admittedly) before I was 21, I’ve been known to enjoy beer. I would’ve said “I’ve been known to enjoy a good beer,” but before the age of 21 there was little good in the beer I drank. Most of it was the beer of the masses, Coors Light and Miller Light. (I have, at least, always hated Budsweiser!) Cheap, watery nothingness that was little more than a way to catch a buzz.
        Upon the dawn of my 21 birthday I decided that it was time I “grew up”. It was finally time to put down the mass produced crap I’d been drinking and start to discover what other things the world had to offer in the way of beer. I couldn’t tell you exactly how this journey into the
real world of beer began, but I from then on, made it my mission to try at least one new (preferably local) beer everywhere I went.
        Of course, that’s not to say that I haven’t had my favorites throughout the years. Magic Hat, Smuttynose, Portsmouth Brewery, Woodstock, and for the longest, Redhook, have all earned special places in my heart, mind, liver and fridge. (Right now my favorite is Audible Ale from Redhook, but only since they did away with my #1 all-time favorite, Copperhook).
        Despite the fact that my tastes in most things have changed over the years, as most people’s do, beer has been the mainstay. In the past I did enjoy most mixed drinks, (I’ve never been a big wine fan anyhow), but as time has gone on I’ve found that 99% of the mixed drinks out there are far too sweet for me. Beer, on the other hand, seems to (almost always) have the perfect combination of smoothness, bitterness, mouthfeel and overall appeal to me that so many other adult beverages are lacking.
        The most interesting thing to me, about how my own evolution in tastes has gone, is that my beloved state of New Hampshire has seemed to follow my tastes to a tee. Part of this evolution has occurred because New Hampshire is in the middle of a craft beer boom. They are the first state in the nation to come up with a “nano-brewers” license (which states that up to 2000 barrels a year can be made), making it fairly easy and cheap for anyone that has a passion for making their own beer to get into the industry. Nothing I’ve found chronicles the New Hampshire beer evolution better than the recent documentary
Brew Hampshire.
        The brain child of film makers Meagan Frappiea and Bryant Naro,
Brew Hampshire contains interviews with 13 of New Hampshire’s 45 craft breweries, including Smuttynose Brewing Company, Throwback Brewery, Earth Eagle Brewings, One Love Brewery, 603 Brewery, 7th Settlement, Canterbury Aleworks, White Birch Brewing, Kelsen Brewing Company, Out.Haus Ales, Henniker Brewing Company, Stoneface Brewing Company, and Able Ebenezer Brewing Company. According to Frappiea, the idea to tell the story of craft brewers in New Hampshire began with Throwback Brewery a few years ago. Naro and Frappiea had recently started their own film company, Slate Roof Films, and wanted to get a film under their belts right away. Naro’s cousin is an assistant brewer at Throwback and after witnessing how much everyone loved the beer they produced and all that was involved, Frappiea and Naro decided to make a short documentary.
        As time went on, after the short was made, Naro and Frappiea met more and more brewers, and according to Frappiea, “the passion and entrepreneurship among brewers was really infectious.” After about a year, the couple decided that it was time to expand upon the short film in order to show people just how intertwined the craft beer makers of New Hampshire are with their communities and the state’s tourism industry. “They’re all working together to cultivate beer tourism in the state.” said Frappiea. “As Paul Kelly, co-founder of Kelsen Brewing Company, says in our film, ‘People will travel to go to eight breweries as opposed to one’. Areas like the seacoast and Derry have quite a few breweries, and you’ll see [tourists] taking advantage of that.”
        When I asked Frappiea if there was anything they’d like people to take away from the film she said, “…what a great community we have here in New Hampshire, and how exciting the beer scene is right now. Each brewery really seems to have its own community around it, supporting it. For us, we were really inspired by everyone taking that leap of faith to do what they wanted to do.”
        It’s obvious while watching
Brew Hampshire that Frappiea and Naro were fascinated, excited and passionate about this project and the people in it. It was important for them to let the whole story be told by the brewers themselves, rather than have a narrator piece everything together. The end result of all of their hard work is a film that’s funny, inspirational, and interesting, while at the same time, educational. I learned a lot from their film, and, as you might expect, was very thirsty after watching it. So grab yourself a local brew and watch Brew Hampshire, you’ll be glad you did! Cheers!

Brew Hampshire is not rated, was written, directed, produced, shot and edited by Bryant Naro and Meagan Frappiea. It features interviews with Carl Soderberg, Mike Frizzelle, Michael Hauptly-Pierce, Butch Heilshorn, JT Thompson, Alex McDonald, Annette Lee, Nicole Carrier, Peter Egelston, Steve Allman, Andy Day, Bill Herlicka, Dan Leonard, Geoff Hewes, Tamsin Hewes, Chris Shea, Chris Naro, Zack Cooper, Bert Bingel, Josh Henry, Nate Sephton, Dave Boyton, Chris Casey, Scott Schaier, Tom Albright, Michael Snyder, Dave Adams, Mark Chagg, Paul Kelly, Erik Olsen, Peter Beauregard and Sean Jansen. It will be featured on November 12, 2015 at the SNOB Film Festival, with a small state tour to follow. Bryant and Meagan hope to have it available on DVD and digital within a few months.