Pennsylvania produced about 3.7 million barrels of beer last year, once again making us the biggest beer-producing state in the nation. Beer is so big here that now that there’s even a documentary that explains how we got here, as well as who is doing the brewing.
And if you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can watch it for free.
Dubbed Poured in Pennsylvania, the feature-length doc is now streaming on the online service, courtesy of Harrisburg-based production company GK Visual. The film, which premiered last year, explores the Commonwealth’s brew-laden past, present, and future through interviews with more than 50 Pennsylvania brewers and other craft-beer influencers.
“We didn’t want to do, ‘Here is this brewery, and this is the kind of beer they make,’” says Nate Kresge, director and co-owner of GK Visual, adding that the film took about two years to produce. “We just love have people be able to tell their own stories.”
To that end, the movie features brewers such as Shaun Harris of Harris Family Brewery (Pennsylvania’s first known African American-owned brewery) and Yards Brewing Co.’s Tom Kehoe discussing their approaches to craft beer in Pennsylvania. The result is an in-depth portrait of Pennsylvania’s thriving craft beer industry, which today includes more than 350 breweries across the state.
Poured in Pennsylvania comes to Prime following a tour on the film festival circuit last year, which brought it to more than a dozen film events in six states, Kresge says. During that run, the doc racked up several awards, including best feature film from the Delco Film Festival, best director from Philly’s own FirstGlance Film Festival, and best documentary from the Jersey City Popup Film Festival.
“It’s funny to see people walk out of it like, ‘I didn’t know Pennsylvania had such a beer culture,’” Kresge says. “People that aren’t used to beer seem to learn a lot.”
Now, GK Visual plans to keep that education going with a serialized version of the film to be known as Poured in Pennsylvania: The Series, Kresge says. That format, the director adds, will allow its creators to keep up with Pennsylvania’s ever-changing craft beer industry, which made doing an evergreen-style documentary difficult. Poured in Pennsylvania, for example, features an informative interview with Tim Patton of Saint Benjamin Brewing Company, which just closed up shop May 4.
“[With the series], we can stay more current,” Kresge says. “We can be a little more adaptable.”
The first episode of the Poured series, which as already been filmed, should hit Prime (and possibly other services) by the end of the summer, Kresge says. It will deal with Harrisburg Beer Week, as well as Brewers of Pennsylvania’s Meeting of the Malts, both of which kicked off last month. Future topics for the series may include other events like Pittsburgh’s Fresh Fest, the first African-American-focused beer festival in the nation, as well as conceptual topics like the rise of Internet-based beer influencers.
Philly Beer Week, which runs May 31 to June 9 this year, however, isn’t slated for an episode just yet. But viewers ought to expect an episode in the future once GK Visual can make the trip to town.
“That’s definitely on the list,” Kresge says.