This summer I helped a TV crew from the Discovery Channel film brewers and breweries around the Czech Republic. Along the way, we saw some interesting things at U Medvídků, Chodovar and Pilsner Urquell. And of course we got to try some excellent lagers.
Above is a shot of Pilsner Urquell’s senior trade brewmaster Václav Berka getting ready to talk on camera in front of the kettles. I’m not sure if that or anything else from the Czech Republic filming will make it into the final cut of the show, but I do know that the program is supposed to include Charlie Bamforth and Sam Calagione, and it has been given a title and theme that it didn’t have when we were working on it.
More importantly, it’s airing tonight, December 18, at 8 p.m. on the Discovery Channel, with further broadcasts at midnight tonight and January 2 at 6 p.m.
In addition to the Czech brewmasters, I also did an interview, and at this point I have no idea if I said anything coherent. I do remember it was a very warm 37° C and I had to stand in direct sunlight with a reflector directing even more light into my eyes as I was asked questions that were occasionally very far off base. Every once in a while I would ask for a break so I could drink some cold water — yes, water — and wipe the sweat from my brow.
I’ve promised Alan at A Good Beer Blog a post on what it was like to film the show, so I won’t write too much here; if you’re interested, look for it over there once I get a chance to clear my head. And try to check it out if you have access to the Discovery Channel. As we filmed, we had no idea what the exact theme was or even what the series and the program would be called. It’s now been packaged as part of the Discovery Channel’s How Stuff Works, and the description of the show is a bit different than what at least I thought we were working on: “We talk to the experts, brew masters and beer connoisseurs about how they’re innovating new ways to make beer.”
That definitely sounds like Sam Calagione and Dogfish Head. For better or for worse, it doesn’t sound too much like Pilsner Urquell, U Medvídků or Chodovar.