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How We Almost Had a TV Show, Part 2: “The Road to Victory”

The following is Part 2 of a five part story about how Don and I almost landed a TV show on Discovery. It’s a long tale (sometimes the good ones are) so I’ve broken it into a few “chapters.” You can find Part 1 here.  Enjoy!

Part 2: The Road To Victory

Don and I were thrilled to have the chance to audition for a TV show, and we jumped in with both feet.  Some prospective hosts were willing to give super-producer Matt two hours to tape their talent reel, but Don and I were willing to go the distance to make it the best we could.  We gave him two days.

We worked with Matt to find a place in the northeast to shoot our demo.  It had to be within driving distance from NYC so the crew didn’t have to fly.  It came down to Victory Brewing in Downingtown PA and Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY.  I liked Ommegang for the whole “Belgian brewery sitting in a NY cornfield angle,” but Matt liked Victory, because he loves their beer and it was closer to his home base.  So Victory it was!  

Don flew in from New Orleans after he wrapped up a conference there.  He had a great time in the Big Easy and ate a lot of good food.  Unfortunately, he had some bad stuff too, including some crayfish (or Alien Babies as he called them) that gave him a case of the Treme Trots.

When Don arrived in NJ, I picked him up at the airport and drove directly to Liquor Outlet, where he met my beer guy Kevin and got to drool at the amazing selection there.  You’re not in Idaho anymore, Dorothy!

We picked up a bunch of goodies and headed to my house for pizza, beer, whiskey and TV research, where we got our TV host juices flowing by watching Bourdain, Top Gear and Three Sheets (which has become awful lately).  There were also frequent trips to the bathroom for the big guy to release the alien babies.

The next morning we woke up a bit groggy and hit the road to Victory.  We filmed ourselves in the car to capture some brotherly banter and our back story.  We talked about the blog, the difference in our ages, told stories from our childhood, etc., etc.

We spent a looong time behind that truck up there thanks to Don's "awesome" navigation skills.

It was a long ride, made even longer by two shortcomings of Don’s that I wasn’t aware of; his phobia of technology and his inability to read a map.  In retrospect, giving him my iPhone and asking him to navigate was a mistake.  Regardless, it was lots of fun and gave us the chance to reconnect after many years apart.

When we got to Downingtown, we picked up super-producer Matt at the train station and headed to the brewery to get our bearings for the shoot the following day. We got to spend some time walking the place, getting to know the lay of the land and the folks there.  Of course they put a beer in our hands the moment we arrived and kept them flowing until we were poured into a taxi several hours later.  It was great.

We did a lot of this for free at Victory. God, I love those people!

While having dinner at the brewery, we got to talk TV with Matt and came to the conclusion that he was an awesome, interesting guy who saw the show exactly the same way we did.  He really knows his beer and spirits, he homebrews, and he has a deep intellectual curiosity about other cultures and what makes people tick.  He loved the concept of the show as much as we did.  It was going to be great working with him.

That night at the hotel, Don and I chatted tipsily about what we wanted to do at the shoot the next day.  Then it was time to hit the rack – we needed our beauty sleep for our big day tomorrow.

Tune in tomorrow for Part 3: Action!

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Categories: Beer, Brotherhood

Author:Jim

Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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13 Comments on “How We Almost Had a TV Show, Part 2: “The Road to Victory””

  1. July 20, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    Very Cool! Can’t wait for part III. I’ll comment then. Cheers Guys!

    • July 20, 2010 at 9:57 am #

      Part three is shoot day at Victory and it was a blast!

  2. July 20, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    This is cool. I think not many people can even say they came remotely this close to a show.

    • July 20, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

      Yes, Mike. We are the king of the losers. 😉

      But it has been a cool ride for sure.

  3. July 20, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    Being the king of losers is better than being the jester of them.

    • July 20, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

      Well said, Mike. And we’re not done just yet…

  4. July 21, 2010 at 12:55 am #

    Great stuff! Its amazing what this little site has become in such a short time. I mean, besides the ‘awesome’ insights about beer, you guys get to reconnect and have a hell of a lot of fun. That’s the coolest part I think. Anyway, looking forward to the rest of the series!

    I am the Jester of the losers. Its an OK gig, but certainly not king material!

  5. Paulette
    July 23, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    i agree “three sheets” has had it’s day. the show used to be great but there is nothing new and fresh and i’m bored after 4 seasons.

    • July 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

      I remember seeing the show a few years ago on VOOM (an all HD network back when that was a novelty) and thought it was great. Zane was funny, local culture played into it, and it was pretty authentic. The Kentucky and Tokyo episodes stick out in my memory as good ones.

      When we were up for our own show, I revisited Three Sheets, only to find it has turned into a forced-funny product placement bonanza. I was really disappointed. The episode I watched was Hawaii, and there must have been 6 products in it that had paid for the exposure. It was blatant and it seemed they were just going through the motions, cramming them all into the show. It was awful.

      Hopefully Zane Lampley will find his stride again on the Travel Channel, as I think he’s a funny and talented guy.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How We Almost Had a TV Show, Part 1: “The Comment” « Beer & Whiskey Brothers - July 20, 2010

    […] Tune in tomorrow for Part 2: The Road to Victory […]

  2. How We Almost Had a TV Show, Part 3: “Action!” « Beer & Whiskey Brothers - July 21, 2010

    […] It’s a long tale so I’ve broken it into a few “chapters.”  Follow the links for Part 1 and Part 2.  I’ll be posting another installment tomorrow.  Enjoy! Part 3: Action! The next morning we […]

  3. How We Almost Had a TV Show, Part 4: “We Are the Champions!” « Beer & Whiskey Brothers - July 22, 2010

    […] It’s a long tale so I’ve broken it into a few “chapters.”  Follow the links for Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.  I’ll be posting the final installment tomorrow. […]

  4. How We Almost Had a TV Show, Part 5: “Enter Sam Man” « Beer & Whiskey Brothers - July 23, 2010

    […] part story about how Don and I almost landed a TV show on Discovery.  Follow the links for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.  Enjoy!Part 5: Enter Sam Man When the production company reached out to […]

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