Sam Calagione Talks About What’s Next After Brew Masters

Don and I spoke with Dogfish Head’s big fish Sam Calagione today, and we asked about the TV show Brew Masters and what comes next for Dogfish Head and mass media.  Sam’s answer was pretty exciting.

Sam told us that he’s still working with Zero Point Zero, the production company that filmed Brew Masters, but instead of perusing a television opportunity, they are taking their content directly to the people.

Zero Point Zero has a partnership with the hip literary journal McSweeney’s, and the two are busily mashing up food, print, and the latest technology to create some compelling new media.  They most recently teamed up with iconoclastic chef David Chang to produce lucky peach, a quarterly print journal and soon-to-be iPad app that explores food through travelogue, essays, recipes, photography, and, in the case of the iPad app, video and who knows what else.  Imagine all of that, but with beer!

Calagione hinted that he was already working on such a project with the Zero-Point-Zero/McSweeney’s team.  The format should provide loads of creative freedom while insulating them from the commercial constraints of television.

If you recall, Anthony Bourdain (also a Zero Point Zero guy – they produce No Reservations) tweeted that “big beer” threatened to pull their advertising dollars away from Discovery Networks if Brew Masters was renewed, so the show was abandoned.  A quarterly journal and iPad app would give Sam and company the freedom to express themselves without having to worry about advertisers. It should also provide many interesting ways to creatively explore the joys of good beer.

Sam didn’t give us a time frame on when the app and journal will be released, so we can assume that it isn’t imminent.  When it is released, we look forward to seeing what Sam and his buddies (I imagine Bourdain will be among them) can come up with.

If you’re one of those beer geeks who wanted more Brew Masters, here’s your opportunity for another round.  If you’re one of those geeks who felt Brew Masters didn’t dig deep enough, there’s a good chance that this project will satisfy you.  Either way, sign us up.

Our interview with Sam  covered a range of topics which we’ll be writing as a series of posts in the coming days, but this tidbit got us so excited we just had to share it now.  Look for more soon.


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Categories: anthony bourdain, Beer, big beer, brew masters, brewmasters, dogfish head, News, sam calagione


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20 Comments on “Sam Calagione Talks About What’s Next After Brew Masters”

  1. September 26, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Awesome! Keep them coming!

    • September 27, 2011 at 10:32 am #

      Thanks, Jorge. We covered a lot of ground – hopefully a string of posts won’t get tiring…

  2. Kam
    September 26, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    Wow, that’s a creepy GIF!

    • September 26, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

      Cool? Yes.

      Creepy? For sure.

  3. John King
    September 27, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    Does Sam like bears?

    • September 27, 2011 at 10:32 am #

      He didn’t kick Don off the call, so I guess he tolerates them at least…

  4. Wayne
    September 27, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    Truly exciting news JIm–I loved Brew Masters! I’m assuming that an IPad app will also work on my IMac (same basic technology?), but am not sure. Can any of you enlighten me? (I’ll do independent research on the matter but would still appreciate your feedback.)

    Also, props to Sam–this is exactly the kind of thing I had hoped for (and even mentioned in an earlier posting.)

    Once again, we can tell the big guys to FO, by doing an end-run in alternative media. Big TV –along with newspapers, DVD rentals and movie theaters–will have nobody else to blame when they lose market share to device-driven, alternative media.

    Now if we could only migrate this mind-set to local economies and job markets…in essence creating an alternate economy independent of the multinational thievery that masquerades as a ‘free-market’ in today’s world.

    • September 27, 2011 at 10:30 am #

      I think you’ve gone beyond my ability to think about the pitfalls of a free market economy, but I agree that cutting out the “big guys” feels good.
      Not sure if it’ll run on your Mac, but since they’ve launced an app store for Macs, maybe this’ll show up in it. Or maybe you now have a good reason to get an iPad! 🙂

      • September 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

        Nah, that’d be too duplicative and wasteful. Besides I got the big screen IMac ’cause I’m blind as a bat.

        • September 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

          Maybe the iPad has a braille app! 😉

        • September 28, 2011 at 11:18 am #

          You laugh but I’ll bet they do.

    • September 28, 2011 at 11:27 am #

      Its official–IPad apps will not work on an IMac unless/until one buys software to allow same. (Maybe someone will write some freeware that’ll allow me to continue to be a cheapskate–do you realize how much beer I can’t buy if I’m buying more Mac apps?) Guess I’ll put it on my Christmas list.)

      On the plus side, future IMac releases may include IPad functionality in their native software suite.

      • September 28, 2011 at 11:29 am #

        There’s the app store for macs, so maybe they’ll make it compatible with both…

  5. September 28, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    This seems like a good spot for a plug for a DFH product, and its a back-thread to an earlier blog by Jim.

    I’ve said in the past that many of DFH’s brews are too sweet/high alcohol for my palate. So imagine my surprise today when I tried draft DFH Pumpkin Ale, and found it dry and eminently drinkable. This is a pumpkin ale that I could actually drink a pint of. So, bottom line, if the sweet cloying quality of most pumpkin ales is what turns you off about them, you may want to give the DFH version a try.

  6. October 2, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    I’ve been blogging about this on my blog and the AHA forum recently. It seems there’s still a lot of confusion as to how everything went down between Sam and the Discovery Channel. I am excited to hear that they are moving along with Zero-Point-Zero. Does anybody know if it would be likely for them to set up an app for Droid and Windows based phones as well?

    • October 3, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

      Not sure what they’re planning outside print and iPad, Nick, but I imagine it’ll be a while before it hits any other formats. Kindle Fire probably would come first because of the bookish/literary nature of what they’re trying to do.

  7. November 18, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    So, was episode 6 ever aired??? I NEED to see it! cheers, rod in canada

    • November 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

      It never did in the US, but I heard other markets got it. Not sure about Canada. I just looked on Amazon / iTunes and they only go up to episode 5, so I’m not sure where else you might find it.


  1. Discovery’s Brew Masters Cancelled | Beer & Whiskey Brothers Blog - September 26, 2011

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    […] Ending Update (9/26/11): Sam tells us that he’s cooking something up with production company Zero-Point-Zero (the producers of Brew Masters) for the […]

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