Lots of folks in the booze business have a similar dilemma right now: they’re stuck at home and have already run out of binge-worthy TV.
Another thing most people in the booze business share in common, though, is that they are essentially storytellers. Having a good story is especially true for slinging pints to beer geeks, who otherwise will want to have a technical conversation about yeast strains and specific gravity.
Unfortunately, you can’t take your enforced downtime on a road trip to a brewery; they’re all closed to the public for the time being. What you can do instead is take a virtual tour, and glean your essential narrative there. By “virtual tour,” I don’t mean a YouTubers video or even a documentary, but a genuine presentation by the brewery itself, intended as a preview, aid to or even substitute for going there in person.
Strangely, most breweries don’t have such a production of their own. Here are four of the best options—virtual tours from the brewer’s own mouth that will give you that something to talk about when you get back to work. Don’t forget to pick up a sixer from the relevant brewery and do a home tasting.
Big Sky Brewing Company
This little brewery in Montana won a big score on the virtual tour meter for its cutting edge presentation, using 3D dollhouse modeling. It’s as virtual reality as you can get without donning goggles. You can either point, click and rotate your own way through the or simply hit play and let the pre-programmed procession take you through the brewery. Either way, the format is the next best thing to being there.
Take the VIRTUAL TOUR.
Narrated by the personable Garrett Oliver, this 4 ½ minute film uses 360 degree videography. Look in the upper left corner and you’ll see the four-direction button. So, have a look around as Oliver explains each stage of his beer-making process and learn something new about one of America’s best-known craft lagers.
Tröegs Independent Brewing
Hershey, Pennsylvania is best known for its chocolate, but it also is home to a small brewery that keeps popping up on “Best Craft Beer in America” lists. This stylishly-scored video forgoes narration, instead rolling step by step through each piece of equipment or part of the brewery to reach the shop and taphouse at the end. The lack of narration makes it rather relaxing, but you should know the basics of beer-making before starting.
To start with a brewery named “Anchor” is a triple entendre, because on top of everything else Anchor Brewing is also one of that small group of American brewers that survived industrial consolidation and the changing tastes of the Boomers to make it out of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s and into the modern era. Their presentation is decidedly old school, just still photos and text, but it is chock full of fun tidbits to share across the bar.
Take the brewery tour HERE.