FrankenBrew: How to Build a Micro-Brewery, is now available on DVD.
I haven’t seen this video, assembled in 1995, in some time and fully expect it will be dated. In a good way.
Tom Hennessy, one of the founders of Il Vicino in Albuquerque, put it together, featuring New Mexico microbreweries that were small and smaller. And in many cases not survivors.
It originally had a subtitle along the lines of building a brewery for “less than $20,000.” That notion’s obviously dated, and it’s a heck of a lot harder to start a brewery these days with used “re-purposed” equipment, so I wouldn’t suggest this is the video you need if you are dreaming of starting your own brewery. (Additionally, Hennessy was always quick to point out the idea might have been to get started on the cheap, however the bigger plan was to use the profits to buy “real” equipment.)
If you care about American small-batch brewing it’s worth owning even if you don’t live in New Mexico (we do, although we lived in Illinois when we first saw the video). It captures an important bit of history from a time when a lot of small breweries opened on a shoestring. Some became rip-roaring successes, more didn’t make the cut. Big picture: It’s important to hear the voices of those who don’t succeed as well as those who do.
Maybe more important, I remember grinning a lot the last time I saw this video. I look forward to seeing it soon and grinning some more.