Sunday afternoon, I had the pleasure of being a guest judge for a new web series called Craft Beer Clash at Empirical Brewing. The brainchild of Michael Nash will involve a panel of three judges that will visit various breweries around the Chicagoland area to be judged on not only the tasting of the beers themselves but, also the vibe of the taproom and name creativity of the beers. In a brief discussion with Michael, I wanted to learn about the direction of his new series and what he was looking to accomplish with it.
How did you come up with the concept of the web series?
The concept of my web series was formed from my love of craft beer and my visits to dozens of brewery taprooms. I wanted to do something different to show that the world of craft is more diverse and inclusive than most people think. I also wanted to show how collaborative the craft community is.
What is your overall goal of this web series?
The goal of this series is to showcase the local craft scene here in Chicago. It also reaches a larger demographic that isn't really sure what craft beer is or what the experience at a taproom is like. I guess you could say to broaden the horizons of the craft beer world. I think there are so many varieties of craft beer that at least one will literally appeal to everyone.
Do you see Chicago craft beer as a community or in competition with one another? Do you think there will be some resistance with a show that is judging them?
I 100% see the Chicago craft beer scene as a community and not a competition. The ''competition'' on this series is extremely friendly and a secondary part of the show. Most of the brewers know and help each other. I think it's great and I can't think of too many businesses with that type of environment.
As the craft community grows it is always fun when new outlets are created to gain new perspectives, especially when individuals do not actually work in the industry but those who are giving personal insight so they connect with newcomers that have no idea just what they are getting themselves into. I look forward to seeing this web series take off and will keep you guys posted when Michael shares it with the world. Right now he is still in the filming stages with other breweries and hopes to have the project wrapped up soon.