Tonight the New Orleans episode of "Brew Dogs" airs on Esquire Channel at 8pm Central. The show's premise is that two wild and crazy brewers from Scotland - Martin Dickey and James Watts, co-founders of Brewdog Brewing - come to a city in America, learn about its people and history, and design and brew a beer that pays homage to that. The beer is then tasted by a group of people and judged worthy or not worthy. Along the way, the pair investigate local ingredients, techniques, cuisine, and beer culture, while dropping their mad beer knowledge on the viewers and the beer noobs they come across on their journey.
For the show set in New Orleans, the Brew Dogs production team partnered with NOLA Brewing to help source ingredients, brew the beer, and provide the backdrop and audience for showcasing the finished product. NOLA brewer Derek Lintern served as the Brew Dogs' guide and host, and appears in several scenes of the episode, brainstorming, brewing, and presenting the specially made beer.
Lintern and the NOLA crew will be hosting a viewing of the show tonight at the brewery and in the tap room. There will be schwag to give away, and food trucks. Lintern was unsure if the "Zombie Beer" brewed for the show would be available to try - "we have a little left, but we need to taste it and see if it's still palatable."
How dd you get involved with the Brew Dogs production?
Well, they reached out to us because they thought that NOLA [Brewing] would be a good location. They came up with bringing back a "dead" [beer] style, which they thought would be fitting since the city was well known for rebuilding itself. We went back and forth for a bit before coming up with the Peterman style, and I did some test batches at the brewery.
It's funny, because usually when brewing, when you come up with the craziest ideas ideas, you have to whittle them down to something palatable. This wasn't necessarily the case with this particular experience.
What were you expecting when they came to film the segment?
We had talked about brewing on the bayou, though I thought that meant we'd be sitting on the levee. [the beer was brewed in an airboat while cruising around the swampy bayou in Larose] I thought we'd brew the beer while talking about brewing, but it was actually more like fun adventure time.
What was NOLA Brewing responsible for?
Hosting them and brewing the beer. We were talking about all sorts of ingredients, and when we thought about mayhaws, they were still underripe [filming occurred in April, before mayhaws generally ripen] but it actually worked better that way, it gave that tart green apple flavor that we wanted for the sour style. They actually came up with the Rose of Jericho as an ingredient, which would transform from a dried dead-looking tumbleweed to a very alive plant with just a drop of water. They sourced that from a local voodoo priestess. It was a different element - you got the opportunity to think about the meaning behind the ingredients.
We also were responsible for planning the [beer unveiling] party. That was actually pretty easy - it was like a normal event, except if I messed up, I had the chance to repeat myself. (Laughs)
What was the brewing experience like?
In technical terms, the mashing process was definitely different - it was like the mashing process of a lambic without the aging process - like a lambic without all the good stuff.
The day itself - well, we went to Larose where we do our [T-Bois] Blues Festival every year. We hopped on the two airboats, showing everyone the gators, the fish, the birds, while the filtration boat went on ahead. It was funny, the movement of the boat did all the stirring for us.
Brewing is always a little dangerous - you're literally playing with fire - and then add the doing it on a boat factor? (Laughs) But the only issues we had were boat issues, not brewing issues.
The production team built that filtration system from scratch and then gave it to Mr. Ted [owner of the bayou and boats they brewed on] so he could use it. They didn't skimp on anything, even though they were going to only be using it once.
What was it like working with Martin and James?
They were a blast, a ton of fun. Very professional - but when the mikes came off, they were a little bit more... lively. That didn't happen often though, the film crew never cut, they were always filming, it seemed. I only worked with them for two days - when they were at the brewery and when we were at the bayou. But it was fun.
· All Beer Here! [-ENOLA-]