Sep 9, 2015 - Food and Drink

Films on Tap to host beer + film pairing tonight at Unknown Brewing

Unknown Brewing

Unknown Brewing

We’ve all heard about the art of food and beverage pairing (wine and cheese, anyone?), but what happens when you attempt to artistically align a drink with a non-food experience? Films on Tap does just that, crossing category lines by curating a selection of local films paired with craft brew flavors that complement each production’s emotional feel.

More than 150 people attended the inaugural Films on Tap pairing last year at Heist and they’re back again tonight with a five-film lineup at Unknown Brewing Co. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the first film starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and include a beer flight, and True Crafted Pizza and Imperial Sandwich food trucks will also be on site.

Films on Tap food

Before she started packing her bags for her new gig in Jackson Hole, Agenda writer Liz Barrett caught up with Films on Tap co-founder Sean Beck about how the concept originated and what to expect at tonight’s event. The following is Liz and Sean’s Q&A.

Where did this event idea originate? Who is responsible for creating this? Is it in other cities?

Films on Tap originated with a simple idea: I wanted to host a casual get-together in my living room where some of my filmmaker friends could show their short films while drinking beer that was brewed by my friends who participate in home-brewing. There is nothing better than beer and film, and when paired together, something magical happens. I thought that if wine and cheese worked, why shouldn’t beer and film?

I had talked about this idea with others, but once I met Nicole Driscoll, she actually wanted to something about it. We both took it a step further and found that if we partnered with breweries, we could really have something great. We had two very overwhelmingly successful events and from there discovered the need to build a team around Films on Tap. We now have a dedicated team of 12 local to Charlotte.

Films on Tap

In the future we’d like to branch out to other cities, but with the fast-paced growth of Charlotte’s craft beverage scene, we plan to stick around here for a while.

How can a beer be paired with a film? What’s the idea there?

How can a beer be paired with a film – this is such a valid question. I tend to look at things in a systematic way sometimes – what goes into someone’s creative process, where they got the idea, what they hope the final product to be, and most importantly how they want people to feel. If you think about all these elements, you can apply them to any creative process.

Let’s take filmmaking and brewing, for example. If you take away the “job” element, you’re left with love and passion.

Filmmakers and brewmasters are some of the hardest working people I know, and when they are loving what they do, the result only strengthens. The amount of dedication that goes into both creative outlets is just massive. And the outcome? A shared experience by all to celebrate what went into it and what you get out of it.

With beer, there is a richness and so many layers when you’re taking that first sip. Like film, you can get a lot on the surface, but it’s not until you let your mind delve into the story that you’re left with a deep sense of captivity.

Films on Tap

Some beers are dark, and so are some films. Some beers are light with a kick, and some films are just as light but can contain unexpected dramatic elements. Some films keep you wanting more at the end, and living in this city, I can certainly say the same about some of the beers I’ve got to enjoy.

When it comes down to it, I guess it just makes sense for the two to be together.

Films on Tap

How do you solicit for and select the films you’ll show?

At the moment, we do our best to reach out verbally and through social media to our filmmaker colleagues. Charlotte is a great hub for independent film, so a lot of the time it’s not so hard to find a great film that was made here locally. The hard part is choosing which films to showcase, especially when so many great ones exist!

Films on Tap

What do you have on tap for the September 9th event? What films will you be showing and what beers will they be paired with? Anything particularly compelling in the film lineup?

Every single film is compelling. We try to choose a lineup that has a lot of diversity: a drama, a comedy, a music video, a documentary, and perhaps something a little experimental. Just like the first two events, the lineup won’t disappoint. And the beer? Pssh, it’s from Unknown Brewing Company and we all know we can’t get enough of their delicious beveragey treats.

This September, our lineup is as follows:

Two For Tea – Hospitali-Tea South Amber Ale
Exodia by J.K. The Reaper – Over The Edge American IPA
The Year That Wasn’t – Pregame Session Ale
Another Man’s Treasure – Ginger Wheat
Grape Soda – Scratch & Sniff Aromatic IPA

Tell us a little bit about the directors. Who are they, what’s their age, are they professional film makers? Professional beer enthusiasts? How was the tasting Saturday? Do people feel good about their pairs?

Films on Tap

I haven’t personally met all of them, so Nicole may need to step in here. But I can definitely tell you that the ones I know are amazing people.

I wouldn’t call them beer enthusiasts, but creative and dedicated come to mind when I think of Josh Barkey, writer of Two For Tea. His uniqueness as a writer shines on the page and makes a big presence on screen. Screenplay to screenplay, he manages to always have a richness and depth to his stories, yet still coming up with a new concept each time, keeping his readers entertained and engaged.

Films on Tap Heist

Josh Swope, director of ‘Another Man’s Treasure’ is a great, young filmmaker with many years of filmmaking ahead of him. He made a very compelling documentary on the fly. I can’t wait to see what he does with his next project.

John Schwert and Jason King are the dynamic duo of the industry.

Jason being a great actor and stand up comedian brings a lot to the screen, where John with his producer background surprised me with his acting skills. He’s an incredible producer, yes, but I had no idea how talented the guy was on camera. I hope to see more hilarious vignettes from these two soon.

How many people were at the original Heist event?

I think we had just about 150 attend the first event, and about the same for the second. We had to print more tickets because we didn’t expect that many people to show up!

How often do you have these events?

With the new team, we’ve also re-formatted Films on Tap and how it will flow each year.

In the spring we’ll have our first Films on Tap beer and film pairing. Summer will be Music on Tap, a spinoff which includes pairing a musician’s 3-song setlist with a local beer. Come Fall, we’re back to our second Films on Tap beer and film pairing. And for Winter, we want to do a special (small) event where folks can bundle up inside a beer cooler and watch a local feature length film. And yes, there will be beer for that as well.

How can someone enter their own film?
We always like to see new material being submitted. To those who would like to submit, simply shoot us an email with a link and we’ll be happy to check it out and consider it for our next event.


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