A little while back I read Tripp Fuller's Jesus: Lord, Liar, Lunatic... or Awesome?, part of the Hombrewed Christianity guides to theology. It's really great, and I wholeheartedly recommend it - you can get the first chapter free here. There are loads of good reviews all over, and for the listening types, you should check out these interviews, but since the market is saturated, I thought I'd do something different. So I wrote out how I think this book would look as a film, something I also did for Elizabeth Johnson's Quest for the Living God. Enjoy, and go get the book.
A young man from the south embarks on a road trip to California to enter America’s foremost beer brewing competition. Along the way he reflects on his history with his beverage of choice. In flashbacks we see scenes of lessons learnt and unlearnt. How that traditional kind of beer, first given to him by older friends, the beer everyone drinks and thinks, ‘yeah, sure, this is fine’ is actually awful… I mean sure it was fine once, and helped get some people into beer, but c’mon, we’re older now, we have pallets. We see him break from such simplistic understandings of beer, as simply something to get you drunk and solve your problems. However, importantly, we see how this discovery, and his embrace of more nuanced hops and refined brewing techniques made him arrogant and led him to burn bridges with his old friends still drinking that same ol’ stuff. But, like all good heroes, he did some growing up. We see him challenged time and time again; encountering great brewers from all around the world who continue to help him hone his technique, his flavour, his zest.
Finally, as the road trip ends we catch up with the present, arriving at the great brew-off. Our young man, drawing on his journey, the wealth of experience he has pillaged and plundered, presents his beer. He wows the judges with tales of his eco-friendly brewing process, he surprises some of his friends with the high reverence he holds for the ingredients, and, just for good measure, he explores in his presentation the political ramifications of embracing a drink that can bring people together and inspire the best in us all. And what’s more, his beer fits in your back pocket.
In terms tone I’m thinking WILD meets SIDEWAYS... with maybe a little SUPERBAD thrown in.
I think we pitch this as a late summer release... just when people are growing tired of blockbuster after blockbuster we hit them with this small indie darling, with plenty of laughs and a surprising amount of heart.
For casting, I'd love Seth Rogen in the lead - he's loveable, passionate, funny, and as we saw in Steve Jobs, can play drama like a boss! As for some of the gurus who share the secrets of the brew, I'm thinking a classy group of actors: Patricia Clarkson, Alan Alda, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.