Stone Brewing (Escondido, California) has announced that The Beer Jesus from America, a new documentary independently produced by director Matt Sweetwood of Sweetwood Films, has officially made its public debut and is available now for streaming on Prime Video and Vimeo On Demand.
Bearing a title inspired by a 2014 article in the Berliner Kurier – a German tabloid newspaper – where Greg Koch, Co-founder of Stone Brewing, was “somewhat [cynically]” referred to as “Der Bier Jesus aus Amerika,” The Beer Jesus from America is a 104-minute film that follows Koch and Stone Brewing as they set off on the “often tumultuous journey to becoming the first American independent craft brewery to build, own and operate its own brewery in Europe.” This film documents four years at Stone Brewing – Berlin and the brewery’s overall “mission to inspire a craft beer revolution in Germany.”
“When we set out to build the first American independent Craft Brewery in Europe, we did so with that same spark – that passion and intensity – that drove us to offer something different in the US back in 1996,” explained Koch. “This film captures the trials, challenges, roadblocks… and occasional triumphs of the project, but on a deeper level, it’s a story of following your heart and challenging convention.”
Film Synopsis (sourced directly from the brewery’s press release):
Stone Brewing’s rock ‘n’ roll co-founder, Greg Koch, who was nicknamed “Beer Jesus” by a Berlin tabloid newspaper, is taking his business to Germany on a mission to oppose the most beloved industrial beer in the world and join Europe’s craft beer revolution. Will he succeed? Greg must first challenge the established beer culture in a country where brewing has been restricted by the infamous 500-year-old beer Purity Law. However, in his quest to fight mass market beer, it turns out that Greg has even bigger obstacles to overcome, from struggles with bureaucracy to cultural differences and stubborn traditionalism.
Directed by Matt Sweetwood (Beerland, Forgetting Dad), “The Beer Jesus From America” takes us on a journey with Greg as he builds his European craft brewery from scratch in a sleepy corner of Berlin, Germany, where he faces seemingly endless challenges that threaten to end the entire project. Over four years, Matt captures the unexpected twists in a story full of blood, sweat, tears, and beers!
This is a story not just about the birth of a brewery and the fight against mass market beer, it’s about an inspiring character who understands the importance of sticking to your dreams, no matter how crazy they might seem.