Cheers to Beer: VICELAND’s new show BEERLAND celebrates the culture of suds and buds.
By definition, BEERLAND sounds like heaven. At least for me.
By its real definition, at least for the rest of the world, BEERLAND is a new VICELAND television show, and as for the premiere, Golden Road Brewing came pretty close to beer heaven: providing beer lovers a taste of their celebrated brews alongside popcorn, catered food, and a preview of BEERLAND’s first episode at Syndicated in Brooklyn.
What better way to celebrate a beer show than to try brews with strangers? Among the offerings were table tastings of Golden Road’s summer brew Tart Mango Cart (perfect for summer evenings), 329 Days of Sun Lager, and Get Up Offa That Brown Ale. On tap, Syndicated proudly poured the brewery’s IPAs: Wolf Pup Session, and the self described “sneaky” Wolf Among Weeds. At 8.0% with a strong hoppy finish, it’s an IPA that howls (pun intended). As one guest noted: There’s a lot of beer in that beer. Golden Road will also be creating a Wolf Mother brew soon, featuring an 11% ABV, which will be sold with the others in a Wolf Pack.
With beer, and with BEERLAND, packs seem to be the name of the game. At its core, BEERLAND is a celebration, exploration, and an investigation into the culture, family, and friendships inherent in the creation and consumption of beer. It’s a show about buds and suds.
The series features host Meg Gill, co-founder of Golden Road Brewing (and a Forbes 30 Under 30 alum) traveling around the US in search of the best home brewer. Golden Road has promised to distribute the winning brew, a challenge not lost on Meg who notes that bringing a home brew to mass scale is quite the lift.
The show is refreshing like a pilsner and stays with you like an IPA. The authenticity that VICE is known for is not lost here and VICELAND host brings a host of humorous characters to the forefront. In some ways, without the competition, BEERLAND could have been the Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives of the beer world, seeking out characters doing “their own thing” and making it “rock” all across America. But with Meg Gill at the helm, and having a search built into the show, it transcends the potential to be just another show about food or drink, and gives homebrewers another competition to strive for.
There’s an elephant in this heaven (er, room), and it’s one that Gill decided not to make a show about: she’s a woman in a man’s world. And as an audience, we can’t ignore the subtleties and the uniqueness that comes with that territory. In New Mexico, where the first episode is focused, the flirtations between brewers and Gill feel like an easier entry into conversation. Future episodes feature a female home brewer and no doubt that relationship is different there too. While it’s not a piece of the puzzle that Gill wanted to focus on, it’s certainly one of the building blocks of BEERLAND.
At the end of the day, we’re not just previewing a new show about beer. We’re celebrating and living the culture of beer, forging brand new communities through events like these. It will be interesting to see how BEERLAND survives on its own, without the meet-up and premiere in a fun, spiffy space, and the community (and carbs) that it thrives on. To enjoy it to the fullest, treat BEERLAND like you treat beer: enjoy it with others, and choose a damn good brew.
BEERLAND will premiere on April 27th on VICELAND. Can’t wait that long? Check out the trailer below: