Derry Festival Pairs Craft Beer, Independent Film

Mar 31, 2017

   New Hampshire is experiencing a craft beer boom of late, with more breweries popping up across the state. There’s also been more interest in local, independent films.

A week-long festival that kicks off in Derry Sunday night pairs those two things together.

Andy Day, co-owner of Cask and Vine in Derry, joined NHPR’s Morning Edition to talk about the Derry Regional Ales and Films Together, or DRAFT festival.

Where did this idea come from?

I’ve had a love of both craft beer and independent film for years. I was a regular attendee of the SNOB (Slightly North of Boston) Film Festival in Concord. I always wanted to do something like that in Derry.

When does this get underway?

Andy Day, co-owner of Cask and Vine in Derry, speaks to NHPR's Rick Ganley.
Credit Michael Brindley

  This kicks off this Sunday, April 2. We’re doing a red carpet event at Pipe Dream Brewing, a brand new brewery, sort of on the backside of the airport in Londonderry. It’s a free, non-ticketed event. We just want people to show up, drink beer, rub elbows with brewers, filmmakers, actors, and just have a good time.

What happens after that? Tell me about the rest of the event.

Going forward through the rest of the week, we’re going to be at different breweries in the Derry/Londonderry area screening shorts. For example, on Monday we’re going to be at 603 Brewery, we’ll have six shorts, and that’s going to be paired with somewhere between eight and 10 beers. The folks at Rockingham Brewing Company, one Wednesday a month they do a film screening and they pair beers to go with the film. For example, if you’ve got sort of a dark, brooding film, you’re going to have dark, brooding beers. So we kind of took that idea, and said what if we did that across the board. So at each brewery, we took films that sort of worked with the beers that they had and paired them together. That’s what we’re doing throughout the entire week.

Tell us about some of the films that will be screened.

At each brewery, we took films that sort of worked with the beers that they had and paired them together.

  Some that stick out to me, one by New Hampshire filmmakers, “Dear in the Headlights.” I don’t want to give away too much of the film, it is a short. It’s intense, one of the darker beer-pairing movies. Another move that sticks out for me, a fun movie, is “Mere Players.” It’s two roommates, one of whom is an actor who’s looking to get a particular part and he’s trying to nail it. What he’s actually doing is he’s going on dates and acting like someone completely different. The first date he goes on, he’s a hobo, and he’s just way over the top. The next time, he’s going to the same place but with a different woman, he’s a snobby rich guy.

How do you pair up a beer with a film like that?

Sort of a lighter, spirited beer. There’s a few breweries that have a sour, something that’s a little funky, a little tart. That might go with something like that.

It must have been fun to sit down and pair these beers with various films.

Absolutely, and I can’t say enough about the breweries themselves. They’ve been extremely accommodating. They’re super excited about the idea. They let us come in there, gave us a tour, and figured out where the spot would be to do everything.   

How important is an event like this going forward?

It’s the first year, so it will be interesting to see what the turnout is going to be. Given the reception that we’ve had, the press that we’ve had, the fact that the Granite State Brewers Association is backing this 100 percent and promoting the heck out of it, along with Brew New Hampshire, another organization dedicated to New Hampshire craft beer, I think that this is going to be very important. I think this could be a signature event in the future for New Hampshire craft beer.