I went looking for interesting beer related projects on Kickstarter and, it turns out, there isn’t much going on right now. Have you seen that Hand Keg thing? Wow…that doesn’t seem like something the world needs.
There was one project that really piqued my interest though. Jared Michael Cramblet and Jarrod Michael Moxley are planning a pilot episode for a show titled Micro Bros. Jared filled me on what the show is all about and what they have planned for the pilot and beyond.
How did you become interested in craft beer?
I became interested in craft beer around the year 2005 when I got my first bartending job at a place called Mellow Mushroom in Destin, FL. They were the first place in town to have a draft wall with a significant number of taps, which has now become commonplace. Prior to that, I would go the import route (Newcastle, Stella, Smithwicks etc.) because I was never really a fan of big American Beer. The first American craft-brewed beer I had was a SweetWater Blue. I couldn’t get enough of it! Until about six months later, when we got the SweetWater IPA in from our distributors. That’s when I became a super fan of craft beer.
How did Micro Bros get started?
Once again, this can be traced back to Mellow Mushroom in Destin, FL around 2007. I was a bar manager at the time and Jarrod Michael Moxley was the kitchen manager. Anyone who has ever managed a restaurant knows there’s nothing like it. Sixty-hour weeks become the norm, it’s hot, it’s physically and mentally draining, and both Mox and I would find ourselves at the end of the night discussing the job over a few pints. Somewhere in there, we started talking about a show we would like to see, involving craft beer and the culture surrounding it. We came up with the name Micro Bros, as a play on words plus the similar names (Jared Michael Cramblet and Jarrod Michael Moxley) but had zero clue what to do with it. We were restaurant managers with zero experience in the entertainment world. We went and toured a local brewery for about an hour or two, and found ourselves in the parking lot like “now what.”
Since then, I’ve started my own entertainment booking agency and I’ve been booking and managing bands for roughly six years. Over that period of time, I’ve been on several music video shoots and developed a strong relationship with one particular video production company, Lensea Film. I’ve recently taken a role as Producer with Lensea Film and shared my decade-long show concept of Micro Bros with the director, Destyn Patera. He said that perhaps we should explore it in the future and we didn’t make much of it – until he started sharing the idea with some of our peers. The response from everyone we mentioned the concept to was “how the hell does this show not exist yet?” So we started the development process and almost immediately caught the attention of some investors who have big experience in the world of beer, so to speak.
Once we were properly funded, we reached out to SweetWater, almost thinking they wouldn’t even respond to our email, but it was the exact opposite! A week later, we found ourselves in Atlanta at the brewery discussing how we were going to shoot this show. We plan to shoot in mid-November. The amount of support and interest we’ve already experienced has been nothing short of amazing, and we’re ready to make this show!
What strengths do each of you bring to the show?
We both host our own Podcasts, but with totally different concepts. My show (Whatever it Means to You) focuses on spotlighting creative individuals and digging into authentic storytelling. Whereas Mox’s podcast (A Weird Time Recorded) is basically him and his buddy drinking Two Hearted Ale and talking comedic nonsense, it’s out of control, hahah. But that will be similar on the show as well. I will be the more informative and inquisitive host, while Mox will be the comedic element. Although we have similar names, we’re very different people. I was concerned at first since we’ve never really been on camera together, how the chemistry would be, but after a few test shots, it all worked out pretty well, but I contribute that to the talent of Destyn Patera and the rest of our crew. They make us look and sound way better than we should.
What makes Micro Bros different from other shows?
There are literally hundreds of shows centered around food and travel, but almost zero around beer! With 7,000 breweries in the US alone, that’s a disservice to the community of beer lovers. We hope to take elements from the explorative nature of Bourdain, the comedic genius of Attell, and the beauty of the way Chef’s Table both shows and tells their stories. Basically, we want to create our dream show – and job, of course.
What do you have planned for after the pilot? Do you know where your next stops after Sweetwater will be?
We’ve had some conversations and interest from some network and streaming industry people, but there’s really not much we can do on that end until we complete the pilot. After SweetWater, we’d like to hit the west coast and the mid-west, maybe around the Grand Rapids area. A lot of great beer coming out of Michigan! But more importantly, a few episodes in, we’d like to feature some smaller breweries around the panhandle of Florida. It’s crazy how much good beer is just everywhere now, and we want to highlight that.
Who’s the target audience for the show?
I’m glad you asked this question. Although the show is centered around beer and breweries, we want to focus on the way culture is influenced by it. We’re going to these breweries to learn about beer, of course, but more so, we want to hear stories outside of that. We have some really great stories coming into this pilot centered around Atlanta! Hopefully, the show will resonate with craft beer lovers, but we’d like to tell enough of a compelling story that even people who aren’t into beer, enjoy the show as well.
How’s the Kickstarter going?
I’m glad you asked this as well. Speaking honestly, the Kickstarter is a disaster. We created several really fun events centered around beer, but Kickstarter doesn’t like beer! They wouldn’t let us offer half of our rewards and it was super confusing to our audience. So I had to improvise. We had some rewards like a multi-course multi-beer dinner and a brew tour that didn’t move at all on Kickstarter – because I wasn’t allowed to tell people we were including beer, so I teamed up with a local ticket broker and we sold the tickets ourselves and sold out very quickly. So, yeah, although Kickstarter appears to be a gigantic failure, we still raised our goal by selling tickets ourselves to our own events. Which is fucking wonderful because Kickstarter doesn’t get to take 8-10% from us. Definitely won’t be working with them again.