Grit & Grain

The Story of Bourbon County Stout

Client: Goose Island
Services: Cinematography, Color

We spent the better part of a year with our friends at Goose Island, who wanted to explore the lifecycle of the famed barrel-aged beer, Bourbon County Stout. To tell the story, we trekked through white oak forests and toured coopers, distilleries, and rick houses, not to mention all the fun we had filming in Chicago.

Goose Island’s internal team, Mike Smith and Mike Erickson, produced this episodic documentary, while Ken Hunnemeder shared directorial and cinematography duties with Sergio Salgado here at Furnace FPS. To round out the talented team, Good Beer Hunting provided creative direction for Grit & Grain. We are thankful to have been a part of this great production crew that made the project so worthwhile.

An episode a week was released starting at the end of September. The video above is the fourth chapter in the Grit & Grain series. If you’d like to watch the whole thing, get some popcorn and sit tight.

Ch 1. – We Thought We’d Never Make It Again

Ch 2. – Hooked on Bourbon Ever Since

Ch 3. – All They’ve Ever Known Is Logging

Ch 4. – You Just Don’t Teach That Overnight

Ch 5. – The Barrel Never Dies

Ch 6. – A Standard in the Industry

Ch 7. – The Hardest Part is Waiting

Ch 8. – Each Sip Is Telling a Different Story

Ch 9. – The Biggest Whale of All

Ch 10. – Mother Nature Determines When Youre Making Syrup

Ch 11. – Coffee is in Everything Down There

Ch 12. – Always Looking For Flavor

Synopsis

To the employees of Goose Island, Bourbon County Stout has always been more than liquid in a bottle. We’ve always known that, but to what extent we had no idea. A lot has changed at Goose Island since the first batch of Bourbon County Stout was brewed and barreled in 1992. As time marched on, the folklore surrounding Bourbon County Stout became as rich and layered as the beer itself. Fact starts to blend with myth, and myth takes away from the process.

That’s why a group of Goose Island employees set out to uncover the full story of Bourbon County Stout. What we found was a story larger than we had ever realized. A story that uncovers a large cast of characters, crosses state lines, and spans generations. From the loggers that down the American White Oak used to make bourbon barrel staves, to the distillers that fill and age bourbon on those staves. This is Grit & Grain. This is what it really takes to get Bourbon County Brand Stout into your hands.

Updates

Finalist in Video, Wine, Beer & Spirits | Shorty Awards | 2016

1.1.2019: Goose Island has released a coffee table book recounting the Story of Bourbon County Stout and our approach to capture this story. Check it out here.

2.6.2017: Last year we helped Goose Island on a follow up episode to the Grit & Grain series. Check out Chapter 10 of the on-going Bourbon County Stout sage. Link

2.16.2016: Michael Kiser and Ken Hunnemeder discuss storytelling in beer and provide some fun insight into our process during Grit & Grain. Good Beer Hunting Podcast.

Credits

Directors
Ken Hunnemeder
Sergio Salgado

DPs
Ken Hunnemeder
Sergio Salgado

Creative Direction
Michael Kiser

Producer
Mike Smith

Producer
Mike Erickson

Additional Photography
Seth Ekberg

Editor
Ken Hunnemeder

Color
Sergio Salgado

Design & Animation
Flavor

Music
Black Oil Brothers