I’ve gotten spoiled.

I’m not afraid to admit that.

Here in North Carolina, there’s an abundance of amazing craft beer. My palette has completely changed since I started drinking craft beer, experimenting with different flavors, speaking with brewers, and making Brewconomy.

Years ago, I used to like only lighter beers with specific flavor profiles; now, I’ll try just about anything. The beers I drink now have such a depth of flavor. They’re so delicious.

My palette isn’t the only thing that has changed since we started talking about making Brewconomy in 2011.

At that time, there were about 60 craft breweries registered in North Carolina and now there are nearly 200. Demand for craft beer is growing rapidly, consumers are more educated about it, and the big brewers know that they much change to keep up with the market. (I could study this and talk about it all day.)

Behind the scenes on Brewconomy, a documentary about NC craft beer.

More evidence of the worldwide appreciation for craft beer was found in Positano, Italy, while on a recent family vacation. (I wrote a little about the vacation here and here.)

A few years ago, we sat in a restaurant after hours chatting with friends about Brewconomy, which was in post-production at the time. We shared the trailer for the film, and talked about craft beer.

It was a really cool moment.

Talking Craft Beer While In Italy

This year, 2017, we found locally made craft beer.

Panoramic shot looking back at La Pergola’s self-service area in Positano, Italy, 2017. (Click to view larger image.)

It was really exciting to see Italian craft beer on the shelves at La Pergola!

What a wonderful site.

Local craft beer for sale in Positano, Italy, 2017.

Now, full disclosure, I didn’t have the honor of drinking any of this beer, so I can’t review it for you. Sadly enough. Next time. Although, as craft beer aficionados know, you can find reviews online and on most beer rating apps. So you’ll find that kind of info elsewhere if you want it.

Amalfi Coast Beer on the tables outside the self-service area at La Pergola in Positano, Italy.

Also, it’s worth noting that we visit Positano often but obviously don’t live there.

So this may have been around for a year, and I missed the memo on it while finishing Brewconomy. But, it was new to me in 2017. It’s the first time I’ve seen local craft beer sold in Positano, Italy, and I got really excited about it…and gelato. Derek and I also enjoyed some gelato at La Pergola (see the IG pic below).

Gelato!

A post shared by Camden Watts (@camdenwatts) on

Sitting in Italy, while admiring the sights and sounds, and talking about North Carolina craft beer is a wild thing. I’m very proud of what’s happening here in my home state, and am so thankful to have made a documentary about it!

View from the self-serve area at La Pergola in Positano, Italy, 2017

What do I hope happens next in North Carolina craft beer?

It’d be great to see some of our state’s legal restraints on our brewers changed because it would open up possibilities like Pop the Cap did in 2005. Some of the laws on brewing or serving are antiquated and restrictive, in my humble opinion. There are people working on this and they’re much more knowledgeable about it than I am now.

Visit craftfreedom.org to get more info on the distribution laws. You can also search online for what’s happening with the “Sunday brunch” laws in N.C., which would make it possible to serve alcohol before noon on Sundays.

I think there’s still plenty of room for growth in N.C. craft beer which is really good for our state’s economy, agriculture, and community. Changing some of these blue laws would help foster that healthy growth statewide. Pop the Cap proved it in 2005, and the evidence was everywhere in Brewconomy.

‘Til next time.

Cheers, y’all!

On the set of Brewconomy in early 2014.

New here?

It’s nice to meet you.

I’m Camden, director of Brewconomy.

Brewconomy is an independent feature-length documentary about North Carolina craft beer and its positive impact on the state’s economy, agriculture, and community.

My films tend to focus on the South, where I was born and raised. I love making documentaries and fiction films that, hopefully, have a positive impact on the world – even if it’s as “simple” as encouraging people to drink local craft beer that supports small businesses who recirculate those profits in their communities.

Sign up for free email updates to go behind the scenes: camdenwatts.com/email-updates.

Learn more about the films I’ve made and what’s in progress now: camdenwatts.com/films.

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