Film & TV

Brewery’s activism to benefit prospective skate park

New Belgium Brewing Company is known for its activism and has garnered widespread acclaim for its mainline beers. In an effort to promote its more obscure and specialty line of beers, Lips of Faith, New Belgium is launching a summer film tour with three things in mind: craft beer, sustainability and whimsy.

Beer lovers are probably familiar with Fat Tire, maybe even their Mothership Wit or Ranger IPA, but as far and wide as New Belgium have been able to spread their beers, their most special of the special beers, the Lips of Faith line, have yet to make it to certain parts of the country. Following in the steps of other larger microbreweries, like Deschutes or Three Floyds, New Belgium has set their core beer’s recipes in stone, giving brewers more time to focus on an experimental program of brews. Beers such as the rustic Biere de Mars, which evokes its southern Belgian and northern French countryside inspiration with its citrus flavor, yet bold and robust body, and other originals such as the Le Fleur Misseur (intentionally misspelled) and the Transatlantique Kriek make the lineup and are produced exclusively in small batches.

The films, which will be screened at Alton Baker Park from 8 to 11 p.m. on Friday, are all shorts ranging from 10 seconds to 10 minutes in length and are all fan submitted. More than 80 were submitted, and 20 will be shown while on tour. As their rules indicate, there are no genre constraints; however, New Belgium encouraged trying to include one or more of their “three follies”: craft beer, sustainability and whimsy.

That said, some of the films have an overly comedic element to them, such as “The Trip,” a three-minute short created by New York City residents Joe and Jeff Marcello. “The Trip” is a stop-motion film chronicling the adventure of two bottles of beer (La Folie and Biere de Mars) from Fort Collins, Colo., to New York City. The two frolic around the city taking pictures by the Staten Island Ferry, acting peevish around two other bottles of Brooklyn Brewery’s Lager, and finally ending up in Central Park where one of the pair is quaffed empty by a thirsty New Yorker. The film ends with a funeral for the empty bottle and a bold statement: “Currently New Belgium has no immediate plans to distribute to NYC.”

Other films, such as “a LoVE STORY” by Phoenix resident and founder Doug Morehouse, feature less of a dark comedic element and range on the whimsical side of things. Morehouse’s short follows a girl on her Fat Tire cruiser bike and documents their romance together.

“This tour combines our great passions — folly and beer,” Meredith Giske, New Belgium Brewing event director, said in a press release. “These short films will do a great job setting the stage for the beers we will be serving from our Lips of Faith portfolio, which features some of our most creative and hard-to-find brews.”

The first-year film tour is also donating proceeds to local non-profits and bike advocacy groups while on the road; however, while in Eugene, proceeds will be going to the Skaters for Eugene Skateparks to contribute to their Dreamland skate park fund.

New Belgium’s commitment to principles like sustainability, environmental preservation and fun will, without a doubt, find a welcoming audience in Eugene.

Throw in some good beer, being outdoors and free entertainment, and things look even more promising.

“Craft beer, sustainability and whimsy — all caught on film,” Giske said. “Add in some tasty Lips of Faith beer, and you experience New Belgium’s style of show business.”

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