16 Jul 2010

A star is born (take 2)

Just as I told you the other day, my TV experience is not limited only to my incredibly popular appearance in an Argentine TV show (together with a short cameo on CNN). A couple of weeks ago I was part of the shooting of a new TV show that will air this Autumn on Prima, a local TV station.

It was a completely different kind of thing that the previous one. With the Argies, I went around Prague followed only by a camera and the host of the show, but with the Czech project I had to get up at 5:30 in order to meet the person that was going to take me to the place of the shooting. There we were met by the rest of the team, which included a cameraman, director, one bloke taking care of the sound, another for the lights, two more from production and the host. It was all very professional, perhaps a bit too much for my taste.

This show will also be a travel show, but with beer as the central topic. Each episode will go to a town that has a brewery and will visit both while interviewing the people responsible for the beer. This episode was shot in Humpolec and the brewery was, of course, Pivovar Bernard.

My bit took place after the visit to the brewery. I had to do some acting (I was awesome, watch out Brad and George) and, at a restaurant, sit with the host and do a tasting of some of the Bernard brews.

To be honest, I wasn't too happy with my performance. I had something else in mind, but the script said that I had to taste all four beers and say something about them. It all ended up too long and monotonous, and to make things worse, by then I was already pretty tired and really wanting to go back home. But still, I must say that at no time I felt nervous in front of the camera. The script only said what we had to do, but the conversation itself, in Czech, was improvised and we did it all in one take, plus a few additional shots for close ups. How about THAT!
The main reason why I accepted to do this (ad honorem, by the way) was that I would have the chance to visit Pivovar Bernard and maybe even have a few words with its owner Stanislav Bernard, who turned out to be a top bloke.

I had met him a couple of times already, but always at events and we had only exchanged a few words. This time I was able to ask him a few questions and we also chatted about beer, football and some EU bollocks.

He said he was quite excited about the success some regional brewers are having and that he is sure this trend is here to stay. According to him, and I agree, once people have got used to drinking something tastier and better, they don't want to go back to the old stuff.

He also spoke about his fear that at some point the EU will start regulating how beer is made and will thus forbid the use of decoction mashing because of how much energy it uses. At first sight this might sound over the top, but if what I've heard about the EU and Lambics is true then Mr. Bernard might have reasons to worry.
The visit to the brewery was very long and the shooting became tedious at times. Fortunately, by the end of it we were given some světlý ležák tapped straight from the lagering tanks. Even though the beer had a temperature of perhaps 1ºC the flavour it packed was impressive! It was so full life that I almost felt it vibrating inside my mouth. What a beauty!
During the visit I also spoke with Josef Vábra, one of the owners and the brew master. He said some very interesting stuff, but this is getting too long already, so you will have to wait until Monday.

After that part of the shooting was over Bernard bought us lunch at a local restaurant, Papa's Garden, where I had a wonderful garlic soup and an awful pikeperch, all washed down by very well tapped Humpolec beers. During lunch we chatted a bit more with this famous brewer and the host of the show, who also turned out to be a pretty fun bloke.

A very interesting, though pretty exhausting, experience. One I'm not sure I'll repeat (I don't know if the people behind the show will want me back and frankly, I still don't know if eventually I will accept another invitation). It's still not clear either if they will use the material they shot with me, but that's not important, really, just the fact that they wanted me to take part in this is very flattering and quite an honour.

Na Zdraví!

Travel to the Czech Republic and stay at the best Prague Hotels

4 comments:

  1. Ahoj. Sorry your film career is receiving problem,s !. As you know I drink a few Bernard Pivo,s at the " Sheffield Tap ". Wondered what the Company thought on it,s oversea,s sales & outlet,s ?.

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  2. Terry, becoming a big star isn't easy :)

    I mentioned the Sheffield Tap to Bernard, he said he was happy with the way things were going for his beers there...

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  3. Over here in Norway, the Bernard lager is easy to find in half litre bottles at the Rema 1000 supermarkets. The price is reasonable as well compared to other imported beers, so this is one of the beers usually found in my fridge. A great beer!

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  4. Tapped straight from the lagering tanks. Every time I drink it, and luckily it has been a fairly frequent experience, at the front of my mind is why should the brewer then filter it to death before presenting it to the drinker? A public is out there who would happily pay a premium for a similar experience in the pub. Tank beer is not the solution as for that system to work you seem to need a sterile product.

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