A brew life: Doc shows local’s drive to master beer

Kitchen craft: Drew Kostic starts with homebrewing and works his way up to head brewer at Brooklyn’s Circa Brewing Company, in the documentary “Brewmaster” screening in the Bushwick Film Festival on Oct. 5.
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He poured his heart into his passion!

A new documentary follows a Sunset Park lawyer who quits his job to become a master beer brewer. “Brewmaster,” which screens at the 12th annual Bushwick Film Festival on Oct. 5, shows how Drew Kostic takes a leap of faith, leaving his steady job in favor of a wild passion project — a bold step that intrigued the film’s director.

“I like this journey of how hard he’s trying and how hard he believes in it, it’s almost like this blind faith,” said Doug Tirola.

Tirola shows his subject’s evolution with creating beer, starting with brewing batches in his apartment, then presenting his product at beer events around the country, and eventually becoming the head brewer at Circa Brewing Company in Brooklyn’s Downtown.

The filmmaker documents Kostic’s rise, along with that of a Milwaukee beer educator who trains to attain the highest certification among beer experts, known as the Master Cicerone exam.

Both stories illustrate how the craft beer movement has grown in recent years, said Tirola.

“It’s for those who are interested in beer, but also those who are beer drinkers but not thinking about it every day. The film tells the story of how craft beer became a bigger thing,” he said. “Nowadays, you can get a beer list that’s bigger than the wine and cocktail lists.”

The brewing industry is still an unusual line of work, in part because it involves booze, according to Tirola.

“These are people that are doing something that most people still think is outside of the mainstream,” he said. “The alcohol factor on top of it puts it even more on the perimeter.”

He hopes his film will appeal to anyone who wants to take a risk and pursue their dreams.

“Anybody who dreams of doing something big — whether it’s opening a restaurant or a brewery — where the odds are so against you, will see themselves in this story,” Tirola said.

The movie will join more than 100 films at this year’s Bushwick Film Festival, taking place all over the northern nabe and the surrounding area, from Oct. 2-6.

“Brewmaster” at Chemistry Creative [305 Ten Eyck St. between Morgan Avenue and Waterbury Street in Williamsburg, (347) 450–3464,]. Oct. 5 at 7:30 pm. $12. Festival runs Oct. 2–6 at various locations.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Posted 12:00 am, September 30, 2019
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