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Bourdain: Discovery killed 'Brew Masters' because big beer threatened to pull ads

Posted by Steve Greenlee  March 30, 2011 05:30 PM

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Did big beer kill "Brew Masters"? That's the suggestion made in two Twitter posts from Anthony Bourdain.

The famous chef, who hosts his own show on the Travel Channel, is claiming that "big beer" threatened to pull its ads from the Discovery Channel unless it pulled its series about Dogfish Head, the craft brewer based in Delaware. (BeerAndWhiskeyBros.com and Beernews.org have good reports on the subject.)

What prompted Bourdain to make that claim? A report in The Atlantic about lobbying efforts to support federal legislation that would strengthen the role of beer distributors and make it harder for brewers to ship their products to consumers (something that's already illegal in Massachusetts).

"Brew Masters," which aired last fall, was scheduled for a six-episode run, after which Discovery and Sam Calagione, the Dogfish Head founder and host of the show, would decide whether to make more episodes. There has been no indication that more episodes are in the works.

Word of Bourdain's tweets is blowing up in the beer world, particularly on this BeerAdvocate.com forum.

This, of course, come a day after beer giant Anheuser-Busch announced it is buying one of the country's most revered craft brewers, Chicago-based Goose Island, makers of such beers at Honker's Ale and Bourbon County Brand Stout

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