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Dogfish Head brewery inspires new Ken Marino sitcom pitch

Posted by Christopher Hughes  August 23, 2013 01:23 PM

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Brew master Sam Calagione might be best known for fermenting esoteric ingredients like saffron, Chicory coffee, and botrytis-infected Viognier grapes at Dogfish Head brewery, but his struggles at the Delaware-based craft brewery could become the stuff of sitcoms.

Fox has bought the exclusive rights to Ken Marino ("Role Models," "Wanderlust," and "Party Down") and his writer spouse, Erica Oyama's ("Childrens Hospital") pitch for a show about a husband-and-wife team of brewpub owners, inspired by Calagione and his wife Mariah.

"The preliminary meetings are going really well," said Calagione by phone Friday. "I was in Los Angeles earlier this week to meet with Sony and Fox, but it's still early in the process." Marino was a roommate of Calagione's while attending NYU and the two have stayed close friends since their college days.

"The characters will be loosely based on them," Marino told TODAY.com. "It's really using Sam's story as a jumping off point."

A pilot is currently in the works, which Calagione describes as "being about this brewery (Dogfish Head) when we were just a small brewpub. The script is based on my book 'Brewing up a Business,' which is all about the early days of our start-up."

Calagione is being hired on as a consultant for the show and hinted at plot lines featuring his dealings with other brewers, his experiences on the festival circuit, and the everyday travails of an owning a "American brewery."

But beer nerds might be disappointed to note that the show won't delve into Calagione's infamous globetrotting and his archaeological pursuit of ancient brewing secrets-something explored on The Discovery Channel's "Brew Masters" in 2010. (below) "The sitcom is mostly about this mom-and-pop entrepreneurial company and the story of the brewpub is in the background; similar to Homer Simpson working at the nuclear plant. It's not the centerpiece of every episode."

Marino is currently writing the pilot script in between filming scenes for the upcoming season of "Eastbound and Down." "It would be amazing for our show to make it on air, but it's such a crapshoot," he told TODAY.com. "We're just going to try to make the best version of this possible and maybe bribe everyone with Sam's beer."

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