Beware the power of ad dollars: word is that Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione's Discovery Channel show Brew Masters has been canceled, and that "Big Beer" is responsible. And who do we have to thank for this information? Why, Anthony Bourdain, of course.
Before Bourdain started aggravating the entire internet with his thoughts on food journalism earlier this week, he let slip a couple tweets responding to an Atlantic story about beer legislation. The No Reservations host tweeted: "See what happened to Dogfish/Discovery deal. Big beer threatened to pull ads" and "Big story there. Brewmasters goes--or our ads do." What?
Is the show canceled? And did Big Beer have anything to do with it? Not officially, but Beer News says that the last episode of Brew Masters is rumored to coincide with the opening of Eataly's La Birreria rooftop beer garden. Which, according to Eater NY, happens in mid-May. There has not been word of a second season of the show.
But then beer writer Andy Crouch tweeted: "Discovery confirms to me cancellation of @dogfishbeer Brew Masters. Blames poor audience reception." The show's ratings were solid — around one million viewers per episode — even though it bounced around the schedule (it moved from Sunday nights to Monday nights without much fanfare). As to why Discovery programmed a beer show against Sunday Night Football and then Monday Night Football, that's for them to explain.
We reached out to the show's production company Zero Point Zero for confirmation about any of this and were told, "No comment."
Zero Point Zero also produces Bourdain's No Reservations, so we suppose it's conceivable that he could've overheard something. Sam Calagione wouldn't comment on the tweets, but told Beer News he's a fan of No Reservations and that he's currently "focused on the goodness inside the bottle instead of the weirdness outside the bottle." Yeah, we'd need a cold beer if we were him, too.
· Brew Masters Canceled, Bourdain says “Big beer threatened to pull ads” [Beer News via Beer Advocate]
· @NoReservations [Twitter]
· All Brew Masters Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Anthony Bourdain Coverage on Eater [-E-]