Belly up to the telly

FILM CREW: Amy Sherman, host of the “Great American Brew Trail,” visited Cranker’s Brewery last week. The Big Rapids-based brewery will be featured on an upcoming episode of the show. (Courtesy photos)

Cranker’s Brewery to be featured on ‘Great American Brew Trail’

BIG RAPIDS — Already a favorite among locals, the craft beers brewed at Cranker’s Brewery soon will be introduced to beer aficionados and couch potatoes across Michigan.

Jim Crank, owner of the Big Rapids-based brewery that opened in May, was visited by the film crew from a television series that focuses on microbreweries, their food menus and hometowns.

Cameras were rolling on Friday at Cranker’s as host Amy Sherman and producer Matt Renner captured footage for an upcoming episode of the “Great American Brew Trail.”

“It’s going to be a syndicated show; we’re pretty lucky to get on it,” Crank said. “Out of the 120 breweries in the region, they only picked 24. They were very impressed with what we’re doing.”

The syndicated series will feature breweries in the region through 12, half-hour programs, showcasing two businesses per episode. The “Great American Brew Trail” airs on some ABC affiliates in Michigan. The show is expected to air at the start of the upcoming television season.

Sherman and Renner were unavailable for comment.

During last week’s filming, Sherman tried the beers on tap at Cranker’s and tested how they paired with the food. Crank noted she said the microbrews made by brewers Adam Mills and Bill Gerds are very “drinkable.”

“(Sherman) is a connoisseur and really knows a lot about beer and food,” Crank said. “She really loved our IPA; she said it was one of the most unique IPAs she’s tried. In fact, she took two growlers to go — she liked it that much.

“She didn’t expect the brewery to be as nice as it is. … Some of the other breweries are bigger and some are smaller, but they didn’t expect ours to be as big as it is.”

Staff from Cranker’s met Sherman earlier this month at the Summer Craft Beer Festival at John Ball Park in Grand Rapids. About two weeks later, film crews were in Big Rapids interviewing Crank about his new brewery.

BREW CREW: Amy Sherman (center), host of the “Great American Brew Trail,” shares a pint with Cranker’s Brewery brewers Bill Gerds (left) and Adam Mills. The Big Rapids brewery will be featured on an upcoming episode of the show that highlights microbreweries and the food they serve.

“They needed one more brewery (for the series). They called up on Tuesday and were out filming on Friday. They said, ‘We went through all our picks, and we’d like to feature you guys,’” Crank said

Crank plans to host a special viewing of the episode at the brewery, located at 213 S. State St. in Big Rapids.

In addition to featuring the microbrews crafted at Cranker’s, the show will highlight Big Rapids. It is not yet clear when the episode will air.

“They took pictures downtown, so I’m sure Big Rapids is going to be featured in the episode,” Crank said. “They’re going to give us a DVD on everything within the next couple weeks; it’ll be our show and how it’s going to be aired.”

Be sure to read the Pioneer or visit www.bigrapidsnews.com for more information on when Cranker’s Brewery will host a viewing of the “Great American Brew Trail.”

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