Despite all the TV shows that feature people hanging out in bars and/or getting boozed up, very rarely have there been series where beer was the actual focus, especially when it comes to scripted shows. Thankfully, Netflix's Brews Brothers is here to fill that void and it doesn't care about spilling all over the place while doing so. Hailing from Greg and Jeff Schaffer (The League), Brews Brothers centers on two estranged brothers reconnecting and trying to run a brewery together, which involved a lot of non-drunken on-set drinking for stars Alan Aisenberg and Mike Castle.
In Brews Brothers, Alan Aisenberg portrays the brewery's front-of-house figurehead Wilhelm, with Mike Castle playing the showily erudite older brother Adam, whose passion for well-crafted beer far outweighs his passion for other human beings. CinemaBlend spoke with both Aisenberg and Castle ahead of Brews Brothers' premiere on Netflix, where they shared the pains of drinking fake beer and more. Check out some of the interview highlights below (and when you're done here, head over to read what we learned from the Schaffer brothers.)
How Brews Brothers Compares To Cheers
When it comes to TV shows set in bars, the golden standard will always be Cheers, with the far more ribald It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia taking a reasonably close second. Brews Brothers definitely slots more into the latter's R-rated ballpark, as it's one of Netflix's raunchiest comedies yet. Still, I had to ask Alan Aisenberg and Mike Castle how their new show compares to the forever iconic Cheers, and they had some amusing answers.
Indeed, the Rodman brothers' names become known in the Van Nuys area due to the brewery's quality brews themselves. But that's only part of it, since they also get recognized for tons of other less-than-wholesome reasons, such as befriending a gang of culture-clashing bikers, or Adam's long-winded speeches about being a qualified Cicerone. (There's a joke to be made about being always being glad when they came, but Adam's edging habits make that one into more of a sticky situation.) James Earl and Mike Mitchell's Matt and Jack sort of both count as Brews Brothers' version of George Wendt's Norm from Cheers, in that they both do little in life besides drink for free.
Maybe if Brews Brothers gets a second season, Jeff Schaffer can use his Curb Your Enthusiasm influence to sway Ted Danson to make a cameo. Though it likely wouldn't involve him getting behind the bar, since The Good Place already made that happen.
On Brews Brothers Making Jokes About Bud Light & Other Beers
For a show about a pair of beer-makers aiming to brew top quality drinks (that may or may not sometimes have pee and pubic hair in them), it's expected for other beer companies to get referenced, and Brews Brothers doesn't disappoint in that respect. Mainstream beer brands such as Amstel, Stella, and Bud Light get brought up in somewhat less-than-savory ways, usually with Adam's snobbiness guiding the barbed name-drops. When I asked the co-stars about taking shots at non-elitist beers, here's how Mike Castle put it.
Brews Brothers is filled to the top of the pint glass with Adam's frothy descriptions of various beers' notes and smells, and he even went off on wine at one point for being an inferior form of alcohol since it's only made from one fruit. But for all that the Netflix comedy pokes fun at the beer brands that are forbidden from being sold inside Rodman's, several of them actually pop up during the eight episodes in Season 1, most pointedly during the beer festival episode. Alan Aisenberg spoke to that point below:
Like just about every show Jeff Schaffer has worked on, from The League to Seinfeld to Curb Your Enthusiasm, Brews Brothers is just as quick to gamely take its main characters down as it is on everything those characters make fun of. And co-stars like Carmen Flood excel at dishing out verbal body slams on both brothers. I wonder what they'd think about other fictional beers like Duff, but maybe life is too short to have those thoughts.
How Brews Brothers' Stars Handled All The Fake Beer
Obviously, a show about beer bar and brewery is going to feature a lot of characters pounding drinks down throughout entire episodes, and the characters in Brews Brothers definitely don't like to sip anything slowly. For those wondering, just about every cast member was drinking nonalcoholic beer throughout the filming of Season 1. We'll get to Mike Castle's thoughts on all that in a sec, but the first thing that got mentioned on that front was Alan Aisenberg making the most untimely medical discovery ahead of the show's production.
To anyone who has ever had the most basic form of nonalcoholic beer, the thought of having to drink it for hours on end for work might sound like a very honed-in nightmare, so Alan Aisenberg had at least one silver lining to learning of his celiac disease diagnosis when he did. (How awful that would have been for him to learn about it after a week or more of filming.) For the record, Mike Castle also said that co-star Flula Borg, who plays the impossible-to-restrain Truffle, also opted for a substitute for the fake beers.
Mike Castle did not appreciate the problems that came with putting down so much of the nonalcoholic beer, while Alan Aisenberg did appreciate the fact that the show's location allowed the fake potables to be presented as if they were the real deal.
The fact that the Brews Brothers crew was able to create such a large variety of nonalcoholic beers was quite impressive. That said, I have no idea if it was merely an issue of coloring, or if there was a different preparation process. But after chugging enough of it, Mike Castle started having faux feelings that he actually was getting a little tipsy.
Here's hoping if Season 2 gets ordered at Netflix, that someone behind the scenes comes up with ways to make have better tasting drinks standing in for the beers on tap. And that they have slightly less phallic names to them.
Brews Brothers Season 1 is currently available to stream on Netflix, so get yourself a six-pack of something classy (or super-trashy) and get to watching. And remember that our Netflix 2020 premiere schedule is as good a hangover cure as anything else you'll read online.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Thank you for signing up to CinemaBlend. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.