“Haba-IPA”, the beer documentary


Olutkulttuuriseura, a Finnish beer association, organized a beer brewing competition for their annual party in 2017. A few members in the Helsinki region decided to participate by brewing a beer one of us had brewed earlier. This beer, known as the “haba-ipa” (for habanero pale ale) had been made a couple of times earlier and was well received by the members. In October we gathered at this fellow’s home to brew.

Most of the actual work was done by the brewing meister himself. I myself was mostly involved in filming, for which he had generously granted permission. It was curious to see how the beer took shape and much there is to the art of brewing, as I had mostly vague ideas on how beer was made before this. As part of the filming I bombarded the meister with questions and ultimately made an informative documentary about the black magic. This video was released after the beer was completed one month later.

It had been a while since I worked with filming: When I was younger I was sure film creation was my calling and spent most of my free time (when I wasn’t playing video games or P&P RPGs) on video projects, including short films, comedy and video game footage. As I got my first real job with filming I decided I wanted nothing to do with the profession, ever again. There’s something soul crushing about slowly and meticulously working on video footage on which one has zero relation to, as opposed to producing one’s own artistic vision. This documentary project was something I could find myself motivated to produce, even though in doing so I remembered why I got a dislike for the whole work in the first place.

Towards the end of the editing I got increasingly bored in the work and left several problems in the final version. This included noise in the video clips as, for the salary of 0€, I couldn’t find it in myself to manually edit all the video audio clips one by one and apply a noise filter on them. There’s several exposure problems as the filming was done with a consumer camcorder that didn’t really have much in the way of options, and I was rather rusty with my filming as well. At several points the camera movement is erratic and there are left-over sounds from my hand touching the camera mic. Due to this being a one man project I couldn’t use a real microphone remotely and had to go with what the camera offered. It turns out you do generally need more than one person for a video. At my earlier job with video production I had a harness that allowed the camera to be hanged from a sort of rig / backpack, with a microphone included, but I naturally didn’t have anything like that. I kinda wish I did.