Local Craft Beer Helps to Make Things Right on the TV Show "Rectify"

Harris King, September 03, 2014

The articles here at BeerGraphs cover issues that range from mostly serious to somewhat trivial to way out there, [cough]Shirt[/cough].  Today, I am here to do a little bit of each in celebrating a great television show -- Rectify. That is, I am here to talk about the craft beer the characters regularly drink on camera.

I am not a TV critic, but Rectify is wonderful. It’s a show on the Sundance Channel that tells the story of an individual who reenters society after spending 19 years on death row. Cleared, at least for the time being, by DNA evidence, Daniel (played by Aden Young) is attempting to become a functioning member of society in his 30s after having been convicted of rape and murder as a teenager. The show is set in the fictional town of Paulie, Ga and is actually filmed on location in the town of Griffin, Ga, which is about an hour south of Atlanta.

I first became aware of the show on Twitter when one of my followers, The Gentleman Masher, kept tweeting about how local Georgia beer was being drunk on the show. The Monday Night Brewing sign in the middle of the header is a screencap that he originally made. The craft beer initially caught my attention, and Eric then convinced me that I would also like the show. He was right. It’s a great show, and they do the Georgia aspect of it very well, whether it’s the pace of life (slow), the accent (slow) or how the big city of Atlanta is always looming in the distance.

I started watching shortly thereafter and along with getting into the story, I started looking for craft beer, all the while ready to pounce with the snipping tool in Windows 7. The header is a collage of many of the screencaps I made while watching. I can’t remember exactly when I spotted the first craft beer, but the bulk appear in season 2, which just had its finale on August 21. Beer was drunk in season 1, but it was mostly of the fake TV beer variety.

In an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Abigail Spencer, who plays Amantha on the show, talks about filming while living in Griffin. She also mentions how the quality of life improved when Griffin got both a Kroger grocery store and Starbucks before they started shooting the second season. Perhaps, it was at the Kroger where the cast and crew discovered the local craft beer.

The first beer I noticed was Eye Patch Ale (0.88 BAR, 107 Style+) from Monday Night Brewing. Monday Night Brewing got its start in 2006 as a bible study group on Monday nights and first started selling their beers in 2011.

Misdemeanor Ale (1.38 BAR, 114 Style+) from Jailhouse Brewing Company was the next beer that caught my eye. Jailhouse is in the town of Hampton, Ga, which is a mere 12 miles away from Griffin, and the beer is brewed where a former jail was located. How cool is that?

Apparently, the folks on Rectify also love a good hop pun, and Red Brick Brewing Company’s Hop Lanta IPA (0.67 BAR, 108 Style+) also makes an appearance.

Watership Brown (2.45 BAR, 118 Style+) by Red Hare Brewing Company was soon to follow in my ever-increasing gallery of beers. Red Hare calls Marietta, Ga home, and I had this very beer last Tuesday when I was seeing New Zealand’s The Clean play live at The Earl in Decatur, Ga.

The first non-Atlanta-area beer to show up was Hopsecutioner (4.36 BAR, 114 Style+) from Terrapin Beer Company in Athens, GA. By this point in the show, the storyline dictated that a little more ABV was in order, and Terrapin was ready to step in. I also approve of another hop pun.

To round things off, in one scene a can that looks suspiciously like Budweiser (0.37 BAR, 110 Style+) shows up, perhaps just to remind us that we are still in the South where Budweiser is often still King.

Conspicuously absent was Atlanta’s Sweetwater Brewing Company, though I do think I spied the yellow of their IPA on a bottle. I enlisted the help of Eric and another Georgia craft beer drinker Grayson, but we never could say definitely one way of the other.

As I mentioned above, I am a big fan of the show. It speaks to me as a native Georgian, I like the pace of the show (slow and thoughtful) and I like how they drink beer. That is, they drink beer the way people drink beer. They get home and they head to the fridge to grab a beer. They get together to eat or just hang out, and somebody goes to the fridge. And the beers being grabbed on Rectify are mostly local craft beers.

Do yourself a favor and go watch season 1 on Netflix. It’s only six episodes, and I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how you much like it. In the meantime, I would love to hear where you have encountered craft beer in popular culture in the comments below. Or, if you are already fan of the show, tell me about how great it is. Here’s to good TV and here’s to good beer – Cheers!

Harris mostly watches sports on television, but when he does watch a TV show, he still likes to pair it with beer. Also, despite the crack above, he digs the writing of J. R. Shirt, and you should too, along with everybody else here at Beergraphs. You can follow Harris on Twitter @ohkiv