After their inauggaral season hit Bell Fibe last year, Tales From The Ale Trail are set to drink their way through the Niagara Region once again with the launch of Season Two this fall.
The show, which seamlessly blends comedy and education, features hosts Chris Treschak, Nick Mirka and Drew Williams as they taste their way through the Niagara Region and beyond.
Last year they sipped their way through the Albino Rhino Beer Festival, The Merchant Ale House, Lock St. Brewery, Niagara Oast House Brewers, The Exchange Brewery, Silversmith Brewing Company, Kame and Kettle Beer Works and Merit Brewing
With a tangible product now in hand, approaching breweries was easier this time around for the group. Mirka explained that the brewers themselves are now just as excited to be part of the process.
This year, their production schedule brought them to the Niagara College Teaching Brewery, Breakwall Brewing Company, Counterpart Brewing, Shawn & Ed and through a Hamilton pubcrawl going from Grain & Grit Beer Co., Fairweather Brewing Company & Clifford Brewing.
Taking the lessons learned from Season One, the group surveyed their audience, learning that audiences loved watching them just sitting around talking about beer. Although they admit they’re not experts in the field, it lead them to approach filming with a more organic process.
“We’re allowing the beers to hit us a little bit more and embracing the sense of place and community within the breweries this year, all while having fun with the experience,” explained Treschak.
“We thought that watching us sit around talking about beer would be the most boring aspect of the show, but suprisingly, that’s the part people seemed to enjoy most. So this season we’re not rushing it,” added Mirka.
One barrier they mentioned with doing a Niagara-centric television show was that they were running out of breweries to highlight, hence why their ventures into Hamilton began.
“But, now we’ve had people reach out to us from Windsor, Muskoka and various sites in the United States,” said Williams. “But, we’re really proud of where we live. Our goal is to just support our breweries and just get you to spend the day there. We just want people to have the same enjoyable experiences that we have had.
“We’ve had people tell us that they rented bikes and did the Niagara-on-the-Lake tour that we did,” said Treschak. “We’ve had people come up to us at breweries (Kame & Kettle Beer Works) saying that they came here because we did an episode on them, so it’s working, people are watching.
As they continue on their journey through the breweries of Niagara / Hamilton, Treschak, Mirka and Williams (along with Mark Rauwerda (Co-Creator, Producer and Cinematographer), Mike Enns (Camera Operator), Bill Reilly (Camera Operator), Chris Paco (Editor & Assistant Director), Paolo DiTeodoro (Sound Designer) & Emma Todd (Editor)) have found themselves being leaned on more and more for advice about beer.
“I’ve had to do this more and more as we grow, but I’ll be at a friends house being asked what beer they should buy and why. I can even go into hop varieties, which wasn’t necessarily in my repertoire when we first started the show,” said Treschak.
“But we’re really lucky to do so many tastings and learn so much from brewers that now we’re a lot more comfortable in our answers and are able to speak confidently about beer.”