Florida Panhandle-based film production company, Lensea Film, received funding and met all approval requirements to shoot a pilot episode of a TV show called “Micro Bros” at SweetWater Brewery in Atlanta. “Micro Bros” will feature hosts, Jared Michael Cramblet and Jarrod Michael Moxley, as they travel across the U.S. and explore breweries and microbreweries and the culture surrounding them.

 

Jared Cramblet and Jarrod Moxley hatched an idea 10 years ago that, frankly, they thought would’ve been stolen by now.

The two conjured up a concept for a show called “Micro Bros,” in which they would tell stories about breweries and the culture surrounding them. When they explained the idea to Scott Zepp, the World of Beer franchise owner, he was equally perplexed by its nonexistence.

“It seems like this would’ve already happened with how the craft beer movement has exploded,” Cramblet said. “I’m glad we kept it a secret.”

“I was expecting to turn on the TV at any moment, ‘There it is,’” Moxley added.

Now, it’s happening.

The duo collaborated with Destyn Patera and his panhandle-based film production company, Lensea Film, and received funding to shoot a pilot episode of “Micro Bros” in November at SweetWater Brewery in Atlanta. Cramblet and Moxley will host the episode and —once it’s filmed — pitch the series to various networks.

Although the budget for production of the pilot episode of “Micro Bros” is fully funded, the team launched a crowdfunding campaign to aid with the costs of post-production, film festival entries and general marketing costs upon completion. Backers can pledge a certain amount of money to receive prizes, such as pint glasses or a local brewery tour.

To pledge, visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/microbros/micro-bros-pilot-episode-at-sweetwater-brewery?ref=user_menu.

Stay updated on the show's progress at microbrostv.com and through social media at Instagram.com/microbrostv/ or Facebook.com/microbrostv/.

 

‘Jared Michael and Jarrod Michael’

It all comes back to the Mellow Mushroom.

The Destin restaurant is where Cramblet and Moxley first met, discovered their love for craft beer and came up with “Micro Bros” — oh, and a few other events of kismet.

It was 2006, and Cramblet was a kitchen manager and Moxley was a bar manager.

“At the time, Mellow Mushroom was the only place in Destin that had a big selection of craft beer,” Cramblet said. “Craft beer was still a new thing. To see a restaurant with 24 taps on the wall was not a thing.”

They both became infatuated with craft beer.

“It was something that was different,” Cramblet said. “People were being creative — even the branding — everything about it … One night we were talking and developed this show idea, ‘What kind of show would you want to watch?’ We developed the name 'Micro Bros.' We both have the same first and middle name.”

Shortly after, they toured McGuire’s Irish Pub and learned about the process, putting together a mock version of what the show might look like. And then, they went back into the parking lot.

“We were like, ‘Now what?’” Cramblet said. “I had no access to film crews. I had zero knowledge of the entertainment business.”

Fast forward 10 years later, and Cramblet — the former manager of Destin band I’magene — was more knowledgeable about video production and the industry.

When Moxley was still on board, they put together a 10-page concept of the show and sent it to SweetWater Brewery.

"I emailed them the show concept, ‘We’d love to consider your brewery to shoot our pilot at,’” Cramblet said. “And not even thinking they might not even respond to this email. I’m not afraid of a non-response.”

The brewery responded, and they quickly met in Atlanta to discuss it.

“They brought us in at 10 a.m.,” Cramblet said. “They weren’t even open yet. They were like, 'Come on in. Let’s get you some beers.' We were like, ‘It’s 10 a.m.’”

“We’ve been drinking a lot of morning beers since we started this,” Moxley said.

They quickly acquired several investors — among them World of Beer founder Zepp and entrepreneur Clint Hill — to finance the pilot episode, and they are all knowledgeable in the craft beer industry, Cramblet said.

 

One night at Mellow Mushroom

It was 10:55 p.m. on a unknown day in 2006, and Cramblet was bartending at the Mellow Mushroom. A man walked in as Cramblet was about to close. Cramblet wasn’t thrilled — he wanted to go home.

“He’s like, ‘I’m gonna get a beer, but I need to know, what’s your favorite beer on that wall?'” Cramblet said. “I said, ‘We just got the SweetWater IPA, and it’s the best beer I’ve ever had …' He was like, ‘I’m really glad to hear you say that.’ I was like, ‘Why?’ He was like, ‘Because I made that.’ I was like, ‘So did I.’ … He was like, ‘No, I’m Freddie (Bensch). I own SweetWater.’"

Again, it all comes back to the Mellow Mushroom.

The two developed a friendship. SweetWater IPA is a top choice for Cramblet and Moxley to this day.

“SweetWater IPA was the one I judged most beer off of for the longest (time), because that was probably the first beer I loved the most,” Moxley said.

“Same, because it was the first one I was introduced to,” Cramblet added.

Bensch's friendship is part of what led to “Micro Bros” becoming a reality.

“I feel like we’re exactly where we need to be,” Cramblet said. “For this, ever since we started trying to execute it, all these doors have opened for this.”

“It’s been like, ‘When’s someone gonna slam this door in our face?’” Moxley said.

 

‘Beer geeks’

Cramblet and Moxley don’t claim to be experts — that’s what makes it fun.

“The show isn’t going to be for beer geeks,” Cramblet said. “We’re utilizing these beers and these breweries to discover other stories in the culture within the city.”

Cramblet cites Anthony Bourdain, a celebrity chef who died in June 2018, as inspiration.

“Bourdain is kind of credited with doing that, that genre of let’s travel and tell stories through food,” Cramblet said. “That’s what we’re trying to do through beer.”

They recently shot a video at Perfect Plain Brewing Co. in Pensacola for their Kickstarter campaign to raise more money for the show.

“Jared was like, ‘Those are $40,000 lights,’” Moxley said. “I was like, ‘Stop telling me how much everything costs, Jared.’ I had my arms behind my back the whole time. The only thing I touched was beer.”

Morning beer won’t be a one-time occurrence for these bros.

“I showed up and it was like 8:45 in the morning and Destyn’s just like, ‘Can we get him a beer? That’s kinda the premise of the show. We have to breathalyzer him to make sure he’s buzzed enough to be on camera,’” Moxley said. “There were people just handing me beers and I was like, ‘Thank you so much.’”

“We have this theory that if we can keep him between a certain blood alcohol level that he’ll be good on camera,” Cramblet said with a laugh.

They actually have received a free breathalyzer from BACtracker to feature in the show.

“My parents are gonna be so proud,” Moxley said, laughing. “He’s the calm, articulate one. I’m the one whose gonna start drinking and talking weird stuff. There’s going to be an awkward silence, and then there’s going to be a weird word that pops up. Hopefully, it’s funny.”

If a network picks up “Micro Bros” and creates a series, Cramblet plans to showcase the Florida Panhandle.

“We’re home team,” Cramblet said.

 

This story originally published to nwfdailynews.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the GateHouse Media network via the Florida Wire. The Florida Wire, which runs across digital, print and video platforms, curates and distributes Florida-focused stories. For more Florida stories, visit here, and to support local media throughout the state of Florida, consider subscribing to your local paper.