Sunday | October 22, 2017
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Something big is brewing

Jerry McNutt was looking for a brewery with a little personality.

Kona Brewing Co., with its reputation as a bit of a “maverick” company, willing to try new things, and a loyal following, fit the bill, said McNutt, executive producer and director of “Owner’s Manual,” a reality TV show that began airing this month on AMC.

Aug. 29, the show takes on beer brewing, using Kona Brewing Co.’s Hawaii Island brewery.

“We wanted a brewery that felt a little more like your neighbor,” McNutt said. “There’s lots of gigantic beer companies. We wanted something that could feel as genuine as the people do.”

He also wanted some leeway in filming and was concerned that a larger company might limit what the production crew could do. Adding in Hawaii Island as a backdrop was just a bonus, he said.

“Owner’s Manual” throws together Marcus Hunt, of HGTV’s “Hammer Heads,” and Ed Sanders, a carpenter from ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” giving them challenges ranging from assembling and driving a train to learning how to fly stunt planes. The premise, McNutt said, is that Hunt is more into researching and reading the owner’s manual before beginning a project, whereas Sanders is likelier to just dive in. Sanders, McNutt added, probably could look at a machine and figure out how to operate it without instructions.

Each episode, the two tackle a small challenge, in which their differing styles are juxtaposed, then collaborate on a larger challenge, working against the clock. McNutt said Hunt and Sanders don’t always meet that deadline. On Hawaii Island, the first challenge involved collecting honey from a local apiary. The larger challenge was brewing a honey ale.

Kona Brewing Co. President and CEO Mattson Davis said he was looking forward to seeing the episode.

“It was fun,” Davis said. “They were very respectful. Ed and Marcus were really nice guys.”

The brewery will host a viewing party Aug. 29 at its pub. Davis said they will rent a flat screen television to air the show and will have Nine Stings, the beer Hunt and Sanders created, on tap. Not the original batch, though, Davis said. Brewery staff and the production crew drank all of that after filming.

Davis said he’s also excited for the episode to showcase Hawaii, from the honey gathering to an interview he did next to Ahuena Heiau with Hualalai as a backdrop. The show is good for Kona Brewing Co., too.

“Anything that can raise our brand awareness is great,” he said.