Bringing Beer to the Small Screen


NICHOLAS GIVANIO HAS LANDED his dream job. The owner of Sacramento Brew Tour, a local custom brewery tour company, is combining his two passions—craft beer and film production—to host a new Discovery Channel series showcasing craft breweries around the world. The show, set to air in 2018, will have a similar feel to Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” hosted by another Northern Californian, Guy Fieri.

“There are so many small micro- and nanobreweries all over the world that no one knows about,” Givanio says. “I want to put them on the map and help them grow.”

Four years ago, Givanio, who studied acting and film in college, saw an opportunity with Sacramento’s growing craft beer trend and left his six-figure job at a corporation to begin producing “Brew Talk,” an online show that highlights breweries and prominent people in the craft beer world.

He went through a certificate program to become a cicerone and started taking locals around to breweries in the Sacramento area, giving them tours of the facilities and in-depth information about the brewing process, the varying tastes and the business aspect of running a small brewery.

Sacramento is a unique region to brew beer, Givanio says, mostly because there are so many local ingredients with which to experiment. Brewers add fruits and grains to give their beer strong seasonal flavors, he says.

New Glory Craft Brewery uses fresh local ginger and peaches to brew its Ginger Peach Saison. Knee Deep Brewing Company in Auburn recently brewed a special India Pale Ale called Man Juice, made with local mandarins. Givanio plans to feature Knee Deep on an episode of his Discovery Channel show. “All this gives the beer a different, unique flavor,” said Givanio. “We’re so lucky it’s right here in our own soil.”

It explains why more than 70 local microbreweries are currently operating, he says, including some that people travel from across the country to visit.

One standout is GoatHouse Brewing Co. in Lincoln, the only farm-to-glass brewery in California. The owners converted their barn into a brewery and tasting room and use hops grown on-site, fruit from their orchards and honey from their beehives to create seasonal craft beers.

“It’s community-based,” Givanio says. “I love supporting people like that.”