Beers, balls, and adult humor. Netflix’s new original show Brews Brothers is brought to you by the creative Schaffer brothers – the team behind hit shows like The League, Curb Your Enthusiasm and That 70’s Show.
The story is about two brothers who aim to become braumeisters (brewer masters) while managing their brewery “Rodman’s” back to success.
Both siblings on the show appear to be masters of their crafts, but in very different ways, which creates an interesting day-to-day life in the brewery. Wilhelm (Alan Aisenberg) has lived in Belgium and approaches beer in the more traditional, ‘man of the people’ style. His brother Adam (Mike Castle) has a more academic and ‘millennial’ attitude towards his craft. The Wilhelm and Adam are the best part of the show and definitely what the Schaffer brothers got right. The same cannot be said about the rest of the crew, however.
The cast includes a bunch of strange characters with an ever-recurring question of – why are they here? What is their purpose as characters in the plot? The Schaffer brothers have created a show with the stylistic production of their previous projects but the writing on the show feels weak. Every third joke is about “shit, dicks or balls”. There’s a surprising amount of dildos and bodily fluids in the show and it comes off as juvenile and repulsive most of the time. Marques Ray’s Chuy is a prime example of a character that feels wasted on disgusting and unnecessary college tropes, alongside several other wasted characters. At times, the show feels like it’s written about millennials, but definitely not written by millennials, and it loses a lot of authenticity in its characters because of it.
There’s definitely a lot of potential for Brews Brothers as a concept. The involvement of Belgian politics and Euro-centric beer culture was interesting to delve into, and while some characters feel out of place, some smaller roles are perfectly set up. If the show returns for a second season, the aspiration should be to maintain what’s worked for the first season and cut out what hasn’t – which is a fair amount of things.