'Drinking Buddies' Cast Gift: Custom-Brewed Craft Beer

"Drinking Buddies"
"Drinking Buddies"
 Magnolia Pictures

This story first appeared in the Sept. 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. 

Mumblecore auteur Joe Swanberg's romantic comedy Drinking Buddies -- starring Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston -- is set in Chicago's craft brewing scene and arose from the writer-director's love of hops.

"I'm a home brewer and a huge beer geek," says Swanberg, who brewed a beer with Wilde and Johnson that they presented to cast and crew as a wrap gift. "My wife gave me a kit about five years ago. At the time, I needed a hobby that was free of critical infrastructure. After years of making movies, I wanted to do something just for myself, start to finish, in the comfort of my own home. It was a nice escape."

VIDEO: Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick Juggle Boyfriends and Beer in 'Drinking Buddies' Trailer

Of course, now that he's combined his public work and private pleasure, that critical infrastructure is front and center. Rotten Tomatoes rates the film -- in theaters Aug. 23 but already out on VOD -- 76 percent. No word on reviews of the beer.

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