Floodwater Brewing Co. owner gets creative with ‘Dexter’ viewing parties

  • “Dexter Night” at Floodwater Brewing Co. in Shelburne Falls involves themed bingo games. The person who wins bingo the fastest gains control of the prestigious “Dexter Cup” trophy for a week, along with an added prize from the brewery. Staff Photo/Julian Mendoza

  • Locals get cozy for “Dexter Night” at Floodwater Brewing Co. in Shelburne Falls, offered on Sunday evenings. Staff Photo/Julian Mendoza

  • Locals get cozy for “Dexter Night” at Floodwater Brewing Co. in Shelburne Falls, offered on Sunday evenings. The brewery screens the newest episode of “Dexter: New Blood.” Staff Photo/Julian Mendoza

  • The “Dexter Cup,” awarded to winners in themed bingo games at Floodwater Brewing Co. in Shelburne Falls, features a pairing of two figures — one upright modeled after Dexter, and the other spread across a table wrapped in cling wrap and being cut open, modeled after the fictional serial killer’s victims. Contributed photo

Staff Writer
Published: 12/10/2021 1:01:16 PM
Modified: 12/10/2021 1:00:49 PM

SHELBURNE FALLS — Much like fictional serial killer Dexter Morgan faking his death in the original “Dexter” series, Floodwater Brewing Co. doesn’t truly call it quits as listed at 6 p.m. on Sundays.

The brewery at 40 State St. has been quietly welcoming regulars and drama enthusiasts to compete in themed bingo games as each new episode of “Dexter: New Blood” airs. The 10-episode series, a continuation of the original “Dexter,” was filmed in Shelburne Falls, Whately and Sunderland.

At 8 p.m. on Sunday nights, owner Zack Livingston, son of Greenfield Recorder Editor-in-Chief Joan Livingston, invites attendees to piece together free custom bingo squares using a variety of quirky printed-out prompts. After ordering pizzas and turning his couches toward a drop-down projector screen, Livingston beams up the latest episode, starting at 9 p.m.

Bingo players watch intently as they scan the episode for a scene that fulfills a prompt on their bingo board. The person who wins bingo the fastest gains control of the prestigious “Dexter Cup” trophy for a week, along with an added prize from the brewery.

Like many Shelburne Falls residents, Livingston got a kick out of seeing the village become the primary setting for the show’s filming in the spring. He and his friend, watch party co-creator Hannah French, said the idea of having watch parties began as playful conversations during the production.

“We had been joking about a ‘Dexter Night’ since they were making ‘Dexter,’” said French, who had never watched the show prior to this season. The original series lasted eight seasons and aired its finale in 2013.

Livingston’s enthusiasm grew as he recognized residents’ appreciation for Shelburne Falls coming to the big screen.

“People like seeing the town in such a major production,” he said.

Katharine Taylor, who lives in an apartment above Bridge Street Bazaar, which the film crew turned into “Fred’s Fish & Game,” affirmed this.

“When I discovered it was coming to town,” she said, “I ended up ordering all of the seasons online.”

By November, Livingston had committed to the idea, innovating both a makeshift lounge setup and a trophy that features a pairing of two figures — one upright modeled after Dexter, and the other spread across a table wrapped in cling wrap and being cut open, modeled after the fictional serial killer’s victims.

“It’s basically a repurposed pool trophy that I found on the side of the road,” Livingston said.

As the weeks have passed, the Dexter Night experience has gotten better and better.

“As we watched every week, Zack and I talked about what we could add to the bingo board,” French said. “Everything has evolved a bit each week. He even started to get sassy with the bingo squares.”

The viewing experience improved as well. What began as showings on a TV screen turned into cinema-like showings on a film screen. One attendee even started showing up with a popcorn-maker to add to the theater ambiance.

Livingston said he enjoys how low-key and intimate Dexter Nights have been so far. Going forward, he would be content if not much changes.

“I’m happy where it is,” he said. “Maybe it’ll crescendo by the end of the season.”

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com.


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