A New Documentary Maps California’s Craft Brewing Culture

The film goes behind the scenes at 80 Golden State breweries.

A full-length documentary about California’s craft beer industry is debuting today. “Craft: The California Beer Documentary” follows director Jeff Smith on a month-long road trip to some of the state’s top breweries. “We wanted to know more about how beer is produced, distributed and adored,” says Smith, who codirected 2013’s “The Arrested Development Documentary Project.” He also aimed to learn how craft breweries are able to compete with major domestic beer companies. Smith and producer Frances Ellsworth visited 80 California breweries, including longstanding heavyweights like Ballast Point in San Diego, Sierra Nevada in Chico, Lagunitas in Petaluma, Firestone Walker in Paso Robles and Anchor in San Francisco. The film also features smaller producers, such as Humboldt Regeneration in McKinleyville, Alosta in Covina, Ironfire in Temecula, Cool Beerwerks in Cool and Cismontane in Rancho Santa Margherita.

According to the Brewers Association, California was the No.-1 state for craft breweries in 2014, with 518 operating there—though filmmakers note that as of February 22nd, 2016, that number was up to 659. “Craft” is being released by digital film distribution company Quiver and is available on DVD and on-demand via iTunes, Dish Network and Microsoft Xbox, among other services. To learn more, visit Craftbeerdoc.com.