Craft: The California Beer Documentary

Shelf Talker by | Oct 2016 | Issue #117

Craft: The California Beer Documentary
directed by Jeff Smith
Available on Amazon, Google Play, and iTunes
May 2016 | $12.99
Watch Trailer

In June, the brewery count in California hit 700. Capturing that market on film must have been daunting, but that’s not the feeling you get while watching Jeff Smith’s easygoing road trip documentary. From household names like Vinnie Cilurzo and Greg Koch, to emerging stars like Monkish Brewing‘s Henry Nguyen, the doc features 80 of California’s movers and shakers speaking their mind on some hot-button issues. Smith eases us in with warm and fuzzy topics like classic origin stories and the camaraderie among breweries. Soon, brewers find themselves swearing in exasperation when it comes to state regulations and the need for a shakeout. But the film is only a snapshot of a quickly changing market—a point driven home in the epilogue, when Smith updates us on which of the brewers, whose tenacity (and facial hair) we’ve been admiring for the past hour, have since cut deals with the same companies they were decrying earlier in the film.