Beer Wars is a tale about the David versus Goliath-like struggle going on in today’s beer industry between small, independent breweries and monolithic corporations. Anat Baron is the creative vision behind the film (She is a multi-hyphenate’s multi-hyphenate: director, producer, writer and executive producer. She even schedules her own interviews.) and the workhorse behind its release.

“I expected to make a film about an industry I love, then go through the festival circuit and find a distributor.”

But then life happened.

“I didn’t get into Sundance. I realized that I had to emulate the entrepreneurship I talked about in the film so that I could get it out there while it is relevant,” Baron says.

Independent breweries don’t have the option to get their product out to consumers directly.

“Breweries, no matter what their size, cannot sell directly to consumers. They are bound by the three tier system established after prohibition, which mandates that a brewer must find a distributor in order to get their beer on store shelves or bars, ” explains Baron. “This system has made the distributors very powerful. Filmmakers can certainly understand a story about powerful distributors – and why they may or may not benefit an entrepreneur in search of the American Dream.”

Together with NCM Fathom and Ben Stein, Baron will present “Beer Wars Live” on April 16. For one night only, the documentary will play in 430 theatres across the country (including AMC Burbank, AMC Century City and the Bridge) followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Stein, about the business of beer – and the business of business. Baron hopes that you enjoy it – but regardless, she’s glad that there is a system in place that allows you, the consumer, to decide.

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