Whether it’s giving you “goggles,” providing a medium in which your sorrows can drown, or merely accompanying you at the end of a long day, beer is part of being American—a large part. In fact, 85 percent of the alcohol we consume is the beverage made with barley and hops. But what makes you choose a freshly brewed, locally produced beer over, say, a can of anything by Anheuser-Busch is the subject of Beer Wars, a new documentary, premiering nationwide tonight, that shows how craft breweries try to survive in a world dominated by the larger corporate ones. Follow along on the behind-the-scenes journey into the beer world, where daily battles and “all-out wars” ensue for a piece of this fast-growing industry. It may make you think twice the next time you’re about to go for that cheap six-pack of Bud. At 8, followed by a live discussion (broadcast from L.A.) with director Anat Baron and a panel of brewers, moderated by Ben Stein, First and 62nd Cinemas (400 East 62nd Street), Chelsea Cinemas (260 West 23rd Street), Union Square Stadium 14 (850 Broadway)

Thu., April 16, 8 p.m., 2009