Beer Wars, Anat Baron’s documentary about craft breweries and the U.S. beer industry, debuts nationwide today, followed by a live broadcast of a panel discussion in LA. Ben Stein will lead Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head), Rhonda Kallman (New Century, Boston Beer Company), Greg Koch (Stone), Charlie Papazian (Brewers Association), Maureen Ogle (Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer), and Todd Alstrom (BeerAdvocate) in a discussion of “the struggles independent brewers face in a corporate-dominated world.” 7 PM, River East 21, 322 E. Illinois; City North 14, 2600 N. Western; Webster Place, 1471 W. Webster; $15.
The 58th Annual Smelt Fry at American Legion Post #82 in Port Washington, Wisconsin, offers all-you-can-eat smelt. Fri 4:30-10 PM, Sat 5:30-9 PM, Memorial Building, 435 N. Lake, Port Washington, 262-284-4690, $10.
Khemararam Temple hosts another Cambodian New Year’s festival at Truman College, with “lots of food” to be served by the staff of the temple and eaten “after the monks eat.” 9 AM-1 PM, early arrival recommended, 1145 W. Wilson, 773-878-8226, suggested donation of food or cash.
The American Institute of Wine and Food hosts a culinary tour of Pilsen starting with cookies, pastries, and Mexican breads at the 50-year-old El Nopal bakery (3648 W. 26th) and ending at Mr. Churro (1626 S. Blue Island). Chef Freddy Sanchez of Adobo Grill will take participants to La Casa del Pueblo, a neighborhood supermarket; Mundial Cocina Mestiza, a Latin fusion spot; Carnitas Don Pedro, a “palace of all things porcine”; and Birrieria Reyes de Octolan, which specializes in goat stew. 10:30 AM-3 PM, 847-910-5946, $55, $40 AIWF members.
The Patio Pig Roast at Dunlays on the Square includes all-you-can-eat pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, homemade potato chips, and coleslaw; Iron City beers are $2 and there’ll be live music by the Northside Southpaws from 1 to 3 PM. noon-5 PM, 3137 W. Logan, 773-227-2400, $20.
The Beer Mapping Project’s annual CTA Pub Crawl begins at the Local Option (1102 W. Webster) and progresses to Sheffield’s, Risque Cafe, the Long Room, Metropolitan Brewing (for a brewery tour and sampling), and the Hopleaf. 1-6 PM, registration required.
French wine and samples from a 100-pound wheel of Laguiole, an aged French cow’s milk cheese from the Aubrac plateau are free at Whole Foods Lakeview’s afternoon tasting. 1-2:30 PM, 3300 N. Ashland, 773-244-4200.
The eight midwestern Rock Bottom breweries, all of which develop their own recipes, offer 50 beers for sampling at Rockfest 2009; the brewmasters will be on hand to discuss. You can vote on who’ll be awarded “the coveted golden bung hammer.” 1-5 PM, Rock Bottom Brewery, 1 W. Grand, 312-755-9339, $25.
Mado‘s monthly family dinner celebrates the restaurant’s one-year anniversary with dishes including grilled ramps with romesco sauce, pappardelle with rabbit sugo, and porchetta with garlic, rosemary, and fennel. 6 PM, 2039 W. North, 773-342-2340, $50.