What is Craft Beer? An Expert's Guide

Craft beer is a type of beer that is produced in small batches, usually by independent brewers. It is often characterized by its unique flavors, brewing techniques, and enthusiasm for experimentation. The Brewers Association, a non-profit trade group that protects and promotes small, independent U. S.

brewers, defines an American craft brewer as a small and independent brewer. According to the Brewers Association, craft brewers must produce 6 million barrels of beer or less annually and must be less than 25% owned or controlled (or have an equivalent economic interest) by a member of the alcoholic beverage industry who is not itself a craft brewer. Trying to define craft beer can be difficult as it is a subjective and personal experience. However, there are three attributes that define craft production according to the Brewers Association: craft brewers must be small, independent, and traditional. Small means an annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less; independent means less than 25% owned or controlled (or have an equivalent economic interest) by a member of the alcoholic beverage industry who is not itself a craft brewer; and traditional means that the majority of the brewery's total beverage alcohol volume must come from beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. The Brewers Association also has a seal that sends a “clear message to the beer drinker that a beer is made by a small, independent brewer”.

This seal can be found on brewery websites, beer packaging, menus, and more. This is how you know you're buying beer made by an independent craft brewer. Craft brewers face many challenges such as market access, the cost of raw materials and ingredients, and operating in a highly regulated, high-tax industry. You can help defend crafts by joining the Support Your Local Brewery network. This network will send you Action Alerts when initiatives come up in your state. Millennials are more likely than any other generation before to seek out and support small businesses, independent or local.

This includes the craft beer industry. New generations prefer to give their money to smaller companies than to big money giants. Tasting beer has become a great way to get an idea of the taste of a beer before ordering a whole pint. Unfortunately, as craft beer drinkers increasingly ask for samples, many bars see their profits diminish because they serve free portions, however small they may be. The PourMyBeer system gives customers full control over portioning, charging them by the ounce instead of whole portions of pint. The National Association of Craft Beer Creators was established to support and promote the industry in Mexico.

Craft brewers offer new interpretations of historic styles as well as new and unprecedented styles of beer. In short, a craft brewery is not always a microbrewery, and a microbrewery is only a craft brewery if it follows the standards of craft brewing. To diversify, large macrobrewers such as Anheuser-Bush InBev have created secondary brands that resemble craft beers such as A-B's Shock Top and have bought out craft beer companies such as A-B's purchase of Chicago-based Goose Island. London's East End has also been home to specialty craft beers and unique independent pubs and breweries. Although drinking directly from a can can result in a metallic taste, most craft brewers recommend pouring beer into a glass before consuming it. Julia Herz, director of the craft beer program at the Brewers Association said that this statement came in reaction to increased media coverage of craft beer. The Brewers Association states that if a large brewer has controlling part of a smaller production brewery then it is not artisanal according to their definition. Most of the beer produced is exported to the United States and the development of the craft beer industry was not helped by the presence of two large beer consortia in the country.

Not everyone is happy with the sliding scale of craftsmanship as some believe that keeping beers locally focused and production small is an important aspect of the craft beer mentality. Sure Sam Adams may be good but many argue that it no longer plays the same role in beer drinking culture which has led to so-called nano breweries gaining attention. Although there is no rigid definition for how small they should be nano-breweries usually only brew one batch at a time and have no distribution beyond local markets with most sales coming from either their brewery or on-site beer sales. In conclusion, craft beer is an exciting industry with many opportunities for exploration and experimentation. It is important to remember that although large macrobrewers may try to imitate craft beers they are not true crafts according to the Brewers Association definition.