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What Is Craft Beer?

With our upcoming event Twin Ports On Tap, I decided to do some checking.  To be honest, when it comes to beer I am rather an idiot as to what is what.The first question I had was quite simple: What is an American Craft Beer?

So I sat down with my good friend Google and sought to find some answers.

According to the Brewer’s Association:

An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional.

So to be an American Craft Beer, it has to have these three characteristics.

Johannes Simon, Getty Images
Johannes Simon, Getty Images





Production of the beer must be less than 6 million barrels.

At this point I had to look and find out how much is actually inside of a barrel.  Apparently each barrel is 31 Gallons.

So to be considered small, the brewer has to produce less than 186 million gallons of beer.


John Moore, Getty Images
John Moore, Getty Images





“Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.” – (Brewers Association)

To put it frankly, to be a craft beer the company must not have a big company have too much control or interest in it.

Therefore when Budweiser came out with their ‘Craft Style’ beers.  They weren’t true American Craft Beers.


Evening Standard, Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Evening Standard, Hulton Archive, Getty Images





“A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.” (Brewers Association)

To be a craft brewer, they put their own spin on the whole process.  Maybe they add a unique ingredient, or have an old recipe that they have continued on.  Perhaps they are experimenting with a new process.  The idea seems to be to have your own unique spin on the whole process, ingredients, and recipe.



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