2017-09-13 / Community View


Defining Craft Brewers



raft brewers rely on innovation to make their beers stand apart. Due to the unique tastes, enthusiasts can sometimes determine a brand by taste alone. In order to make it in the craft beer industry, brewers must add innovative twists and develop new brewing styles that differentiate them from a crowded marketplace.

The Brewer’s Association defines an American craft brewer as small, independent and traditional. Here is a breakdown of the criteria used to determine a brewer’s status.


A brewer is considered small when it annually produces 6 million or less barrels. That’s about 3 percent of America’s annual sales. Production must also be attributed to the rules of alternation proprietorships.


Craft breweries are independent because their owners or decision-makers are themselves, craft brewers. Independent brewers are typically in charge of less than 25 percent of their respective craft breweries.


American brewers have most of their total alcohol volume in beers that feature flavors derived from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and fermentation processes. While they may have malt beverages in their inventory, the majority must be classified as beer.


Here are even more facts from the Brewer’s Association related to craft-beer brewers and their enthusiasts:

• Craft brewers maintain integrity by what they brew and their general independence, free from substantial interest by a non-craft brewer.

• Most Americans live within 10 miles of a craft brewer.

• Craft beer is generally made with traditional ingredients including malted barley. Brewers take chances by adding traditional and non-traditional ingredients to add a uniqueness that certain flavors may become known for.

• Craft brewers are usually involved in their communities through philanthropy, product donations, volunteering and sponsoring local events.

• Brewers have their own ways of going about connecting with their customers that don’t require big-budget commercial allowances.

­ Source: Green Shoot Media

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