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Craft Beer 101

Most beer drinkers are only familiar with commercially available brands, like Budweiser or Coors. However, those who are truly passionate about their brew know all about craft beer. What is craft beer and what makes it so different from the regular brew?

Craft Beer Defined

According to The Brewer’s Association in Colorado, craft beer is defined as beer created by a brewer that is “small, independent and traditional.”

Small in this sense not only refers to the size of the brewery itself, it also refers to the amount of beer produced. Most craft brewers produce less than two million barrels annually. The term ‘craft beer’ is often used interchangeably with ‘microbrew’ but there is a distinction. Microbreweries produce less than 15,000 barrels of beer a year.

Craft Beer Definition Challenged

While some acknowledge the definition, other beer experts challenge it. Some say that the definition provided by The Brewer’s Association describes the brewery more than the beer. Some believe that craft beer is better defined as that which is brewed with great care and attention to detail to achieve a precise flavor.

Craft breweries create beer that pays homage to the beverage itself. They make something that is meant to be appreciated and savored, not just as a commodity that is meant to be mass produced. For them creating beer is an art, or as the name of the brew implies, a craft.

A Change is in Order

As many craft breweries are growing and expanding with the increasing popularity of craft beers and microbreweries, the Brewer’s Association of the definition of a craft brewery might have to change.

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