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  1. #1
    Beer Please!
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    How do you define Craft Beer, or Craft Brewing?

    There was a small debate on this board about the definition of the word craft and whether Miller/Coors/Bud can ever qualify to use that term, and then I read this article from Time and found some of the information very interesting.

    In the Craft Beer World, a Pecking Order Emerges | TIME.com

    How do you define Craft Brewing?
    telling me to stay out of a former bombing range next to a dump while you build huge houses next to it? Screw you.-sandmangts

  2. #2
    Beer Me!
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    This really is a sticky topic, and a weird one too.

    My gut reaction is anything that isn't part of the Big 2 (AB-Inbev and Miller-Coors) is still craft. The gap between even Boston and these two is still gigantic. Boston produces 1.6million barrels a year while AB dominates them at (from a rough estimate) 195 million barrels a year. To put this even more in perspective AB breweries in the US will produce the yearly output of a "Big Craft Brewery" such as New Belgium in about a day or less. Craft beer including the larger craft brewery’s like Boston, Sierra, New Belgium still only comprise less than 6% of American beer sales.

    Let’s put this in perspective really quick:
    AB makes what New Belgium makes a year, in about 1 day.
    New Belgium make what your local micro-brewery makes in a year in a couple of brew runs (less than a day).
    Your local micro-brewery produces probably more than 100x your home brew stovetop kit in one brew (less than a day).

    There is so much room for craft to grow (94% actually), that arguing about what is and isn’t craft isn’t the issue. The main issue is that 2 companies completely dominate the market, dominate the distribution, and are playing the game to try and not only keep up with craft, but directly compete. I am not saying I advocate boycotting the big guys, but I am against deaminizing the craft breweries that are getting bigger (Boston, Sierra and New Belgium). Calling them sellouts, or non-craft, or “mass market” is not helping the craft scene at all.

    Synopsis: Compared to the big boys, any brewery that isn’t owned by the big two (AB and MC) are Tiny and still craft.
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  3. #3
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    It's a subjective view at best.

    Breweries that truly care about the beer they produce, and beers are are truly cared for.

    With that said; I still consider the likes of Goose Island, Terrapin, and Sam Adams "craft".
    Many do not agree.
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  4. #4
    Beer Please!
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    Goose Island is hard because they are under the umbrella of the big 2 now... Boston Beer Co is still independent of them.

    To me it is when profits come before passion no matter how big or small you are. I still See Boston Beer Company being all about the Passion of good beer, I do not see that at all from the big 2.
    telling me to stay out of a former bombing range next to a dump while you build huge houses next to it? Screw you.-sandmangts

  5. #5
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    To me , I see a craft brewery as one who continues to innovate, try new creative styles, and puts passion in to their beers. It has much less to do with quantities produced.
    I find it quite annoying how some feel that when a "micro" brewery starts to experience success and decides to expand, that they are somehow "selling out".
    I like good beer...most of it comes from small breweries, but that doesnt change if the brewery grows.
    I really like Sam Adams, now more than ever.
    I also like some tiny places and would like to see them have that kind of success, but there is likely only room for so many to grow to that size.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    To me it is when profits come before passion no matter how big or small you are. I still See Boston Beer Company being all about the Passion of good beer, I do not see that at all from the big 2.
    Agreed.

    I know a lot of people diss breweries like Goose Island, Kona, etc because they are partially owned by the big 2. But I still see these breweries making some great beers, and as long as they continue to make good beer I will continue to buy it regardless of who owns it. But if their recipes or production are dictated from above in the name of profit it will be reflected in the quality.

  7. #7
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    Why don't we just ask the Brewers Association?

    An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional.
    Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition.
    Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer.
    Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.
    The following are some concepts related to craft beer and craft brewers:
    Craft brewers are small brewers.
    The hallmark of craft beer and craft brewers is innovation. Craft brewers interpret historic styles with unique twists and develop new styles that have no precedent.
    Craft beer is generally made with traditional ingredients like malted barley; interesting and sometimes non-traditional ingredients are often added for distinctiveness.
    Craft brewers tend to be very involved in their communities through philanthropy, product donations, volunteerism, and sponsorship of events.
    Craft brewers have distinctive, individualistic approaches to connecting with their customers.
    Craft brewers maintain integrity by what they brew and their general independence, free from a substantial interest by a non-craft brewer.
    The majority of Americans live within 10 miles of a craft brewer.

    And here's a LIST OF ALL OF THE CRAFT BREWERIES IN THE US!!!!: Notice that Goose Island is on the list, Kona, not so much...

    http://www.brewersassociation.org/at..._Breweries.pdf

  8. #8
    Beer Please!
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    Quote Originally Posted by bipolarbear View Post
    Why don't we just ask the Brewers Association?
    The idea behind this thread is to see how individuals on this board defined it, not how the Brewers Association defined it.
    telling me to stay out of a former bombing range next to a dump while you build huge houses next to it? Screw you.-sandmangts

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    The idea behind this thread is to see how individuals on this board defined it, not how the Brewers Association defined it.
    Fair enough, but I find their definition to be a good starting point.

  10. #10
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    if its sold at 711, it aint craft beer
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    if its sold at 711, it aint craft beer
    I have to disagree, my local 7-11 sells beer from regional craft breweries such as Deschutes and Portland Brewing.

  12. #12
    Hillbilly
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    I define craft beer as a beer that was brewed with the best and freshest possible ingredients available, that was tasted by a brewer for quality. Also, a beer should not be watery, some of the new breweries in my area have jumped into the craft scene and are exploiting it without having the slightest idea of how to brew, or simply do not care about quality because they know that some college-aged hipster will buy it and put stickers all over the back of his '92 volvo advertising them.

  13. #13
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    Sierra Nevada is sold at many 7-11's and is one of the most dependable breweries out there. I've also seen Hop Stoopid and some of the decent New Belgium brews there.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Stokes View Post
    I define craft beer as a beer that was brewed with the best and freshest possible ingredients available, that was tasted by a brewer for quality. Also, a beer should not be watery, some of the new breweries in my area have jumped into the craft scene and are exploiting it without having the slightest idea of how to brew, or simply do not care about quality because they know that some college-aged hipster will buy it and put stickers all over the back of his '92 volvo advertising them.
    Wow,..BINGO! You nailed it. I made a similar post in another thread about rare beers. The craft brew bubble will soon burst and all of the fly by nighters will be exposed. I really enjoy good beer, but it has become too much about marketing and cool packaging and less about quality. I am convinced that you could take Guinness and put it in a wax dipped 22 Oz bottle with a cool label and name, charge $9.50 and sell a ton.
    It's very much like the cigar boom of 15 years ago.
    The good news is that because if all of these start ups, some will actually emerge as quality breweries and stuck around.
    I am not saying its a bad thing, just humorous.

    BTW, I like Guinness
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  15. #15
    Hi.
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    Goose Island and AC Golden are craft. The ownership is irrelevant IMO, because the ingredients and process are still "crafty."

    If beer like BCBS isn't considered craft, screw naming conventions.

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