You’ve probably heard the term ‘craft beer’ before. In fact, you’ve probably heard it a lot and there’s a good chance that you have no idea what it means. This isn’t a jab at your intelligence, by the way, but rather a reference to the fact that everyone simply expects you to know what it means without even being told. So rather than leave you hanging, we’re going to make sure that you’re ‘in the know’ today, so to speak.
First of all, a craft beer is a beer that is made without the implementation of machinery, essentially crafted by hand. That being the case, each and every one is going to be one of a kind – no two identical. Believe it or not, craft breweries make up the majority in the United States, so if you’re a beer lover, it’s a great time to be alive and living in the US.
Understanding the American Craft Brewer
There are several requirements that a brewer needs to meet in order to be considered ‘craft’. First of all they need to be small, which means an annual production of 6 million barrels or less. This definitely makes their bear more desirable and definitely more coveted as it comes in limited supply in comparison with other large names like Heineken. Secondly, they need to be independent, which means they cannot be owned by a large company. The idea is to keep it under 25% ownership, unless that ownership belongs to another craft brewer.
The last item is tradition, and this means that most of the alcohol volume is derived from traditional brewing methods. For example, flavored malt beverages would not be considered beers and they would have no place at a craft brewery.
A Great Time to Beer
Did you know that today the average American lives just ten miles from a brewery? The United States has really taken the beer industry and run with it, and you can see that since 1980, we’ve manage to develop significantly. There is little doubt that many Americans prefer imported beers, but they should first consider the creativity and diversity of the beers that are available right here at home. You’re sure to find some amazing things, and we’re pretty sure that you’re going to enjoy them.
Go out, take a look at all the great American beers, and relish in the fact that we now have one of them sot rapidly growing beer industries in the world. Other countries might have their wine and their spirits, but America? We have the beer, and that’s what matters.[Image Credit]