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Old 10-26-2012, 04:00 PM   #1
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Default Discuss: What is "Craft" Beer?

Hello All,

A local (to me) beer blogger in Edmonton, Alberta has posted an interesting article attempting to define what a makes a particular beer (or company) "craft" or not.

http://www.onbeer.org/2012/10/around-again-on-defining-craft/

He does bring up a good point about the difficulties in trying to categorise something that is almost completely subjective.

What are your thoughts? What makes a beer (or beer company) a craft beer?

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Old 10-26-2012, 04:04 PM   #2
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Yes, it is subjective.

"Craft" beer is beer that's made with a focus on taste instead of volume or cost.

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Old 10-26-2012, 04:07 PM   #3
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They had to invent "craft" because some micros turned macro.

Sadly, it pretty much means non-BMC, though I'd argue churning out millions of barrels of light American lager is a craft in and of itself.

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Old 10-26-2012, 04:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ_IPA View Post
They had to invent "craft" because some micros turned macro.

Sadly, it pretty much means non-BMC, though I'd argue churning out millions of barrels of light American lager is a craft in and of itself.
+1 to this. With the growth of companies like SA and SN they kind of broke the barrier. I personally dont drink BMC because Im not really a lager guy. But I highly respect what they do as far as size of operation and extensive quality control resulting in impeccable consistency.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeyWestBrewing View Post
+1 to this. With the growth of companies like SA and SN they kind of broke the barrier. I personally dont drink BMC because Im not really a lager guy. But I highly respect what they do as far as size of operation and extensive quality control resulting in impeccable consistency.
I loathe AB, but I am constantly impressed with their QC and how tight the guidelines are across all their breweries worldwide. It defies logic to meet those tight a guideline but they have perfected it.

It is a craft at any level IMO, because consistent quality (good or bad) takes a certain level of science and art combined.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:32 PM   #6
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Are you selling beer or image?

If your marketing revolves around the flavor, ingredients, and process that goes into your beer, you're probably making craft beer.

If it revolves around how much fun you'll have with beach-volleyball-playing bikini models while watching bears play football without having to worry about the calorie count (or whatever... I may be conflating a couple different ad campaigns, here), it's probably not craft.

Yeah, yeah, sometimes they talk about rocky mountain water or triple-hopping or whatever, but the fact that you can't actually taste any of the things they talk about in the product reveals this apparent ingredient- or process-based marketing as a ruse.

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Old 10-26-2012, 05:37 PM   #7
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It has no real meaning in terms of a bright line test of breweries that fall in or out of the category. "Craft" is usually applied across many fields like "artisan" to mean a product produced on a small scale in a traditional craft-style production facility as opposed to a production line-style manufacturing facility but all or almost all of the mid to large craft brewers operate production line-style operations. It's really just become shorthand for breweries that make something other than an industrial light lager.

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Old 10-26-2012, 06:51 PM   #8
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We went to the Summit Brewery in Minneapolis a little bit ago and they claim under new 'guidelines' they are a microbrewery. Something about under 6 million barrels a year, is the new cutoff point. Up from a lot lot less.

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Old 10-26-2012, 08:40 PM   #9
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"Craft beer" is one of my least favorite terms in brewing. It's nonsense.

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Old 10-27-2012, 12:42 AM   #10
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I thought the 'definition' of craft beer had something to do with adjuncts being used for flavor (spices, fruit, whatever else), rather than lowering costs (rice and such).

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