This is American Craft Beer Week, and we are dedicating ourselves to spotlighting our favorites. But first we need to know the definition of “craft” beer, where it came from and how it’s different from others – in both process and taste!
I am sure you are all familiar with a little thing called Prohibition. Well this pretty much wiped out small American breweries. But we Americans love our beer, so we came up with a solution: brewing our own. And when Congress legalized it in 1978, it took off.
But with so many beers on the market, how do you know which is craft?
Well the name usually gives it away. Coors, Miller, Bud, Corona… Not so much. Craft beers usually have more unique (read: weirder) and more localized names like Deep Ellum Dreamcrusher or Kronenbourg.
Without relying on the name though, there are three basic rules to classifying a craft beer according to the Brewers Association:
- Small: produces six million bottles or less each year
- Independent: less than 25% of the brewery is owned or controlled by someone who isn’t a craft brewer
- Traditional: a majority of its total alcohol volume derives from traditional brewing ingredients and their fermentation
Still not sure? Use Craft Check – an app that lets you scan a bottle’s barcode and instantly tells you if the beer is indeed craft. But the real purpose behind this terminology is transparency. Craft beers are known for their quality, and with beer on the rise, we don’t see that going away anytime soon.