What is Craft Beer?
Craft beer is many different things to different people. But most important, there are three criteria that make a beer “craft.” According to the Brewers Association, Craft Beer is “Small, Independent, and Traditional.”
Craft beer producers make fewer than 6 million barrels each year. While that might sound like a lot, most craft brewers make considerably less than this threshold.
To be considered a craft beer, less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer.
A brewer who has either an all malt flagship, or 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.
While these “nuts and bolts” of craft beer are true, the layman knows craft beer as the most intensively flavored beer product on the market, made by people who care about the end user: you.
Learning About Beer
At KBW, we aren’t the experts, but we sure know some. Here are a few links to get you started on your beer education journey. But don’t forget that the best opportunity to learn comes in the form of tasting. Different styles, different brands, different kinds of beer. From a bottle. From a glass. Well, you get the picture. But please, in all of your education, be safe. Plan ahead or call a cab.