Tuesday, April 26, 2011

So what is a craft brewery anyway?

According to the Brewers Association craft breweries are defined by three characteristics:

1.  Craft brewers are small enterprises based on annual production of 6 million barrels or less. A barrel of beer  is 31 gallons.

2.  They must be independent.  This means that no more than 25% of the brewery can be owned by someone other than the craft brewer.

3.  The most important factor that makes a brewery a craft brewery is the ingredients they use.  Their best selling brew must be all malt or at least 50% of their beer lineup is all malt.  The reason this is signifcant is that the pale lagers most people see advertised on TV are made with adjuncts.  Adjuncts are things added to beer which are not malt, typically rice and corn.  These adjuncts are used to make the beers lighter in body and also add to the blandness of the beer.  When using all malt, the resulting craft brew will have much more flavor and taste.  And you don't even have to drink craft brew ice cold just to choke it down!  Craft brew will actually have more flavor as it gets warmer but that will be another discussion.

See everyone craft brews aren't some mysterious concoctions that should be feared.  Craft brews are how beer was made centuries before the big beer companies developed the "American Lager".  Put down your pale lifeless american lager and pick up some quality American craft brew.  It's worth it I promise.


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