What is Craft Beer?
Craft Beer is a term used to describe small, independently owned breweries. It is distinguished from mass-produced, regular beer by its use of specific hand-selected ingredients and brewing techniques.
Historically, a duopoly dominated the beer industry with major players like Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors controlling most of the market. Over the past decade or so, a wave of smaller, more independent breweries has taken hold and challenged big beer’s dominance.
The brewers who call themselves “craft” typically produce six million barrels or less of beer annually and are not a member of a large brewing conglomerate, per The Brewers Association. They must also be independent, meaning they are not controlled by a non-craft brewery or have an ownership/investment interest in a craft brewer.
Beer has a long history dating back thousands of years and is made from four main ingredients: barley, water, hops and yeast. Brewers manipulate those ingredients to create different flavors and colors.
They can be brewed to taste sweet or bitter, light or dark, or even fruity. It is the combination of these flavors that determine what kind of beer you enjoy.
A craft brewer’s creativity drives collectors (and their beer). They often experiment with a variety of different flavors and brewing processes in smaller batches.
These brewers are also very passionate about their community, wearing it on their sleeves and giving back to the people who have supported them over the years. It’s this passion that has fueled the growth of craft beer and makes it more exciting than ever to drink.