What Is Craft Beer?

Pure Project Kegs

After visiting 120 “craft beer” breweries in southern California over the past 18 months to taste beers where they were made, I have learned a lot. Before I travel to anymore, however, I figure it is time to revisit the definition of “craft beer” to remind myself of what the term means.

Here is a set of notes I made myself for quick reference after perusing the Brewers Association website. Perhaps these notes will help you, too.

Question: What is a craft beer?
Answer: A beer made by a craft brewery.

Question: What is a craft brewery?
Answer: A small, independent, and traditional brewery.

Small means the beer is made by a brewery that distributes no more than six million barrels (a barrel is 31 gallons) of beer per year.

Independent means less than 25% of the brewery is owned by a “non-craft” brewery.

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