The truth about craft beer.. and why your beer might just be crafty

Want to know the truth about craft beer? Everyone knows just how popular the craft beer scene has become in recent years and we’re currently in a period of amazing innovation and creativity from brewers. The truth about craft beer: The craft beer revolution has been great for customers who get to try something a little different from what major brewers offer, but does anyone actually know what makes a craft beer a craft beer?

THE TRUTH ABOUT CRAFT BEER: FIRSTLY, WHAT IS IT?

This is a tricky question to answer but the general consensus is that the beer must be brewed independently and on a small scale. The closest we have to an official definition would be to look at the United States where the American Brewers Association states that a craft brewer would make no more than six-million barrels of beer annually and no more than 25 per cent of the company should be owned by a non-craft brewery. The American market is however much larger than the UK market and six-million barrels a year would give a brewer a substantial market share in this country and so would not be what most people would consider a craft beer.

ARE POPULAR CRAFT BEERS STILL CRAFT BEERS?

Scotland has seen a huge surge in the number of craft brewers with a handful becoming immensely popular across the country and some even having global success. This then begs the question as to whether the beer they produce can still be classed as a craft beer. When we think of brewers producing a craft beer we don’t really imagine someone shipping millions of bottles from Scotland to the United States or Australia. Some craft brewers in Scotland have been so successful that they’re even beginning to construct 100,000 square feet breweries in America and are being valued at £1 billion. Again, this completely flies in the face of the image many people have of a small independent brewer plying their trade when buying “craft beer”.

MAJOR BREWERY BUYOUTS

The truth about craft beer is that even huge multinationals are trying to get involved with the trend with breweries such as Heineken launching their own “craft beer”. The Dutch drink giants have launched their new Maltsmith Brewery label, using Caledonia Brewery in Edinburgh for production. As well as this, Heineken bought a 50 per cent stake in Californian brewers Lagunitas and with the company now no longer being independently owned it has lost a part of what made it a craft brewery.

WHAT’S NEXT?

In the current climate, it’s possible for brewing giants to churn out its products, slap a nice label on the front and title it as a craft beer. This of course is misleading for customers who should be able to take what they buy at face value. As for the future, if we really want to protect craft beer and stop the biggest companies from hijacking its rise in popularity, we need to take measures to make sure it’s not possible to just call anything a craft beer. The good news is that there are plenty of fantastic options for those who want to enjoy real craft beer. In Scotland alone, there’s a more-than-merry band of fantastic craft beer producers to choose from.

So, if you’re looking for a genuine craft beer, come in and see us at Jeffrey Street for some recommendations.

Take a look at our craft beer selection on our website too. Click here to see what’s on offer at Jeffrey Street.

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