It’s probably fair to assume that most Americans have heard the term “craft beer.” It’s becoming a household word but it’s probably also fair to assume that most people don’t know exactly what defines a craft beer.
Some people might say it’s simply “better” beer, or more flavorful, which is often the case but not a universal truth. Others might define craft breweries as small, which is heading in the right direction but craft breweries can be larger than most people might think.
The three largest crafter breweries in the world, The Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams),Sierra Nevada and New Belgium all produce close to, or more than, a million barrels of beer a year but are still well within the boundaries of what defines a craft brewery.
According to the Brewers Association a craft brewery is a small – less than six million barrels a year – and independent brewery that has an either all-malt lineup or at least 50% of its volume in all malt beers or in beers that use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor. Ownership by an alcoholic beverage company that is not itself a craft brewer must be less than 25%.
Why the lesson on craft beer? Because this it’s American Craft Beer Week and we couldn’t be more excited to be a craft brewery!
Founded in 2006, the purpose of American Craft Beer Week is to celebrate the culture and community of craft beer, and to give breweries and beer businesses the opportunity to connect with fans. We’ll be doing exactly that. To celebrate, we’ve got special events going on throughout the week:
• Today we will be joining the Indianapolis Monthly Beerfest at the Tomlinson Tap Room
• Thursday we’re taking over the taps at MacNiven’s and Tapping Sky Cake Aleger at 6pm
• Friday we’re sponsoring a Bike to Work Day Happy Hour at the Tomlinson Tap Room
• Saturday we are tapping Firefly Wheat at Chef JJ’s Eggfest in Broad Ripple
According to craftbeer.com, in 2011 there were 1,938 craft breweries in the U.S. and “the majority of Americans live within ten miles of a craft brewery.” In addition, craft beer broke through the 5% mark of U.S. beer volume. It is interesting to note that craft beer’s 5% of total beer sales employs 50% of the workforce in the brewing industry.
So head out to your favorite watering hole and raise a glass of craft beer in celebration of America’s hard working, independent craft brewers…