You 'craft' brewers make beers that you yourselves would like to drink. That's it. Say it loud. Say it proud. That should be your definition of 'craft' beer. But don't say: "the ... best ... beer ... ever ... made." Unless you wish to spew advertising gimmickry like the mega-brewer(s).
Are you still suffering a Linnaean pang? Do you still need a more formal definition of 'craft' beer? Well, then, here you go:
Craft beer is beer produced by those breweries who pay dues to the [U.S.] Brewers Association.
You pay them your dues; they anoint you as 'craft.' Paid validation beyond self-proclamation. Quod erat demonstrandum. *
But keep this in mind, 'craft' brewers: what you do now has been done before. Except that in the twenty-first century, you do it with thermometers, hydrometers, and stainless steel tanks, all things which you do not make, and which earlier brewers did not possess. Which does not diminish what you do.
What you do is make beer. Some of you do that very well. But none of you are revolutionaries. Embrace your history, not your myths. You are brewers.
Well, if you must: 'craft' brewers.
- * The [U.S.] Brewers Association consists of over 2,800 American breweries (out of 4,000 operating in the country). It defines a 'craft' brewery, i.e. a dues-paying member, as: small, independent, and traditional. Read more: "Who, and what, is the (U.S.) Brewers Association?"
- For more from YFGF: