Is kind of hard to really explain the real definition of “Craft Beer”, since there is no world wide recognized organization give the real meaning of Craft Beer.
You can get different definitions of “Craft Beer” from different people and organization, there is no 100% right or wrong. Why should anyone stuck in the definitions so seriously, anyway we think it is better to stay in such a vague way, after all it will not be fun if anyone try to make “Craft Beer” into a very serious matter, then what is the point of drinking?
TRYING TO DEFINE
Anyway for ease of understanding, we will try to explain a bit of “Craft Beer” in our way. Normally we describe Craft Beer as Microbrewery beer, which are beers brew from small and independent breweries.
Microbreweries are small and independent companies compare to Macrobreweries, which are international giant company with extraordinary amount of capital and resources, such as ABInBev, Heineken, Carlsberg. ABInBev was already the world largest brewer before they took over SABMiller, which was the second largest brewer in the world. ABInBev now owned a lot of brand, such as Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois, Sam Miguel, Becks, Harbin, Hoegaarden, Leffe, and many others.
We believe you know some of the beer mentioned above, yup, those beers are considered as Macrobrewery beer, not Microbrewery beer, those are non-craft beers by definition. But among all the brand mentioned above, most of the people still prefer refer Hoegaarden and Leffe as craft beer.
Not forget to mention Tiger beer, they was Macrobrewery before another giant Macrobrewery -Heineken International merged them to their subsidiary. And recent years, all these macrobreweries are buying over many microbreweries, among those microbreweries there are few very famous among Craft Beer lover such as Goose Island，Ballast Point Brewing and Lagunitas. Heineken bought over Lagunitas by USD500 million, all these MacroBreweries with abundance amount of cash flow and other resources start to conquer craft beer market now, because they know more and more people shifting from drinking normal beer to Craft Beer.
Nowadays getting more and more difficult to really define the real meaning of Craft Beer, should we include Goose Island as Craft Brewery or should we call them non-craft beer, this is reason why we said to define the real meaning of Craft Beer is futile, just enjoy it the goodness of craft beer.
For those who want serious answer for Craft Brewer, then this is for you. According the Brewer Association, those produce less than 15,000 barrel of beer per year consider craft beer brewery or microbrewery, which is equal to 1.7 million litre of beer, roughly half the water of Olympic swimming pools. In another words, those breweries who produce beer less than half the size of Olympic Swimming Pool annually, that particular beer considered as CRAFT BEER.
MICRO-BREWERY VS MACRO-BREWERY
Craft Beer mostly brew by beer enthusiasts, almost all the craft beer breweries are started locally by craft beer enthusiasts. They like beer, THE REAL BEER, they use genuine and quality ingredient, just want to produce quality and good beer.
When come to genuine ingredient, you need to know the 4 basic elements of a beer– malt, hops, water, yeast. (We will have more discussion on each of these ingredients in future). While Macrobrewery need to gain more profit, they may replace these elements to other cheaper choices. Most of them may replace malt with corn or rice, because malt take half of the cost price of a beer. Besides substituting ingredients, they also have a lot of options to change the beer in order to make more profit.
To differentiate Craft Beer from normal beer, one of the easiest methods craft beer lover like to demonstrate is by smelling. You hardly can smell a pleasant scents from a MacroBrew beer, but you definitely can tell the different when drinking craft beer. That’s the reason why MacroBrew beer need to serve cool, some MacroBrew beer even said that their beer taste good at 4 degrees Celsius. Ever think of why? Because in cold temperature, human tongue hardly can taste good or bad, in cold temperature, any drink will make you feel good. That’s the reason professional craft beer drinker or beer judge not gonna drink a Craft Beer in a very cold temperature.
Because of genuine ingredient and the passionate of the brewer, Craft Beer taste more complicated and fascinating.
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