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What is Considered a Craft Beer?

So what is considered a craft beer? Is it based on the size of the company that makes the brew or is it just something they arbitrarily came up with? Who can sell their beers under this title and how does one apply for this prestigious label? These are only some of the questions surrounding this topic. Continue reading to learn four things that make a beer a craft beer, as well as what makes a craft brewery. Indio Brewing Co. is proud to be a Sugar Hill’s craft brewery, serving up delicious local craft beer!

The Size Of The Brewery

One of the main things that make a beer a craft beer is size. This means local craft breweries are often smaller than traditional breweries and take up less space, but don't let this fool you; they can pack quite a punch in flavor. These brewers tend to focus on quality over quantity when making their beers.

Craft Brewery vs. Microbrewery

Microbreweries, or microbrew, was a word that was used in the 90s to describe small, independent brewers, but that term has fallen out of use. Microbrew used to be synonymous with "innovative" beer, brewed in small batches. However, as breweries like Sierra Nevada grew to national distribution, they were no longer microbreweries and transitioned to the word "craft beer." Craft beer was generic enough to describe beer that was "crafted" rather than "manufactured" at a large scale. Craft beer has since come to encompass local craft beers, microbreweries, and regional breweries.

The Definition of Craft Beer by the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association (BA) is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2005 as the trade association for small, local brewers. The purpose of this organization is to promote better beer and help small brewers grow, as well as serve as a resource for local brewers. In January of 2017, the BA released a press release that outlined their definition of craft beer and what they were planning to do in order to promote local craft beers. In order for a brewery to be considered "craft," it must meet all three criteria:

  • Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (about 3 percent of U.S. annual sales)

  • Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery can be owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage company that is not itself a craft brewer.

  • Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.

Indio Brewing Co. - Sugar Hill Craft Brewery

Here at Indio Brewing, we’re proud to be a small, local, and independent craft brewery serving our Sugar Hill community! We’re a Latin-owned and operated brewery, and we’re dedicated to creating and serving a diverse selection of Cerveza Artesanal. Check out what we’ve currently got on tap and stop by our brewery to taste them!

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