Saturday, 10 November 2012

The definition of 'Craft' Beer

You hear a lot about craft beer on beer blogs, especially when it comes down to actually defining the term. The problem I have with it is when it comes to explaining the term to people who know very little about beer. This is where I normally end up struggling to put forward the jist of what the whole evolving, thriving craft beer scene of the UK is all about.

 For most beer enthusiasts, craft beer doesn't need a solid definition, they just get it. Wooly Dave did a video a while back that covers things well. We've also seen the debate on Indy Man Beer Con, which didn't really end in any conclusive definitions. The problem often seems that outside the world of beer geekism not that many people 'get it' and the term means very little if nothing at all.

To me there seems to be various perceptions of craft beer. Like the concept of it being only served on keg, or that it has to crammed with excessive quantities of pungent new world hops, or it's about putting more ingredients into a beer. Perhaps it has to be marketed a certain way with plenty of sneering at CAMRA being commonplace among the hardcore fans of craft beer elitism.

Take it or leave it, craft beer in the UK has evolved to be something quite different to the original 1980/90s blossoming craft beer scene in the US. Then again, take your average UK start up brewery that idolises and takes inspiration from the American craft beer market. They look around and feel like a fish out of water surrounded by masses of traditional 'real ale' brewers. So you can see where some of the attitudes and segregations in the UK industry have occurred. You have your 'real ale', your 'lowest common denominator' beer, fancy imported European beers then you have craft beer. Some people think the four things are completely different. Others (like me) realise there is a lot of overlap, especially between cask and craft beer.

So here at Rob's Beer Quest we have a definition. Feel free to argue with it. But to define it we have to put it in comparison to what is not craft beer. Here goes:

Craft beer:

Craft beer originates from a brewer/collective of individuals who brews beers to certain specifications to the flavours and aromas that desire. What constitutes as great beer to them is individual to them and is what they strive to produce and wish to represent their company.

Not craft beer:

Non craft beer originates from a brewer who brews to certain specifications usually set by a managing body that dictates over operations. What constitutes as great beer to them depends entirely on what they can sell in the greatest volumes, to the widest customer base, at the cheapest production costs for the biggest profit margins. They aren't always large companies, some exist to cash in on existing markets.

Problem is, in reality the majority of products on the market take ideals from both camps. So at the end of the day craft beer really comes down to what the drinker makes of it. The definition of craft beer is of something that has no definition.


John Clarke said...

"The definition of craft beer is of something that has no definition"

I think that was more or less the conclusion we came to at IndyMan.

py0 said...

"A craft beer is a beer liked by people who think they like craft beer" is the most accurate definition I could come up with.

Anonymous said...

Nice... fantastic write-up, many thanks. Subscribed for your weblog now.
[url= ] Chikara Pheromone[/url] and Chikara Pheromone

Anonymous said...

Your style is so unique compared to other folks I've read stuff from. Thank you for doing this.
Free Background Check or [url= ] Free Background Check[/url]

Anonymous said...

You really make it appear so easy along with your presentation but I in finding this topic to
be actually one thing which I believe I might never understand.
It seems too complex and very huge for me. I'm having a look forward for your next post, I'll attempt to get the cling of it!

Here is my web-site ... Abercrombie Pas Cher

Anonymous said...

Unquestionably believe that which you stated.
Your favorite justification seemed to be on the web the easiest
thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely
get annoyed while people consider worries that they plainly do not know about.

You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole
thing without having side effect , people can take a signal.
Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

Feel free to surf to my web-site: Louis Vuitton Purses Outlet

Anonymous said...

An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who was
doing a little research on this. And he actually bought me dinner due to the fact
that I discovered it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.
... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time
to talk about this issue here on your blog.

My weblog - Michael Kors

Anonymous said...

Hello, all the time i used to check web site posts here early in the break of
day, for the reason that i love to learn more and more.

Also visit my page Christian Louboutin Heels []

Anonymous said...

You can definitely see your skills in the article you write.

The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe.
All the time follow your heart.

Feel free to visit my weblog - Cheap Jerseys

Anonymous said...

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though
you relied on the video to make your point.
You clearly know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

Also visit my web page - Sac Guess Pas Cher (