The fight over whether MillerCoors can call Blue Moon a “craft beer” is headed for the courts.
In 2012, the Brewers Association, an organization representing US brewers, set new standards for qualifying as a “craft brewer.”
First, the size must be “small,” meaning the brewery makes a maximum of 6 million barrels annually. Second, craft brewers are “independent”—less than 25% of the business can be owned or controlled by a maker of alcoholic beverages that is not also a craft brewer. Finally, the brewery must be “traditional,” in that the majority of the alcohol it makes is beer using traditional or innovative ingredients (think: the local honey used by Brooklyn Brewery).
Bottom line: Craft brewers are the little guys making actual beer, not the giant corporations making watered-down beer-like substances.
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