This script is from the second season of Beer Notes, which you can listen to at

Happy Independence Day! Hopefully you’ve been able to enjoy time with loved ones on this American holiday, with plenty of fireworks, hotdogs and cold craft beer. This week on Beer Notes, we’re talking about independence, but not necessarily as it relates to the Fourth of July. Have you ever seen the Independent Craft Brewers Seal?

You may have seen the image of a black upside down beer bottle labeled with the words “independent craft” on a beer can, stuck to the front door of a brewery or decorating a pint glass. That’s the Independent Craft Brewers Seal. But what does it mean? 

The seal was created by U.S. craft beer trade group the Brewers Association as a symbol to, quote, “unify U.S. craft breweries and those who want to support them.” The certified seal can be used by craft breweries, craft beer retailers or simply craft beer supporters who want others to know that they support independent breweries.

We’ve talked about it on the show before, but here’s a quick reminder of what makes a craft brewer: They have to be small – with an annual production of six million barrels of beer or less – independent – with less than 25 percent of the craft brewery owned or controlled by a beverage alcohol industry member which is not itself a craft brewer.- and, obviously, they have to brew and sell craft beer.

Today might be a U.S. holiday, but yesterday marked the start of a new craft beer holiday: “National Independent Beer Run Day,” created by the Brewers Association to amp up independent craft beer sales for the Fourth of July and to celebrate craft brewers around the country. 

Said the Brewers Association’s Craft Beer Program Director Julia Herz: “Craft beer serves as the anchor for so many Independence Day celebrations. Our libations and the liberation we’re celebrating should go hand in hand… In preparation for the country’s favorite summer holiday, make sure your beer run includes independent craft beer.”

Enjoy the rest of your holiday, and if you’re currently headed off to a barbeque or fireworks celebration, make sure you don’t forget the craft beer! For Beer Notes, this is Ann McGinnis Hillyer. 

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