The term ‘craft beer’ refers specifically to brews made by small, independent brewers, using fine local ingredients.
Being made in a small brewery is vital, but the most defining characteristic of craft beer is innovation. Brewing in small batches gives microbreweries leeway to experiment with new techniques, flavor profiles, and styles- luxuries larger breweries don’t have. Modern interpretations and unusual twists on historic styles often result in one-of-a-kind craft beer recipes that are unique to a specific brewery.
Much craft beer is made using traditional ingredients like malted barley and hops, but it is also common for brewers to rely on non-traditional ingredients, like local fruits, honey, or chocolate, to add distinctive flavors to their beers. The combination of taking unique approaches and using local ingredients is essential for brewers to maintain the independence and integrity of their craft beers.
The life of a craft beer brewer does not end with creating unique suds. It is an unwritten rule that craft beer breweries take hands on, philanthropic approaches within the local community. Many breweries offer volunteer services around town, sponsor community events, and make regular donations to charitable organizations. Craft beer breweries are also very devoted to their customers and tend to be innovative when marketing their brand and building relationships with patrons.
75% of all Americans age 21+ live within 10 miles of a craft beer brewery.