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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: charliepapazian on June 30, 2010, 05:38:23 PM

Title: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: charliepapazian on June 30, 2010, 05:38:23 PM
What are your feelings about craft beer?
Participate in the poll - What does “craft beer” mean to you? http://bit.ly/akW39s 
Craft Beer? Do you know it if you see it? Do you know it if you drink it?
Express your thoughts at http://bit.ly/akW39s
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: babalu87 on June 30, 2010, 06:02:43 PM
OK

One: If this is Charlie, thank you. Your books were a huge help getting me started in the hobby.

Two: He cant be a newbie, it just aint right

I went with

Quote
Any special beer with real and elevated flavor profiles more distinct than typical light American or International lagers made by ANY BREWERY large or small


My feeling
GM makes the Corvette

Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: dbeechum on June 30, 2010, 06:24:29 PM
FYI - Just so folks don't get into conspiracy theory land - "charliepapazian" is indeed the homebrewing world's very own Charlie Papazian.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: theDarkSide on June 30, 2010, 06:38:20 PM
FYI - Just so folks don't get into conspiracy theory land - "charliepapazian" is indeed the homebrewing world's very own Charlie Papazian.

He should get an honorary post count increase to at least Denny +1 :)
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: bluesman on June 30, 2010, 06:42:33 PM
Hi Charlie!

My definition of craft beer?

Beer created from the heart with quality as a central focal point.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: redbeerman on June 30, 2010, 06:46:50 PM
I agree with babalu on this one.  Not so much with bluesman.  A lot of yellow fizzy beers are brewed with quality as a prime consideration, but I would not consider them craft beers.  To me a craft beer has to stretch or change the paradigm of what is considered the norm.  I think I may use the word consider too much. ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: majorvices on June 30, 2010, 07:05:40 PM
Although I think it is difficult to define nowadays, I would consider a definition of craft beer to include beer that isn't main stream.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: ndcube on June 30, 2010, 07:17:50 PM
Although I think it is difficult to define nowadays, I would consider a definition of craft beer to include beer that isn't main stream.

+1
I voted the same as babalu but I was just about to say something along those lines. 

I see a craft beer as something that isn't set and could change slightly from batch to batch.  Just always the way I thought of it, I guess.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: babalu87 on June 30, 2010, 07:31:31 PM
Mainstream is a slippery slope.

Not that I think Sam Adams or Sierra Nevada will ever eclipse BudMiCoors but those two are fairly mainstream (have a tap handle at most places)

I still consider both of them to be craft brewers.

Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: BrewingRover on June 30, 2010, 07:38:18 PM
Craft beer is like the Justice Potter Stewart's definition of porn -- I know it when I see it  ;)
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: richardt on June 30, 2010, 08:37:58 PM
"Craft Beer" is an American term that is here to stay, yet I'm sure it's usage gives "English Language Persons" the shudders.
"Craft" isn't an adjective, but it is used as one.  In proper usage, "craft" is a noun or transitive verb indicating a special trade or skill or the ability to make a product by hand.  It is likely a bastardization of "hand-crafted" beer; perhaps like "Bock" from "Einbeck?"

Why must we make a distinction between the Process versus the Product?

There is no doubt in my mind that brewers, especially professional brewers, are skilled manual workers who employ creative thinking and manual dexerity to create their products.  It is true that bigger brewers require a team of brewers and more elaborate process equipment to accomplish this task, while smaller brewpubs and microbrews might just have one brewer.  Yet, the work is the same: one must boil water, crush and mash grains, lauter, boil the wort, add hops, chill the wort, add yeast, ferment, transfer, keg/bottle, and serve.  There's not much difference in the "process," in my view.

The product?  Now that's a big deal.  BA defines a "craft brewer" here:  http://www.brewersassociation.org/pages/business-tools/craft-brewing-statistics/craft-brewer-defined (http://www.brewersassociation.org/pages/business-tools/craft-brewing-statistics/craft-brewer-defined).  I think of craft beer as "a flavorful all-malt beer, that may, depending on the style, use flavorful adjuncts to enhance, rather than lighten, the flavor or body of the beer."

I don't see how volume of production has anything to do with the product in my glass.  Honestly, I can't tell if the IPA in my glass was produced by a brewer who meets the craft, small, independent, regional, or large categories that BA espouses.

Having said that, I like supporting my local brewers (they do more for the community, they're fun guys, and they make great beers) as opposed to buying a Large Brewery-produced beer (e.g., BMC--all foreign-owned or beholden to stockholders, who are more interested in the dividends or stock value than what is in my glass).

The success of Sam Adams (Boston Brewing Co), Anchor Brewing, and Sierra Nevada is in no small part due to the fact that they make great all-malt beers, generously support the craft beer movement, and aid in the revival of nearly-dead beer styles.  Thanks in no small part to them, the general public has awakened to the fact that many, more flavorful, options now exist.  As long as these craft brewers remain true to those goals, I see no reason to begrudge them their success or designation as a craft brewer, regardless of their category as a brewer.

I am a craft brewer (albiet, 10 gallons at a time, at home).
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: beerocd on June 30, 2010, 08:43:29 PM
I went with SMALL and INDEPENDENT because taste is subjective; so one man's swill...

Even though KRAFT has some good cheese; they cannot be craft cheesemakers. I think there's craft and industry; you may suck at your craft but it's basically a volume thing. bud is industry - three floyds is craft.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: hamiltont on June 30, 2010, 08:50:37 PM
I voted "Any special beer with real and elevated flavor profiles more distinct than typical light American or International lagers made by ANY BREWERY large or small".  IMO the beer determines whether it's a craft beer or not, not the brewery.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: bonjour on June 30, 2010, 09:24:48 PM
CRAFT beer is any beer brewed by the CRAFT homebrew club.


Seriously though, craft beer is any beer that is well made, and yes BMC fits (though it is not my favorite style)
If anyone here brewed a good BMC clone you would be raving about it.  But we prefer beer with more flavor and call that craft beer.

perhaps the more common thought is that craft beer is that brewed by professionals other than BMC
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: MrNate on July 01, 2010, 12:58:33 AM
FYI - Just so folks don't get into conspiracy theory land - "charliepapazian" is indeed the homebrewing world's very own Charlie Papazian.

Dammit, man, I didn't even have time to get my tinfoil hat on! Must you be so quick?


I voted for this one, BTW:
Quote
A beer with real and elevated flavor profiles more distinct than typical light American or International lagers made by a SMALL & INDEPENDENT BREWERY

Because first and foremost, a craft beer must be readily distinguishable from the commodity known as "beer" on its own merits. Anything else is just semantic sleight-of-hand.

Independent, because spinning off a smaller corporate shill isn't treating brewing as a craft, it's treating it as a marketing experiment and tax dodge.

Small I could go either way on, but mostly I find it irrelevant. I think that continuing innovation is more important; Small and stagnant is just as bad as large and stagnant. Well, not quite. I do put Yuengling a half a rung above Budweiser, but it's a tall ladder. Point is that I still consider Sam Adams to be a "craft" brewery despite their size, because they're still contributing positively to the culture. Ultimately, I think that's the more important metric, hard to pin down as it is.

Unfortunately, for the purpose of establishing "Independent" in any meaningful way in these poll choices, you must vote "small." But that's really the only reason.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: tygo on July 01, 2010, 02:03:09 AM
I went with "A beer with real and elevated flavor profiles more distinct than typical light American or International lagers made by a SMALL & INDEPENDENT BREWERY" even though I also don't think the size and independence of the brewery matter in the evaluation of the final product.

I do think that those two factors have an influence though on the final product.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: corkybstewart on July 01, 2010, 02:17:25 AM
I agree with babalu on this one.  Not so much with bluesman.  A lot of yellow fizzy beers are brewed with quality as a prime consideration, but I would not consider them craft beers.  To me a craft beer has to stretch or change the paradigm of what is considered the norm.  I think I may use the word consider too much. ;D ;D ;D
So you wouldn't consider a Prima Pils craft?  There are lots of excellent "yellow fizzy" pilsners brewed by craft brewers here and in Germany, why does a beer have to be outside the norm to be craft?
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: tubercle on July 01, 2010, 02:20:36 AM
Craft beer is just like craft cheese, bread, wine, etc...

  Making a product like our forefathers did before the almighty dollar became the main objective. Using what you have to make what you need. I make beer, cheese, bread, wine, etc... and find it more tasty, wholesome and desirable than anything those that serve Mammon do.

  This is Tubercle's view of the subject.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: boulderbrewer on July 01, 2010, 02:45:13 AM
I'll cherry pick a from Mr. Nate. A craft brewer is one who contributes to the continuing innovation and contributing positively to the betterment of beer culture. Also a craft brewer has to contribute to the education of the consumer.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: nicneufeld on July 01, 2010, 02:50:37 AM
Dang, the C-Pap in person?!  I can remember being in a B&B in Hannibal MO poring over my newly acquired copy of The Complete Joy, etc.  I really am not going to contribute much that is worthwhile to a definition of craft beer but I doff my cap to the earliest of my brewing influences!
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: The Professor on July 01, 2010, 03:36:07 AM
... IMO the beer determines whether it's a craft beer or not, not the brewery.

I agree 1000%
The size of the company / brewery has nothing to do with whether a beer is a "craft" product.  I have always felt this way.

Both the artisan brewers and the big brewers  can and do make products that are a cut above  'average' beer.  The main difference is that the bigger brewers are still devoting much of their production to making the kind of beer that the vast majority of beer drinkers still want,  alongside efforts to make more products of real distinction than in the past. 
We used to complain when they didn't make that effort.  But now they are making that effort, and in some cases doing it very well.  Just because they use bigger kettles doesn't negate the craft of it.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: MrNate on July 01, 2010, 05:58:43 AM
I agree with babalu on this one.  Not so much with bluesman.  A lot of yellow fizzy beers are brewed with quality as a prime consideration, but I would not consider them craft beers.  To me a craft beer has to stretch or change the paradigm of what is considered the norm.  I think I may use the word consider too much. ;D ;D ;D
So you wouldn't consider a Prima Pils craft?  There are lots of excellent "yellow fizzy" pilsners brewed by craft brewers here and in Germany, why does a beer have to be outside the norm to be craft?

I agree... I don't like the "fizzy yellow lager" description that people tend to use.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: rabid_dingo on July 01, 2010, 05:59:00 AM
Beer produced by the most rudimentary methods available(I may be stretching the definition here) . If there is a ton of automation and computers involved there is no craft. But if a brewer has a couple of pumps, a diverter panel, a bunch of hoses and vessels, and has to manually switch pumps, connections and heat on and off I would lean towards craft. If a brewer has an electric touch screen or mouse driven point and click system, not so much.  
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: babalu87 on July 01, 2010, 11:05:42 AM
Beer produced by the most rudimentary methods available(I may be stretching the definition here) . If there is a ton of automation and computers involved there is no craft. But if a brewer has a couple of pumps, a diverter panel, a bunch of hoses and vessels, and has to manually switch pumps, connections and heat on and off I would lean towards craft. If a brewer has an electric touch screen or mouse driven point and click system, not so much.  

Thats a VERY short list.................... might even leave off a few homebrewers  :P
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: hoptomation on July 01, 2010, 01:27:43 PM
Beer produced by the most rudimentary methods available(I may be stretching the definition here) . If there is a ton of automation and computers involved there is no craft. But if a brewer has a couple of pumps, a diverter panel, a bunch of hoses and vessels, and has to manually switch pumps, connections and heat on and off I would lean towards craft. If a brewer has an electric touch screen or mouse driven point and click system, not so much.  

If a home brewer uses automation are they no longer considered part of the craft movement?  IMO automation does not relate to the status of one being a craft brewer or not.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: MrNate on July 01, 2010, 03:39:55 PM
Beer produced by the most rudimentary methods available(I may be stretching the definition here) . If there is a ton of automation and computers involved there is no craft. But if a brewer has a couple of pumps, a diverter panel, a bunch of hoses and vessels, and has to manually switch pumps, connections and heat on and off I would lean towards craft. If a brewer has an electric touch screen or mouse driven point and click system, not so much.  

Thats a VERY short list.................... might even leave off a few homebrewers  :P

::cough:: Claudius ::cough::
...Speaking of "fizzy yellow lager"  ;D
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: majorvices on July 01, 2010, 03:51:51 PM
Lets talk about what craft beer "isn't". Certainly Bud Light is not craft beer. Neither is Pabst Blue Ribbon. But what about "Blue Moon"? What about the other "craft beer knock offs" that BMC rolls out?

What about Sam Adams? Are they really considered "craft" beer?

The idea of "Craft Beer" is that these beers were "hand crafted" - or at least brewed in small batches. A lot of "craft beers" out there are brewed in monster size batches and, technically, aren't really craft beers any longer. That doesn't mean the beer isn't great. But is it really "craft beer"?

I'll tell you what appeals to me more than the idea of "Craft beer". LOCAL BEER. That's what I want to see more of. I still appreciate SA and SN, and am thankful to have them as a choice when few other choices are available. But, to me, LOCAL beer is more interesting than "craft" beer.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: dak0415 on July 01, 2010, 03:55:45 PM
A beer whose inspiration stems from the imagination and skill of the brewer, not some advertising or market research group.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: denny on July 01, 2010, 04:11:07 PM
I'll tell you what appeals to me more than the idea of "Craft beer". LOCAL BEER. That's what I want to see more of. I still appreciate SA and SN, and am thankful to have them as a choice when few other choices are available. But, to me, LOCAL beer is more interesting than "craft" beer.

SO this!
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: bluesman on July 01, 2010, 04:39:33 PM
The following are some concepts related to craft beer and craft brewers: as defined by the brewers association.

Craft brewers are small brewers.

Small brewers are defined as those who qualify for the Tax and Trade Bureau's small brewers excise tax differential by producing less than 2 million barrels annually.

The hallmark of craft beer and craft brewers is innovation. Craft brewers interpret historic styles with unique twists and develop new styles that have no precedent.

Craft beer is generally made with traditional ingredients like malted barley; interesting and sometimes non-traditional ingredients are often added for distinctiveness.

Craft Brewers tend to be very involved in their communities through philanthropy, product donations, volunteerism, and sponsorship of events.

Craft Brewers have distinctive, individualistic approaches to connecting with their customers.

Craft Brewers maintain integrity by what they brew and their general independence, free from a substantial interest by a non-craft brewer.

The majority of Americans live within ten miles of a craft brewer.



I think the characteristics that stand out most to me are innovation and the general use of traditional ingredients, but the one thing that I think really sets craft brewers apart from the BMC's is that the majority of Americans live within ten miles of a craft brewer.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: Hokerer on July 01, 2010, 05:05:40 PM
I'll tell you what appeals to me more than the idea of "Craft beer". LOCAL BEER. That's what I want to see more of. I still appreciate SA and SN, and am thankful to have them as a choice when few other choices are available. But, to me, LOCAL beer is more interesting than "craft" beer.

SO this!

+ a bazillion
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: beerocd on July 01, 2010, 06:03:19 PM
Easy there! What if you live in St.Louis?  :-X

Guess what was meant was Local Craft beer.  ;)
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: nicneufeld on July 01, 2010, 06:24:27 PM
Taking it to a more worldwide stage, I guess I'm more into appreciating "good" beer than "craft" beer, as such.  There are plenty of huge, efficient, corporate-y breweries in Germany that to my taste can produce much better weizen than a dozen craft brewers in the US picked at random.  I guess I'm violating the "local" thing too!

I've done in depth tours of my local brewery, Boulevard, which some might call a maker of "craft beer", but I imagine they are much like every other brewery of that size in the country...a large efficient manufacturing company, despite the marketing designed to make them appear artisanal.  I don't hold that against them.  They just happen to cater, in their production, to my tastes, as opposed to BMC, who cater to the taste of a somewhat broader market.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: lazydog79 on July 01, 2010, 07:11:04 PM
I voted "Any special beer with real and elevated flavor profiles more distinct than typical light American or International lagers made by ANY BREWERY large or small".  IMO the beer determines whether it's a craft beer or not, not the brewery.

+1
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: a10t2 on July 01, 2010, 08:51:46 PM
I think a craft beer is any that's been "crafted", by a brewer, to taste. I don't think the size of the brewery, or the style of the beer, has anything to do with it. It's only when marketability or profitability starts to dictate the recipe that it ceases to be a "crafted" product.

So I couldn't choose any of the poll options, because I think a light lager with a high proportion of adjuncts can be a craft beer.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: MrNate on July 01, 2010, 10:02:36 PM
The real problem is that the beer geek world is constantly searching to cram multiple attribute assessments into a single binary: Either it IS "craft beer," and therefore worth drinking, or it IS NOT.

So the problem is with both the principle and the native semantics of the chosen name. There is disagreement among "good beer" drinkers over what metrics define the binary, as well as whether or not the idea of defining beer binarily makes sense, not to mention individual differences in taste that causes divides over whether a particular beer IS or IS NOT.

Then you have the semantic problem - "Craft" actually means something, and when you try to tag a noun with it, you more or less expect that it will continue to mean pretty much the same thing it did before. And so the arguments about production methods and barrels-per-year and multi-million-dollar ad campaigns begin. None of which are particularly relevant to the beer itself.

I would propose that instead of trying to conflate all of our myriad passions about beer into one slippery metric, we should instead think of a better, more complex model to define our world. A well-crafted model for more sophisticated mental palates, if you will.

If I were to take a stab at it, it would look something like this: There are brewing companies, brewers, and beer.

Starting with the premise that the beer comes first in all of this, let's say that within beer, there is a subset called "Commodity Lager," and another called "Good Beer." In a Venn diagram, there would be some overlap between the two, and "Good Beer" would NOT encompass everything that is NOT "Commodity Lager." In other words, there can be Commodity Lagers that can be considered good by virtue of being, well, the best of the worst (Heineken draft?) - and there can be beers that are not CL but also just not good.

So let's say we have a Beer. We have decided it is a Good Beer, and not a Commodity Lager. The temptation now is to slip back into old patterns of thinking and call this a Craft Beer. I say don't. Call it what it is. Call it Good Beer. Save "Craft" for the brewer, who is either the sort who constantly innovates for the purpose of crafting new beers, or the sort who is mainly focused on consistently producing the same beers over and over, flawlessly.

Brewing companies, often inextricable from brewers in our minds but very different entities, can come in all sizes. Large, Medium, and Small should be adequate descriptions. Throw in some descriptors for things like community involvement and corporate philosophy and we should start to see a workable language emerge. A bit of codification and we should be able to come up with some reasonably agreeable terms for the most common combinations.

Good god I've just run on at the mouth. Oh well, feel free to ignore me.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: akr71 on July 01, 2010, 10:57:16 PM
Even though I voted for the 4th choice (A beer with real and elevated flavor profiles more distinct than typical light American or International lagers made by a SMALL BREWERY), I'm not sure the size of the brewery is a huge factor.

Having said that - I don't consider Guiness to be a Craft Brewery - the flavor and dedication to a good product is there, but age and size of the brewery just doesn't fit the 'craft brewery' profile in my mind. A craft brewer in my mind is one that is trying to expose the public to what beer can be and what it used to be before the market was inundated with fizzy yellow water.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: theoman on July 02, 2010, 08:55:19 AM
A craft beer is a beer created for the love of the product, not for the love of the profit it might make.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: babalu87 on July 02, 2010, 11:25:13 AM
Oooh Ooooh Ooooh

Mr Kotter, I've got it!

Craft beer = no bikini's or mud wrestling in their ads
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: beerocd on July 02, 2010, 12:52:33 PM
Craft beer = no bikini's or mud wrestling in their ads

But... I like bikini's and mud wrestling.  :-[

Maybe it's as simple as "if you have an _ite, or _ight type beer in your lineup - you are no longer a craft brewer" because there's no way it's about making good beer anymore.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: babalu87 on July 02, 2010, 01:24:13 PM
Sam Adams Light
4% ABV

Stone Levitation
4.4% ABV

I prefer the Sam Light
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: beerocd on July 02, 2010, 01:46:25 PM
Sam Adams Light
4% ABV

Stone Levitation
4.4% ABV

I prefer the Sam Light

I would call these session beers. Definitely not "light". But, maybe just like "craft" we have a definition problem in "light".

SA is only Light compared to other SA beers - 124 calories and 9.7 grams of carbs.
Stone - Big hoppy character with rich malt flavors and citric overtones 145 calories.


Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: brewballs on July 02, 2010, 02:19:52 PM
I consider brewing to be a craft at any level.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: bluesman on July 02, 2010, 02:29:21 PM
By consensus "what is the definition of craft beer" as understood by homebrewers and brewers alike?
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: hamiltont on July 02, 2010, 03:02:40 PM
Oooh Ooooh Ooooh

Mr Kotter, I've got it!

Craft beer = no bikini's or mud wrestling in their ads
  Arnold Horshack.  I know, off-topic but thanks for the memory!!!
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: corkybstewart on July 02, 2010, 03:29:19 PM
A craft beer is a beer created for the love of the product, not for the love of the profit it might make.
Any brewery who doesn't intend to make a profit will not be around for very long, whether they make each barrel of beer by hand or with a fully automated brew-factory.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: Hokerer on July 02, 2010, 03:37:29 PM
Oooh Ooooh Ooooh

Mr Kotter, I've got it!

Craft beer = no bikini's or mud wrestling in their ads
  Arnold Horshack.  I know, off-topic but thanks for the memory!!!

Up your nose with a rubber hose!
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: babalu87 on July 02, 2010, 04:17:08 PM
A craft beer is a beer created for the love of the product, not for the love of the profit it might make.
Any brewery who doesn't intend to make a profit will not be around for very long, whether they make each barrel of beer by hand or with a fully automated brew-factory.

This Sooooooo much
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: brewballs on July 02, 2010, 04:31:34 PM
I agree, You eliminate the profit, you eliminate the brewery.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: weithman5 on July 02, 2010, 04:39:24 PM
I mostly agree with the professor.  Some of the big companies have small lines of varied products .  Anheuser Busch makes beach blonde ale etc.  FWIW  i don't mind there fizzy yellow product either on occasion.  just don't like that it isn't american owned.  I just like the variety that "craft" brings.Something new, or a new perspective on something common.  Isnt that why we have so many recipes out there.  Guinness is kind of a big brewery but they brew something other than a pilsner, does that make them a craft brewer? Not in my opinion. It is not a beer I particularly like, something that some british marines and I got in to a disagreement about 25 years ago in hong kong.  But because it is not a common beer
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: vista on July 02, 2010, 04:59:10 PM
i agree with the profit thing to stay afloat...

maybe bmc's sacrifice taste to make profits...while craft beer and those that produce it focus on creating complex tastes to guide their profits. there's a part of me that feels when AB created the american ale they designed the beer around a price point, and there price point was low because they assumed a lot of the people that typicaly buy their normal products would not splurge for $10 a six pack. so they sacrificed ingredients and taste to get down to what they felt would be a competitive price point for their product.

not that 'craft brewers' disregard this totally but i want to believe it is not necessarily on the forefront of their minds, OR, they just know that the market that typically buys their beer doesn't mind spending a bit more for taste...did that make sense? i just went crosseyed.

so, craft brewers don't disregard profits, but their methods and philosophies of obtaining profits are a bit different than those of the bmc....or maybe i just want to believe this to be true...  :-\

i don't think i even answered the question...i'm just going to stop
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: MrNate on July 02, 2010, 05:04:52 PM
That's ultimately the problem... we seem to be putting a lot of effort into defining what a "craft beer" really is, without really stopping to think why we're defining it.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: beerocd on July 02, 2010, 07:32:23 PM
That's ultimately the problem... we seem to be putting a lot of effort into defining what a "craft beer" really is, without really stopping to think why we're defining it.

Charlie said to...
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: theoman on July 02, 2010, 07:35:44 PM
i agree with the profit thing to stay afloat...

maybe bmc's sacrifice taste to make profits...while craft beer and those that produce it focus on creating complex tastes to guide their profits. there's a part of me that feels when AB created the american ale they designed the beer around a price point, and there price point was low because they assumed a lot of the people that typicaly buy their normal products would not splurge for $10 a six pack. so they sacrificed ingredients and taste to get down to what they felt would be a competitive price point for their product.

not that 'craft brewers' disregard this totally but i want to believe it is not necessarily on the forefront of their minds, OR, they just know that the market that typically buys their beer doesn't mind spending a bit more for taste...did that make sense? i just went crosseyed.

so, craft brewers don't disregard profits, but their methods and philosophies of obtaining profits are a bit different than those of the bmc....or maybe i just want to believe this to be true...  :-\

i don't think i even answered the question...i'm just going to stop

Actually, you clarified my point pretty well. Think of crafts in general. It's trinkets and quilts and stuff that people enjoy making and using. Often people who are into crafts become good at and prolific, so they decide to sell their product and make some money, hopefully at least enough to continue with their craft. I think it's the same with craft beer.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: MrNate on July 02, 2010, 09:16:55 PM
That's ultimately the problem... we seem to be putting a lot of effort into defining what a "craft beer" really is, without really stopping to think why we're defining it.

Charlie said to...

Oh, well that's all right then.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: babalu87 on July 03, 2010, 12:19:18 AM
Think of crafts in general. It's trinkets and quilts and stuff that people enjoy making and using. Often people who are into crafts become good at and prolific, so they decide to sell their product and make some money, hopefully at least enough to continue with their craft. I think it's the same with craft beer.

Well said!

Great analogy!
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: The Professor on July 05, 2010, 04:38:27 AM

Quote
A craft beer is a beer created for the love of the product, not for the love of the profit it might make.
Any brewery who doesn't intend to make a profit will not be around for very long, whether they make each barrel of beer by hand or with a fully automated brew-factory.
That's for sure.  
I'll go a step further and say that anyone who goes into any business not intending to make a profit is just plain dumb.  
The only exception might be someone who is so financially independent that a business is more of a sandbox to play in than a real business.  Other than that, profit is needed (at the very least) to sustain the business.  Going into business with no eye towards profit is just bad business.

I find it pretty hard to believe that anyone would start up a brewery without the intention of making money...especially given that brewing for retail sale is quite a jungle, one that's getting more and more crowded by a glut of product, some of which actually does more harm to the cause than good.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: babalu87 on July 05, 2010, 06:21:54 PM
That's for sure. 
I'll go a step further and say that anyone who goes into any business not intending to make a profit is just plain dumb.   :o
The only exception might be someone who is so financially independent that a business is more of a sandbox to play in than a real business. 

If I ever hit some kind of lottery thats what I'll have...........a sandbox brewpub

Maybe it will be good......maybe it will suck but I'll have fun brewing  ;D

Someone will manage the food end of it but the beer side would be my hobby
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: majorvices on July 05, 2010, 06:39:54 PM
Regarding Profit: Obviously if you are not making a living you won't be making beer for very long.  ;) I think what pepple mean is this: there are a lot easier and cheaper ways to make a living than brewing. I could invest 1/8th of the money I have invested in my brewery (opening in 2-4 weeks, BTW  ;D) and open up a business that would be much more profitable down the road. But we are not interested in simply making money. We want to make beer!

That said, if I am not paying myself a salary in a year or two I probably won't be in business.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: dean on July 06, 2010, 11:06:22 AM
I went to the site and voted for beer with an elevated flavor profile brewed by any brewer, large or small.  My reason is that to be a craft brewer you have to be able to produce that elevated flavor profile and size of the brewery has nothing to do with that single perspective.  Larger brewerys simply choose not to for the most part, why should they when they don't have to?  They're supplying a product that most people want already.  That doesn't mean that a larger brewery couldn't, or wouldn't... and I'm sure they could do it overnight if they wanted.  And rest assured their head brewers do know how to make any beer style.

Craft is an interesting word, put two products or services side by side letting them be evaluated by people and I'm sure you'll hear the word craft or skill come up.  Both could be outstanding products or services, but in the end there can be only one.  Choose wisely.   ;)  :D
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: brewballs on July 06, 2010, 12:12:02 PM
Just remember that "Craft" can easily be turned into "Crap".
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: beerocd on July 06, 2010, 02:22:02 PM
They're supplying a product that most people want already.

They are creating their own market with mega-advertising and price point. I don't think they could get away from their product now if they wanted to because they are so far into making, marketing, & selling fizzy yellow that they'd go under without that product.

Maybe we need a new word for small brewers that produce great beer? Craft seems to have taken on a ubiquity that we cannot reign in or define anymore. Artisan?


Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: majorvices on July 06, 2010, 02:28:16 PM
Artisan is synonymous with craft. That said, I've always liked the sound of "artisanal breweries".
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: beerocd on July 06, 2010, 02:30:29 PM
Same... but different.  ;)
Artisanal breweries need to define and protect that term and not let it become a diluted phrase like craft has become.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: dean on July 06, 2010, 02:36:40 PM
I think some people think too much of their own craft sometimes.   I've brewed crap, still do from time to time, the really good ones aren't the norm, exception is more like it.  Hence why so many people are looking for a recipe to follow.   ;)  Nobody is perfect, they may come across as if they are but if they're honest they'll tell you they've brewed crap.  After all... shyt happens, and in basic homebrewer settings... when it happens it can happen big and fast.  If someone on this board told me every brew went to plan and their beers were all perfect this year... well, let's just say I wouldn't trust them any further than I could throw them.   ;D
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: dean on July 06, 2010, 03:35:59 PM
I figured I better clarify what I said and meant. 

Whenever big breweries are mentioned, some sort of derogatory statement about what they brew always follows that implies that those same breweries can't make good beer, and it is just flat out wrong.  Look how many homebrewers are looking to or for a recipe to clone BL or MH etc.  Its not that these breweries "can't"... they just don't need to, they have already impressed enough people to keep their production afloat.  So... when I said crap, I'm not "necessarily" saying shyddy beer but beer that doesn't meet a style perhaps.  Brew an ale and submit it as a lager... same thing.  And I will say I have made some shydddy beers too, more than I care to think about even.   :(  Real shyddy ones, bad enough that I wouldn't drink them and I used to force myself to drink them not too long ago.

With that said, I'm sure there are others and myself that would give a left bodypart (pick one) to be able to brew a BL or MH on a regular basis for those friends that come over and think "that" beer is the shizizzle.  I don't mind knocking one or a few off from time to time myself.   ;D  I just can't drink them as a regular anymore.   :D

Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: a10t2 on July 06, 2010, 04:29:35 PM
Artisan is synonymous with craft. That said, I've always liked the sound of "artisanal breweries".

Yeah, but after a few artisanal beers I can't say "artisanal beer" anymore. ;)
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: dean on July 06, 2010, 04:47:42 PM
Artisan is synonymous with craft. That said, I've always liked the sound of "artisanal breweries".

Yeah, but after a few artisanal beers I can't say "artisanal beer" anymore. ;)

Sounds anal doesn't it?   Imagine after a few brews, your words get flustered and it comes out you're an anal artist.   :D  :o
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: brewballs on July 06, 2010, 05:25:02 PM
Quote
Imagine after a few brews, your words get flustered and it comes out you're an anal artist. 

I think you just described some of the members here. :D
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: beerocd on July 06, 2010, 05:38:25 PM
Artisan is synonymous with craft. That said, I've always liked the sound of "artisanal breweries".

Yeah, but after a few artisanal beers I can't say "artisanal beer" anymore. ;)

Sounds anal doesn't it?   Imagine after a few brews, your words get flustered and it comes out you're an anal artist.   :D  :o

Sounds like you might have an accent then. There's no ANAL in artisanal. I suppose the beer could taste that way - but it's not pronounced that way.  :P

I like this description I found:
The word artisanal is not in the OED. It seems to have come into use quite recently as a kind of antonym of industrial, referring to small-scale production methods, agricultural or other. On Google it has four million hits.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: denny on July 06, 2010, 06:02:17 PM
Artisan is synonymous with craft. That said, I've always liked the sound of "artisanal breweries".

Yeah, but after a few artisanal beers I can't say "artisanal beer" anymore. ;)

When Rogue first brought out their version of my rye IPA, it was called "Gone Awry".  They changed it when they found that after a few beers it was coming out as "gonorrhea".
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: brewballs on July 07, 2010, 02:12:50 AM
I just figured out my next beer name.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: tygo on July 07, 2010, 04:57:04 AM
Tap the Clap Pale Ale
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: dean on July 07, 2010, 03:07:56 PM
Art is anal Pale Ale. 

beerocd... no accent here (depending on where you're from  ;) ) just seeing the words and playing around with them. 

Gone Awry - Gonorrhea... now thats just funny in a weird sort of way... and look how it caught on too!   ;D
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: beerocd on July 07, 2010, 03:44:36 PM
beerocd... no accent here (depending on where you're from  ;) ) just seeing the words and playing around with them. 

Yeah just messing around. I know where you're at, you're probably more likely to put "eh?" at the end of a sentence than actually have drawl.  :) 
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: chumley on July 20, 2010, 09:37:25 PM
I stopped in a Montana roadside tavern last Saturday morning, and I crafted a beer.......

I asked the bartender to add a small dose of Clamato juice to the pint of PBR he just drew me.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: MrNate on July 21, 2010, 01:05:07 AM
I do this all the time... Well, not so much the clamato, but blending beers I don't like. I figure it's my right as a homebrewer.
Title: Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
Post by: beersk on July 21, 2010, 03:25:57 PM
I stopped in a Montana roadside tavern last Saturday morning, and I crafted a beer.......

I asked the bartender to add a small dose of Clamato juice to the pint of PBR he just drew me.
Yeah it's called Red beer...people down at my local bar do this alot.  Add about an inch of tomato juice to the bottom of the pint glass then pour a can of PBR in to blend.  I wouldn't wanna do it as I'm good with PBR.  But I can see how someone could like it.