Author Topic: What does “craft beer” mean to you?  (Read 4578 times)

Offline charliepapazian

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What does “craft beer” mean to you?
« on: June 30, 2010, 10:38:23 AM »
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
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Offline babalu87

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Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2010, 11:02:43 AM »
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
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« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 11:05:21 AM by babalu87 »
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2010, 11:24:29 AM »
FYI - Just so folks don't get into conspiracy theory land - "charliepapazian" is indeed the homebrewing world's very own Charlie Papazian.
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Online theDarkSide

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Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2010, 11:38:20 AM »
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 :)
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Offline bluesman

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Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2010, 11:42:33 AM »
Hi Charlie!

My definition of craft beer?

Beer created from the heart with quality as a central focal point.
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2010, 11:46:50 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
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Offline majorvices

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Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2010, 12:05:40 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.
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Offline ndcube

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Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2010, 12:17:50 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.

Offline babalu87

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Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2010, 12:31:31 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.

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Hefeweizen,Berliner Weisse, Mead

Offline BrewingRover

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Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2010, 12:38:18 PM »
Craft beer is like the Justice Potter Stewart's definition of porn -- I know it when I see it  ;)
It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Offline richardt

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Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2010, 01:37:58 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.  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).

Offline beerocd

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Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2010, 01:43:29 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.
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2010, 01:50:37 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.
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Offline bonjour

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Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2010, 02:24:48 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
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Offline MrNate

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Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2010, 05:58:33 PM »
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.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 06:10:59 PM by MrNate »
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