It’s American Craft Beer Week: Learn About This Modern Classic!

Monday, May 10th, 2021
craft beers at 575 Pizzeria

Simply put, craft beer is that which is not made by the big names in the industry. Rather, it is a brew that is typically made by small, independent, and more traditional breweries. To celebrate American Craft Beer Week, we wanted to help expand your knowledge of craft beer!

Where did the term “craft beer” come from?

During the 1990s, small breweries created what were known as microbrews. These were the same types of brews that we call craft beers. People knew exactly what to expect with these drinks. They could find a plethora of unique, new options to try. But, the name fell out of use, and for good reason.

The term “microbrewery” legally refers to small breweries that produce a limited number of barrels of their product. Many places that produced microbrews became so popular that they could no longer call their products by that name. So, there needed to be a new term that brewers could use when talking about and marketing their beers.

The name “craft beer” filled this need. It was not legally restrictive and described the beverages that people loved. That is, it described a brew that was crafted and not manufactured for the masses. Although there is no one person who is noted for coining the term, the Brewer’s Association in Boulder, Colorado gave it a solid definition.

What is a small brewery that makes craft beers?

To meet this criterion, the number of barrels a brewery produces must be counted. Leaving out the “independent” and “traditional” aspects of the Brewer’s Association definition, a small brewery once had to produce less than two million barrels of beer each year. This matches the Federal tax code but is not a typical number for a small brewery to reach. But, when Boston Brewing Company passed the mark in 2010, crafting six million barrels, the Brewer’s Association changed the cap to that number.

Is there an issue with the term or definition of craft beer?

Although the Association welcomes changes like the above to help accomplish their mission of assisting small businesses, it makes defining craft brews difficult. The term itself can also be problematic. Separating craft beers from other brews, or giving them other names like specialty and boutique, can give off a vibe of unwelcome superiority.

The truth is that both small breweries and major corporations can develop great-tasting products. In the same regard, both can develop bad brews. But, beer connoisseurs must still be able to make the distinction between a brew known around the world and one developed by a small, independent, or traditional brewery.

The current state of craft beer

Long-time connoisseurs and newcomers to the phenomenon of the craft beer industry know that these drinks aren’t going away. No matter what size brewery makes them, craft brews are a new yet classic go-to. They are popular, but not overplayed. The ever-changing industry allows fans to try new things often and find their favorite new choices to come back to.

Interested in trying some new craft beers?

If you want to come out and celebrate American Craft Beer Week, or just want to try something new, 575° Pizzeria has a wide variety of craft brews! You can choose from our on-tap selections, as well as options in cans and bottles. Give us a call at 806-322-5575 and check out our Menu to see what we have available. Stop by one of our Locations today to find your happy place!