04 January 2011

We Don't Care How Successful They Are, We're STILL Calling Them Micro-- errrr, Craft Breweries!

The Brewers Association, the national trade group representing brewers large and small (but mostly small), has revamped its technical definition of "microbrewery" "craft brewery":

In the BA's craft brewer definition, the term "small" now refers to any independent brewery that produces up to 6 million barrels of traditional beer. The previous definition capped production at 2 million barrels. The changed definition is currently in effect and can be reviewed on the BA website, BrewersAssociation.org. The change to the bylaws went into effect December 20, 2010.
The change is meant in part to recognize a potential pending statistical abberation:
The industry's largest craft brewer, The Boston Beer Company, is poised to become the first craft brewer to surpass 2 million barrels of traditional beer within the next few years. Loss of The Boston Beer Company's production in craft brewing industry statistics would inaccurately reflect on the craft brewing industry's market share.
In addition to Boston Beer, the current growth trajectory of other sizable BA member breweries [among them Anchor and Sierra Nevada] places them on a course approaching the 2 million barrel threshold in the coming years.
Andy Crouch has much more to say on the issues here.

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