Of the Craft Beers listed, the following fall into the definition of Craft Beer, as defined by the Brewers Association as "small, independent and traditional." The list below is marked as either CRAFT or NOT CRAFT, based on the list of Craft Breweries in 2012 (see also the PDF link from the BA story). But all these should be Craft Beer, right?
At Hops and Barley:
- Napa Smith Organic IPA - CRAFT
Like a wolf in sheep's clothing, the Not Craft beers have been labelled as "crafty" by the Brewers Association. Big Beer business trying to get in the craft market by looking like Craft beers. Some craft breweries have been bought by Big Beer and others are blatantly covering up the fact they are owned by big beer. It's the best of the worst and the worst of the worst. But what do we have here?
Let's start with Leinenkugel.. It is owned by SABMiller. Check out the list of SABMiller brands here.. It is neither independent nor small. Traditional...perhaps.
Kona Brewing is part of the Craft Brewers Alliance (CBA). Also part of the CBA is Widmer Brothers, and Red Hook. That is three more of the NOT CRAFT (or Crafty) list above.
We haven't talked about the Belgian beers here. The Belgian beers are seen as craft because of the intense flavors, high alcohol percentages and simply not being lite lagers. There are many wonderful Belgian beers to select. Of the ones at this festival, every single last one of them is owned by ABInBev. Big Beer. Not Craft. Check out their full portfolio here. Impressive...but not craft.
My count give us 11 Craft Beers and 5 Not Craft Beers. Of the Craft Beers Destination we have 5 Craft and 3 Not Craft. 63% Craft Beer at the Craft Beers Destination...not too bad.
And this may be yet another topic, but the world of Craft Beer is so much broader than the sampling available here. Where are the Double IPAs, or the Imperial Stouts. The many nuances to be found in the experimental nature of Craft Beer is simply missing from this list. But it is meant for the masses.