1. inthefridges says
    2.38 pm
    23 June 2011

    A very interesting post.

    Defining the beer scene at the moment is a hot topic. It is almost as if we feel the need to have own little craft beer lexicon or dictionary. I fully understand the need for some points of reference. The word Craft alone evokes a home-made, carefully produced product which is indeed what draws us all towards the beer we drink at establishments such as port street.

    Very interesting about the size and productivity of american craft breweries. They really are huge! But as long as the beer continues to be great then who is to argue that size matters in terms of how much they produce.

    I would say that I think as important as it is to define things we should not get bogged down with it. The important thing is the beer and if it is made with care and attention you should be able to tell anyway through the taste however it is defined.

    Also I feel proud that the breweries of Britain are producing great beer that as you mentioned can definitely hold their own when compared to their American counterparts. Good stuff.

  2. Rich says
    2.40 pm
    23 June 2011

    It would have been nice to mention the British Craft Brewers Association (especially as you’ve used an image from their web site). The Craft Brewers Association uses the term for even smaller scale brewing, mainly for homebrewers who make beer using pretty much the same process as the professionals. It is used in this context to separate this high quality, amateur brewed beer from peoples bad memories of kit homebrew from years ago.
    There is quite a lot of cross over between the more advanced end of the homebrewing community and some of the smaller professional breweries around the country. CBA events are run at local breweries and several CBA members now working as professional brewers or have even starting their own breweries.

    • duncan says
      1.01 pm
      24 June 2011

      ah yes – sorry – will credit the picture.

    • Steve says
      3.19 pm
      04 July 2011

      My apologies for not mentioning the Craft Brewers Association. This is purely because I didn’t know of their existence. (I didn’t pick the picture).
      I will though go find their website and read up on them. I do a lot of homebrew myself, even converted part of my garage to store my full mash kit, so I feel I should definitely know about them at least.
      Again, my apologies, and thanks for bringing them to my attention.

  3. Stewart says
    5.06 pm
    23 June 2011

    “But while we over on this side of the pond consume just over a billion pints a year, the USA consumes over 50 billion”

    Where are your numbers from? This infers that Americans drink 10 times the beer we do, and I’m sure that isn’t the case.

    • Steve says
      3.20 pm
      04 July 2011

      America is a rather large country than the UK. We’re not even the size of most of their States. The numbers were from some reports I read from the UK drinks industry bodies and some from the US.

  4. MJC says
    11.37 am
    24 June 2011

    Steve, I take it you had consumed a few beers before you did the arithmetic!

    28m pints a day =10.2 billion pints a year, not 1.02 billion. Yanks consume about the same amount of beer per head than us, not 10 times!

    Also a US barrel of beer is 31.5 US gallons (26 Imperial Gallons), so 6 million US barrels of beer are 1.25 billion UK pints.

    That still means a US craft brewery could produce 12% of UK beer, but the US being a larger market, this definition means only 2-3% of the US market.

  5. Jonny says
    2.34 pm
    24 June 2011

    I love a bit of imperial/metric confusion, excellent explanation of US pint vs UK pints on radio 2 last night. Nice piece though, I think it’s also important to find a body that is willing to define/champion non cask conditioned ‘craft beer’ (however you choose to refer to it), as it seems CAMRA don’t fancy it, SIBA? Or something new, or indeed does it need anyone to champion it as it seems to be doing very well at the moment all by it’s self.

  6. JonnyB says
    1.01 pm
    28 June 2011

    I’ve always considered a craft beer to be one that is brewed by a craft brewer – a company (typically run by a brewer) who puts quality before profit, unlike a large commercial brewer (typically run by accountants, investors, marketeers, etc.) who compromises quality to make as much money as possible.

    Craft breweries love beer, commercial breweries love money.

  7. Paul says
    10.57 am
    30 June 2011

    We also need to remember there is just over 60 million people in the UK compared to just over 300 million in the US. It stands to reason they would produce a lot more beer!

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