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What is Craft?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Knownfactor, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Knownfactor

    Knownfactor Savant (330) Colorado Feb 20, 2010

    What is "Craft" in Craft Beer or Craft in general in any other industry?

    I had a customer at the restaurant i work at ask me this question and i actually had a hard time defining it.

    How would you define, explain this question? What is Craft, What is Craft to you?
  2. If someone asks me, which has only happened a few times, my answer is pretty much "beer that's made for the actual act of making beer and allows people to try beer styles that are otherwise neglected by the big brewers. Some stuff is creative and alot is really local. And almost always made in small batches compared to big breweries" That's usually the simplest explanation and allows people to ask follow up questions about styles, why big brewers neglect them, etc.

    We can discuss this for hours but when a BMC drinker or curious person asks I find it best not to bore them with details unless they ask for more. So I keep it short.
  3. What is love?

    Baby don't hurt me.
  4. patto1ro

    patto1ro Advocate (620) Netherlands Apr 26, 2004 Subscriber

    Marketing bollocks. Like innovation and passion.
    fmccormi likes this.
  5. Everybody defines it differently.
    I personally do not agree with the Brewers Association's definition.
  6. smakawhat

    smakawhat Poobah (1,310) Maryland Mar 18, 2008 Subscriber

  7. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Champion (875) Michigan May 30, 2005 Subscriber

    craft beer: something hand-made with tender loving care; not mass produced. :)
    JimmyW likes this.
  8. joeebbs

    joeebbs Savant (360) Pennsylvania Apr 29, 2009

    what is your definition of "mass produced"?
  9. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Champion (875) Michigan May 30, 2005 Subscriber

    I'll keep it simple and say any of the major labels of Bud, Miller or Coors is mass-produced.
  10. joeebbs

    joeebbs Savant (360) Pennsylvania Apr 29, 2009

    So the fact that I can get a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Anchor Steam and Boston Lager in all 50 states doesn't make them mass produced?
    Brew33 likes this.
  11. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Champion (875) Michigan May 30, 2005 Subscriber

    Okay, let's add beer flavor into this craft definition too. Light American lagers have a flavor that seems to be enjoyed by the masses. The craft brewer's intent to provide interesting flavors from various other style recipes have to be a part of the definition.
  12. ESeab

    ESeab Advocate (515) New Jersey Jan 3, 2013

    "small, independent and traditional", and gives a production size of less than 6,000,000 US beer barrels (700,000,000 L) a year and can not be more than 24% owned by another alcoholic beverage company that is not itself a craft brewery
  13. emannths

    emannths Savant (445) Massachusetts Sep 21, 2007

    "Craft beer" is just a way of saying "good beer" without the overt judgmental overtones.
    patto1ro likes this.
  14. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (515) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    Distribution != production.

    My defintion of craft, which has nothing (and everything) to do with beer is: the synthesis of engineering and art. Brewers are either industrial brewers or craft brewers. The line can be hard to define exactly, but I know it when I see it.
  15. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poobah (1,045) New Jersey Jun 3, 2004 Beer Trader

    "Craft" is not an honorific term- it just means 'not those guys' when you boil it all down. All other ways of defining it tend to come up short.
  16. mecummins

    mecummins Savant (425) Illinois Nov 16, 2012

    I think the simplest way to define craft would be "Beer made by people, not numbers."
  17. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) New York Jan 11, 2013

    Let this be the official answer. Anything turgid or elitist can stuff it.
  18. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) New York Jan 11, 2013

    My 2 cents, it's a retarded discussion. It's the equivalent of music fans asking "what is indie"...who gives a fuck.
  19. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Advocate (635) New Jersey Mar 6, 2008 Subscriber Beer Trader

    That's true enough. When i'm asked i just say it's better beer from better ingredients.
  20. Quality precision.
  21. joeebbs

    joeebbs Savant (360) Pennsylvania Apr 29, 2009

    After seeing some threads about different batches of a certain beer being "off" if this brewery isn't getting a good quality every time are they not craft?

    By the same definition if Coors hits all their quality check-points are they craft?
    albertq17 likes this.
  22. Brew33

    Brew33 Advocate (690) Ohio Oct 24, 2007 Beer Trader

    "Craft beer" should have absolutely nothing to do with production numbers. Production output and quality have absolutely nothing to do with each other.
  23. jesskidden

    jesskidden Champion (810) New Jersey Aug 10, 2005 Subscriber

    So, I'm guessing such an answer, when given by OP to his obviously non-beer-geek customer, might result in a less than satisfactory tip. ;)
  24. herrburgess

    herrburgess Poobah (1,035) South Carolina Nov 4, 2009 Beer Trader

    Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence?
  25. Exceptional taste!?!
  26. Knownfactor

    Knownfactor Savant (330) Colorado Feb 20, 2010

    I personally don't care either way, i just thought it was an interesting question and discussion.
  27. Knownfactor

    Knownfactor Savant (330) Colorado Feb 20, 2010

    So i said craft could be considered anything produced in small scale by artisans of there trade. using the best ingredients and products. Weather it be cheese makers, wine makers, brewers, cured meat butchers, artists, furniture makers, whatever...

    but then i got to thinking why isn't the consistency and quality control of BMC or tillamook cheese considered craft. They are masters at there trade but because they produce such large quantities they are exempt?
  28. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) New York Jan 11, 2013

    I dont know. but its still such a unmeaningful debate
  29. The term of craft beer is often associated with the ‘concept’ of quality. In other words some people would claim that craft beer = quality beer.

    If you are so inclined you can read all about folk’s differing opinions on what quality beer is:http://beeradvocate.com/community/t...the-quality-of-their-beers.57344/#post-763141

  30. What about foreign beers? What is a foreign craft beer? Weihenstephaner? Westvleteren?
  31. Unless you are making 5 gallons at a time in a carboy in the garage, I would consider it "mass produced".

    I am not sure that any beer (except homebrew) could be considered "hand made". Every brewery tour I have been on recently has lots of computers regulating temperature, opening and closing valves, bottling the beer, packaging, etc. I don't see many human hands involved.
  32. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Advocate (730) Colorado Dec 9, 2011 Beer Trader

    What is Craft [Beer]?
    1. Something I like to drink.
    2. Something I enjoy drinking.
    3. Something I anticipate enjoying for the rest of my life.
    4. Something I will attempt to educate other people to enjoy.
    5. Something BMC fears.
  33. i keep it simple.

    beer that doesn't suck.

    just so happens that my personal definition of 'suck' is adjunct, watered down, mass marketed, crap.
  34. clearly not looking hard enough ;)
  35. Dtapeski

    Dtapeski Aficionado (230) Colorado Oct 26, 2012

    It's too bad a bunch of shitty beers already took "premium", because I think if you're going to disregard production numbers, premium is the best description of a superior product made with the highest quality ingredients, which craft really is.
  36. JimmyW

    JimmyW Savant (310) Illinois Feb 17, 2011

    It's like a home cooked meal in a world of fast food. That's how I perceive it, anyway.
  37. emannths

    emannths Savant (445) Massachusetts Sep 21, 2007

    Yep. To elaborate, check out all the [url="http://www.rolec-gmbh.de/_engl/index.php?site=02]automated brewhouses[/url] that craft beer companies have purchased. Not only do many of these systems do the "physical labor," but many make process "decisions" during each batch.
    sandiego67 likes this.
  38. A beer brewed with high quality ingredients and in a manner that produces fresh and intended smells and flavors. That is what it boils down to to me. I am not going to use "tastes good" as a factor because it is too subjective.