New Rules: Craft Brewers Association

Brewers AssociationThe vote has been cast and a new decision has been reached as to how the Brewers Association defines the word “small” in regards to what makes a “craft brewer.”

The previous definition capped a craft brewer’s production at 2 million barrels of beer per year. As of December 20, 2010 however, “small” refers to any brewery that produces 6 million barrels of beer per year. As to why they decided to make this change, Nick Matt, the Brewers Association chair and CEO of F.X. Matt Brewing Co., had this to say:

Thirty-four years have passed since the original small brewers tax differential defined small brewers as producing less than 2 million barrels. A lot has changed since 1976. The largest brewer in the U.S. has grown from 45 million barrels to 300 million barrels of global beer production. The craft brewer definition and bylaws now more accurately reflect and align with our government affairs efforts.

As most of us know, The Boston Beer Company, makers of Samuel Adams brews, will be the first craft brewery to exceed the original 2 million barrel cap. It makes sense to me to update the retired definition of craft brewer, as we will be able to continually and accurately reflect the craft brewing market share across the industry.

Anyone out there disagree with this decision to define “craft brewery” as one that produces up to 6 million barrels per year?


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