Craft Breweries: Small, INDEPENDENT & Traditional


The Fourth of July, Independence Day, seems like the perfect day to celebrate American craft beer, what it stands for in the beer industry, the passionate brewers behind the products, and of course, the fanatical beer lovers who support them.

Definition of a Craft Brewer

To be considered a craft brewer in the U.S., the Brewers Association, publisher of, has established a few guidelines; the brewery must be small, independent and traditional.

  • Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition.
  • Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer.
  • Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.

The Declaration of Craft Beer Independence

You might have heard of a little holiday in May, American Craft Beer Week (ABCW)? ACBW 2011 was celebrated by tens of thousands of craft beer lovers at events in all 50 states; and by more than 35,000 members of the ACBW Facebook community.

The Declaration of Beer Independence is your chance to declare your support for the craft industry and their products. Signed declarations can be found in brewery taprooms across the country, and it was even carried through the halls of Congress in 2010 when House Resolution 1297 was introduced in the House, “Supporting the goals and ideals of American Craft Beer Week”. Learn more about ACBW and watch the video of Congress as they pass H.R. 1297. You don’t have to wait until ACBW 2012, Independence Day seems like a perfect day to declare your beer independence!

Celebrate the Fourth with Barbecue and Craft Beer

North Carolina is synonymous with great barbecue, and in this video, Darryl’s Wood Fired Grill shares their recipe for BBQ ribs and basting sauce made with The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery’s Baltic Porter.

For more great tips on pairing craft beer and barbecue, check out Greg Kitsock’s recent Washington Post article, “Beer: How to match it with barbecue.” We hope you have a safe and happy Fourth of July!  Cheers!