The Brewers Association, which represents the majority of brewing companies in the U.S., has changed the definition of a craft brewer to one that produces up to 6 million barrels of beer. Previously, the definition said a craft brewer was one that makes no more than 2 million barrels of beer. Here’s the full news release:
Boulder, Colo. – The board of directors of the Brewers Association, the trade association representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies, has voted to change the Brewers Association’s designation of “small” in its definition of a “craft brewer.” The Brewers Association’s board of directors also has revised its bylaws to reflect the change.
In the Brewers Association’s craft brewer definition, the term “small” now refers to any independent brewery that produces up to 6 million barrels of traditional beer. The previous definition capped production at 2 million barrels. The changed definition is currently in effect and can be reviewed on the Brewers Association website, BrewersAssociation.org. The change to the bylaws went into effect December 20, 2010.
In the Brewers Association’s bylaws, two classes of membership (professional packaging brewers and associate membership) have been redefined with a qualifying barrelage of 6 million barrels versus 2 million barrels.
The association cited several reasons for the change, including the recognition that “small” is a descriptive term relative to the overall size of the industry.
“Thirty-four years have passed since the original small brewers tax differential defined small brewers as producing less than 2 million barrels,” said Nick Matt, chairman of the Brewers Association board of directors and chairman and CEO of F.X. Matt Brewing Co. “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.”
Matt added, “The craft brewer definition and bylaws now more accurately reflect and align with our government affairs efforts.”
On the legislative front in 2010, the Brewers Association supported H.R. 4278/S. 3339, which sought to update the cap on an excise tax differential for small brewers to 6 million barrels per year in production for their first 2 million barrels.
The industry’s largest craft brewer, the Boston Beer Co., is poised to become the first craft brewer to surpass 2 million barrels of traditional beer within the next few years. Loss of the Boston Beer Co.’s production in craft brewing industry statistics would inaccurately reflect on the craft brewing industry’s market share.
In addition to Boston Beer, the current growth trajectory of other sizable Brewers Association member breweries places them on a course approaching the 2 million barrel threshold in the coming years.
“With this change to the craft brewer definition and BA bylaws, statistics will continue to accurately reflect the 30-year growth of market share for craft brewed beer,” said Matt. “Brewers Association statistics on craft brewers will continue to keep pace with the growth of the industry.”
Craft-brewed beer market share is now approximately five percent of the U.S. beer industry, and growing. The Brewers Association has a stated mission of helping America’s craft brewers achieve more than 5 percent market share by 2013.
Matt added, “Rather than removing members due to their success, the craft brewing industry should be celebrating our growth.”
Jeremy Cowan of Shmaltz Brewing Co. will be in Hamilton at Chapter One Book Store on Friday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. to read from his new book, “Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah: How it Took 13 years, Extreme Jewish Brewing, and Circus Sideshow Freaks to make Shmaltz Brewing Company an International Success.” There will also be a tasting that will feature selections from his two lines of HE’BREW Beers and Coney Island Craft Lagers. You can check out the first chapter of the book here.
“Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah” marks the debut book from Shmaltz Brewing Co. A small-business memoir tracking 13 years of brewing up delicious beer and delicious shtick, Jeremy Cowan divulges his take on creating a successful national brand and all the fun and unexpected turns he has experienced along the way. Established in San Francisco in 1996 with the first batch of 100 cases of HE’BREW Beer bottled, labeled and delivered by hand, Shmaltz has sold more than 8 million bottles of HE’BREW Beer and Coney Island Craft Lagers to date. Documenting the early days of Cowan delivering beers with his grandmother’s Volvo to winning awards at top craft beer festivals around the country, “Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah” takes readers on a wild ride with the head of one of today’s most successful and award-winning Jewish Freak Show Craft Breweries.
- Matt Pritchard
Matt Van Wyk, brewmaster at Oakshire Brewing in Eugene, Ore., tries to unravel the mystery behind “black IPA” in a recent article on CraftBeer.com. He argues that the name of this relatively new beer style is misleading and should be called Cascadian Dark Ale, for various reasons. Read the article and decide for yourself. And while you’re at it, check out Will Moss’ review of Bitter Root Brewing’s Black IPA.
- Matt Pritchard
With Halloween only a few days away, it’s prime time for everything pumpkin: muffins, pie, bread (with cream cheese, please) and, of course, beer.
Kettlehouse Brewing Co. just released this year’s version of its pumpkin beer and head brewer Paul Roys mixed things up by changing the recipe and brewing an ale rather than a lager.
Chelsi Moy of the Missoulian talked to Roys this week:
Flowing from the kegs this weekend is the Kettlehouse’s seasonal pumpkin ale, made with 60 pounds of chopped and toasted pumpkins. No puree. No artificial flavoring. Last year, the seasonal pumpkin brew was a lager, said head brewer Paul Roys. This year, the brewers produced an ale and changed the recipe, adding more pumpkin and spices to boost the natural flavors.
It’s available on tap over at Myrtle Street right now. Kettlehouse also plans to bourbon barrel age some for next year.
Other seasonals on tap now include:
- Festival of the Dead Pale Ale
- Garden City Pale Ale
- Matt Pritchard
Here’s a nice look at this year’s 29th annual Great American Beer Festival, which was held last month in Denver. I, like any self-respecting beer drinker, love IPAs. Writer Eric Gorski of the Associated Press goes behind the scenes of the event’s most hotly-contested category, American-style IPA. Enjoy.
DENVER – The quest for top honors in American craft brewing has come here, to a hotel ballroom marked “restricted access.”
More than 140 bottles of American-style India Pale Ale sit stacked in donated Bud Light and King Cobra boxes, labors of hop love brewed by a cast of characters that includes an organic chemist, a man with a grim reaper tattoo and a guy who wants to make a beer that tastes like orange sherbet mixed with hot fudge ice cream.
Over the next nine hours, beer identified only by number will get sniffed, scrutinized, swallowed and spit out by judges at the 29th annual Great American Beer Festival, the world’s largest beer competition.
Only one American-style IPA will win gold, making it the craft beer equivalent of winning “American Idol.” Since 2001, no other contest category has been as competitive. “Every brewer wants this one,” as one judge put it.
It’s a simple case of supply and demand: the IPA’s popularity is soaring among brewers and drinkers alike, a testament to a maturing American beer palate and this country’s rich supply of hops in the Pacific Northwest.
“As you go through the journey of beer education and appreciation, hops and big hoppy character are something most people eventually gravitate toward,” said Greg Koch, CEO of Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, Calif., a pioneer of the style. “They are just extraordinarily satisfying on the palate. Words almost fail for me. I feel like waxing poetic, and then my eyes sort of get soft. It’s a romantic subject for me.”
Consumers are showing the love. IPAs, distinguished by strong hop character and higher alcohol content than your standard 5.0 percent alcohol per volume beer, surpassed amber ales and trailed only pale ales this year among top-selling craft brewing styles at supermarkets, according to Chicago-based market research firm Symphony IRI Group. Eight of the top 15-selling new craft brands in 2010 are IPAs. (more…)
There has always been some amount of discord among Montana craft brewers. Some of it has to do with the state’s difficult beer laws and the different philosophies of how do do business under what some might consider an oppressive system. With the passage of HB 400, the breweries saw a huge barrier start to crumble. One of the many reasons for the crack in the wall that is Montana’s prohibition-era beer laws, is the Montana Brewers Association. Headed by Tony Herbert, The MBA has 18 of the 22 active breweries in the state among its numerous members, and that cohesiveness is a big help against the Montana Tavern Association and their influential wallets.
If you love craft beer, consider becoming a member of the MBA. If you’re just curious, you can find them on Facebook as well.
Bayern master brewer Thorsten Geuer sent me some info on some new things going on at Bayern Brewing recently, including the release date for the much-anticipated Doppelbock and a brand-new program to reduce, reuse and recycle cardboard beer carriers.
More from Thorsten:
Bayern Brewing will take back used 6 pack carriers for 10 cent cash refund or 15 cent in house credit. The carriers can be returned through the tasting room. Here we call it: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! The recycle part is meant literally!
We are planning on launching Doppelbock the week of Halloween! This event ( since it is the favorite of so many beer enthusiasts ) will be celebrated with the tapping of a wooden barrel at the brewery Saturday October 31st, 2009
I’ve wanted to write more about Colleen Bitter since I met her many moons ago. However, time and job promotions got the better of me, and I’ve only barely been able to maintain the friendship through short stops at the Kettlehouse Brewing Co.’s north side location, where she seems to be working her brewster magic most of the time now days.
It’s not that I’m impressed with Colleen’s physical ability to brew beer, I’m enlightened enough to know there is nothing out there women cannot do that men can. I’m impressed with her dedication to the art and craft of brewing beer. After all, spending your days in knee-high boots and stirring hot cauldrons of mash just doesn’t seem that rewarding until you consider the beauty and the artistry of the finished product.
And Colleen certainly puts her stamp on what she does at the brewery. I’ve had the chance to enjoy a beer tasting session with Colleen, and I loved hearing everything from her perspective. My brewing friends of the male persuasion tend to be all over the board when it comes to identifying beer structure, flavor and taste profiles. Not so much Colleen. She’s got it nailed down, and her appreciation of the nectar of the gods goes beyond the simple pleasure of alcohol to the more refined pleasure of the whole process of beer. After all, beer is not like wine. You can’t just throw some juice in a steel container with some yeast in it and wait to see what flavors unfold. Oh, I don’t mean to demean wine, I know it’s a more complicated process than that, but beer is the brewer’s and the brewster’s art. It’s as much of their passion and devotion that go into each batch of Cold Smoke, Double Haul and Eddy Out as barley, hops and water.
Take a moment and get to know Montana’s only female brewer in this wonderful article by Tristan Scott.
View Montana Breweries in a larger map
Some fun stuff happening in Butte America this weekend. The domain of the Irish is being taken over by German-style beers as Quarry Brewing hosts the 1st Butte Oktoberfest.
Here’s more from Chuck and Lyza,
To all the Butte Oktoberfest Volunteers!
See attached info. assignments, if you have any question or concern pls. call me Lyza 723-0245 or cell 490-9763
We’ll be providing lunch @ the brewery for all the volunteers.
Lastly, Quarry brewing announcing new hrs. Open 7 days a week starting this Sun. Oct. 4
MON-SAT 1-8PM & SUN 1-6PM
Hope to see you!
Chuck & Lyza
45 W. Galena st.