What Is Craft Beer?
Craft beer is kind of a new concept for a lot of people and if you’ve never heard those two words uttered together, if you’re just getting familiar with beer beyond the norm and what it all means, then Sydney Craft Beer Week has some events that might suit you best.
Craft Beer? WTF?
Craft beer can be as complicated or as simple as you want. Ultimately though, it’s a matter of perception. That perception is often based on size, packaging, flavour and brewing technique.
In terms of size, it can be categorised based on volume and production. The below is from the Craft Beer Industry Association of Australia:
National Craft Brewers
Craft brewers who have a strong presence in all markets. Volume: 5 – 40 million litres pa (e.g. Little Creatures Brewing, Malt Shovel Brewery)
Regional Craft Brewers
Craft breweries that have a strong regional base and are developing a presence outside their home market. Volume: 300,000 – 5 million litres pa (e.g. Feral Brewing Company Stone & Wood Brewing Company)
Small scale craft breweries. They may have an on-site bar but the majority of sales are off-site. Volume: 50,000 – 299,999 litres pa (e.g. Riverside Brewing Company, Moo Brew)
Nano and Pub Brewers
Small scale breweries that may be attached to a hospitality venue where the majority of their sales are on-site. Volume: up to 49,999 litres pa (e.g. Bacchus Brewing Co,, Red Hill Brewery) Contract Brewers: Brewers that do not own a brewery or have an excise licence (e.g. Two Birds Brewing, Doctor’s Orders Brewing)
Take note. Large, multi-national breweries often use the term ‘craft beer’ as a marketing tool for their brands and products. It gives the perception of a more ‘premium’ product. Smaller breweries use it as an angle to denote the techniques they use in producing their beer. Governments use it define legislation on excise. The meaning can and is, distorted.
In our humble opinion, craft beer should come down to the flavour of that beer in your hand. From the ingredients used to the style of beer, these are the important factors in what constitutes ‘craft beer’.
The only way to really get to the bottom of it is to find out for yourself. Sydney Craft Beer Week has some great events to help. Here’s a few:
Sydney Craft Beer Week Launch Party
October 19, from 11am – 6:00 pm, Free entry
October 19 from 6:30 pm – 9:30pm, Free entry
4 Pines Brewery Tour & Lunch – Ultimate Beer Experience
October 19-26 from 12:30 pm, $65 at 4 Pines, Manly.
Home Brew Masterclass And Beer Tasting
October 20 from 1pm – 4:00 pm, $50
Young Henrys And Speigelau Beer Connoisseur Taster
October 22 from 7pm – 9:00 pm, $72.60