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Craft: The Lost Word

“The fact is, in 2016, people ordering a mixed mystery box of CRAFT BEER probably don’t expect to find Belgian, British or German standards in the mix — the kind of things that appeared in Michael Jackson’s various beer guides between the 1970s and the 1990s. He certainly considered Früh Kölsch a craft, artisanal, boutique beer (all words he […]

Distilling a Definition: What are ‘craft spirits’ and does it matter?

“Industry organizations, like the American Craft Spirits Association, have tried to define craft spirits. “The ACSA defines who can be a voting member of the organization based on sales volume and ownership structure,” says Paul Hletko, president of the ACSA, and founder of FEW Spirits. “But the definition of ‘what is craft’ is very much […]

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When ‘hand crafted’ is really just crafty marketing

“Corporate craft-washing campaigns may deceive some, but their mawkish descriptors betray them as sops. McDonald’s “artisan” chicken contains “pantry seasonings” (distinct from industrial flavours) and “100% chicken” (distinct from who-knows-what). Pepsi’s craft soda has “quality ingredients”, no less, devised after “months talking and tasting” (more artisanal than “focus-grouping”). Genuine craft producers aren’t inclined to spruik […]

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Subcultural cringe

“First, can we just ditch the adjective craft unless we really need it? It is useful sometimes, and I’d defend it as meaningful-enough despite it continually eluding any decent definition. But when you use it where everything else would just be an unadorned noun ― they’d say coffee, not “single origin fair trade coffee”― it seems weird and […]

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Craft Beer 101 – What It Is and Why It is Americana

“When trying to define craft beer, each beer lover has a unique interpretation and story of discovery to share. To make a true craft beer definition even more difficult, each individual beer brand is one of a kind. The Brewers Association, the foremost entity for craft beers, does define an American craft brewer. This definition allows […]

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Can you craft a meaning for ‘craft’?

“Is it based on company size? Does it mean it’s independently owned? Does it use innovative methods and ingredients, or traditional methods and ingredients? For almost all of those definitions, he offered contradictions: Heineken is family-owned. Does that make Heineken a craft beer? A lot of Kentucky distilleries are huge, but have been associated with […]

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What Is Craft Whiskey?

“Does that mean the term ‘craft’ is meaningless? Lew Bryson thinks so, as he told the Charleston City Paper a few days ago. “I’ve been trying to tell the brewers to walk away from that term for 15 years now. Just call it beer. It’s beer. The only reason you’re using craft is because you want to separate yourself from […]

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Not So Much A Bursting As A Great Dissipation

“”Craft” was botched by the Brewers Association in two main ways. First, it was made mutable. It could be uniquely redefined by their sole higher authority – and then was redefined regularly. Second, as we see above, like the man who lends his rake to the new neighbour never to see it again the BA […]

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Why Hand-Mashing At Glenturret Distillery Actually Means Something

“Not that beverage producers actually go that far, even when they openly (and contestedly) claim “hand-made” on the label. (Being realistic, even the most hand-y “hand-made” would involve at least some kind of intermediary spoon. Probably a big one.) But it’s really not possible to maintain hand-to-product contact even if a brand wants to: success […]

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When it comes to cocktails, is it time to kill the word craft?

“Hletko likens the trend to Monty Python’s Life of Brian. “Craft ends up being like when Pontius Pilate gives mercy to Brian and all the crucified men start shouting, ‘I’m Brian,’ ‘No, I’m Brian,’ ‘No, I’m Brian.’ No, not everybody is Brian,” says Hletko. Instead, Hletko wants to encourage distillers and brewers to simply represent […]

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SIBA Says This is Craft Beer

“SIBA’s definition of ‘craft’ is as valid as any other. We’ve long said that we’re quite happy with multiple overlapping definitions, and with working definitions designed for particular contexts. As it is SIBA’s definition… * ‘Has agreed to abide by SIBA’s Manual of Good Brewing Practice’ * ‘Is truly independent of any larger controlling brewing interest’ […]

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New definition for Texas craft brewer unveiled

“The change also reflects the evolving U.S. beer landscape as more craft breweries are acquired by behemoths such as MillerCoors or Anheuser-BuschInBev. At least 14 such deals have been announced so far across the U.S., the Brewers Association reports. “I think it’s clear that the big brewers are interested in expanding their craft portfolios,” said […]

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