It’s becoming tougher to tell what is and is not really craft beer. Corporate drinks companies like AB InBev continue to buy up craft breweries as the macro industry contends against the growing micro movement.
In response, the Brewers Association — which represents small and independent craft brewers in the U.S. — has announced a new independent craft brewer seal.
Like stickers on bottles that denote what appellation that wine comes from, also indicating its authenticity, these seals are meant to help consumers and retailers sort through what’s independent versus breweries that have sold out to corporate interests.
“Beer lovers really care about who makes their beer,” says BA Director Paul Gatza in a post on the association’s website. “What this provides is a clear message to the beer drinker that this beer comes from a small and independent craft brewer.”
The seal can go on packaging and labels, and can be featured on events, tap handles, menus and websites. Producers must be members of the BA — which only accepts independent breweries — to receive approval for seals.
There are now more than 5,300 operating breweries in the U.S., according to the association, and 99% of them are considered small and independent.