This past weekend I was discussing the changing landscape of the beer isles at Kroger with with someone while I was washing dishes at the brewery. We were talking about how exciting it was to walk into the grocery store and be able to choose from such a wide variety of beers. As we were discussing some of their recent purchases though, they were dismayed to find out that the beer that they had bought was no longer considered “craft” beer.
Craft beer is defined as Small (less than 6 million barrels of beer per year), Independent (less than 25% is owned by a beverage alcohol industry member which is not itself a craft brewer), and Traditional (most of the ingredients are traditional brewing ingredients and their fermentation).
Recently “Big Beer” has been buying a lot of smaller breweries. Somewhat sneakily, Big Beer has been collecting these brands and adding them to their “Premium Portfolio.” If you don’t pay close attention to the craft beer news, you might have missed it.
Because of all of these buyouts, the craft community has created an EASY way for you the consumer to know if the beer your buying is craft beer – The Independent Craft Seal.
More and more breweries are adapting the seal for their packaging. The seal features an upside down beer bottle, representing the fact that the craft beer community has turned the beer industry on its head. The Brewers Association put out this statement:
“Independent craft brewers continue to turn the beer industry on its head by putting community over corporation and beer before the bottom line. They continue to better beer and our country by going beyond just making the beverage. These small businesses give back to their backyard communities and support thousands of cities and towns across the U.S.,” said Bob Pease, president & CEO, Brewers Association. “As Big Beer acquires former craft brands, beer drinkers have become increasingly confused about which brewers remain independent. Beer lovers are interested in transparency when it comes to brewery ownership. This seal is a simple way to provide that clarity—now they can know what’s been brewed small and certified independent.”
Trek Brewing is proud to be an independent craft brewery. We’ll be using the seal on our future packaging. We encourage you to “Seek the Seal” when you’re stocking up your fridge with delicious craft beer. There are SO many great craft options in Central Ohio, that it is easy to support local.
Using the Independent Brewery Seal can help you to support innovative entrepreneurs that help sustain local communities. We thank you for being a part of this journey and supporting the dream!