The Brew Site

Predictions and real news

I was all set to write a post about not writing up beer predictions for this coming year when I was reviewing the archives for last year and realized I didn’t write any for 2010, either. That’s probably for the best; the New Year tends to make prognosticators out of us but in the end I can only predict “the Sesssion will take off!” or “Dogfish will brew another ancient beer!” so many times before it gets shrill.

Besides, there so much more interesting real beers news coming out all the time. Like this:

The board of directors of the Brewers Association (BA), the trade association representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies, has voted to change the BA’s designation of “small” in its definition of a “craft brewer.” The Association’s board of directors also has revised its bylaws to reflect the change.

In the BA’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 BA website, The change to the bylaws went into effect December 20, 2010.

About time; despite what some people might say, Sam Adams (the brewer approaching—or possibly even exceeding—two million barrels) is a craft brewer, and before this change they would have been knocked out of that category (at least from a legal(?) perspective). It’s arbitrary, of course, but it seems ridiculous that Sam Adams would have been potentially stripped of their official “craft” status just because they grew the fastest.

Of course, as a counterpoint to all of that, consider that Anheuser-Busch produces something like 300 million barrels of beer annually. Let that sink in for a bit.