So, what is craft beer or a craft beverage? And what does it mean for the WCBA?
The National Brewers Association defines the American Craft Brewer as:
Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to rules of alternating proprietorships.
Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
Has a TTB Brewer’s Notice and makes beer.
That’s nice. So knowing a craft beverage means knowing the craft brewer/maker. He/She is small, independent, and creative. To us, in Wisconsin, it also means local, local, local. The craft brewer is invested in his/her community, connected to the land through raw materials and ingredients, and strives to develop relationships with local markets. This is also why the craft industry is so vital to our state’s economy and heritage. By keeping it local, the money does not flow out of the state to out-of-state growers (when possible) and there is a net addition to the local economy.