We’ve seen a strange trend emerge in the world of craft brewing over the last few years. Some of the most famous brands in the country have been sold off to the likes of Constellation, AB InBev, and Duvel Moortgat. One of the biggest and most jarring sales was the acquisition of San Diego’s Ballast Point by Constellation Brands for $1 billion back in 2015. This influx of big money has lead to the phrase “sell out” being uttered more and more frequently by hardcore beer nerds. Just like indie music fans, they really don’t like cash grabs. They want to know that their favorite beer brand is independently owned and not overseen by some sinister overlord more concerned with profits than making great beer. Well, thanks to the Brewers Association, they soon will.
In an effort to help craft beer aficionados rest easy about their beloved breweries, the Brewers Association, a not-for-profit group designed to promote independent breweries, is launching an official seal for independent craft breweries to add to their packaging.
“Independent craft brewers continue to turn the beer industry on its head by putting community over corporation and beer before the bottom line,”Bob Pease, president & CEO, Brewers Association said in a press release. “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.,”
The seal itself consists of an upside down bottle with the words “Certified”, “Brewers Association”, and “Independent Craft”. It’s free to use by any of the independently owned craft breweries in the country (roughly 5,300) that have a TTB Brewer’s Notice, are in fact a craft brewery, and are willing to sign a license agreement. You should expect to start seeing the logo in the coming weeks and months. Will it stop your favorite brewery from being sold off to one of the big boys? Probably not. And maybe that’s not even such a bad thing. But if you want to be sure that your next six pack benefits a small business instead of a multinational conglomerate, this seal will surely help.