American Microbreweries

"Fulfilling a Stought Dream"

What Liberty Means to Our Local Brews
What Liberty Means to Our Local Brews

A microbrewery or craft brewery is a brewery that produces a limited amount of beer. Exact definitions vary, but the terms are typically applied to breweries that are much smaller than large-scale corporate breweries and are independently owned. Such breweries are generally characterized by their emphasis on the integrity and quality of ingredients, flavor and brewing technique.

"Craft brewing" is a more encompassing term for developments in the industry succeeding the micro brewing movement of the later 20th century. The definition is not entirely consistent, but it typically applies to relatively small, independently-owned commercial breweries that employ traditional brewing methods and emphasize flavor and quality. The term is usually reserved for breweries established since the 1970s, but may be used for older breweries with a similar focus.

Craft brewing is most established in the U.S., where changes to U.S. law laid the foundations for the expansion of craft brewing. The 1978 Carter home brewing law allowed for small amounts of beer and wine, and, in 1979, Carter signed a bill to deregulate the brewing industry, making it easier to start new breweries.; although, states could still enact local restrictions. As a result of deregulation, home brewing became a popular hobby in the 1980s and 1990s, and, in the mid-1990s, home brewers launched business ventures based on home-based hobby brewing.

In 1979 89 breweries existed in the U.S.-the Brewers Association reports that in March 2013 a total of 2,416 U.S. breweries were in operation, with 2,360 considered craft breweries (98 percent-1,124 brewpubs, 1,139 microbreweries, and 97 regional craft breweries).Additionally, craft brewers sold more than 15.6 million barrels of beer, which represented approximately 7.8% of the U.S. market by volume. In 2007 the largest American craft brewery was the Boston Beer Company, makers of Samuel Adams.