What is the Difference Between Craft Beer & Industrial Beer?

If you are interested in finding out what are the differences between a craft beer and a commercially made, mass produced industrial beer, you’re in the right place!

First up, we need to understand exactly what beer is:

Beer is the third most popular drink in the world, after water and tea
Beer is the number one most popular alcoholic drink
The history of beer production is very old – dating back to Babylonian time over 6,000 years ago
In 1516 CE, Germany enacted the Beer Law. It stipulated that beer could only be brewed using water, malt, hops, and yeast as ingredients. These famous four basic raw ingredients are used to produce the beer we know and love so much today.

What Is Craft Beer?

Craft beer is the earliest type of beer of which we know. It was made long before industrialization and mass production took over. The United States is the modern day birthplace of craft beer as we find it today. The Brewers Association has strictly defined what it takes to be considered a craft beer. This actually makes the definition of craft beer much easier!

Craft Beer Has the Following Characteristics

An annual output of no more than 6 million barrels of beer per year
Less than 25% of the shares of the brewery can be controlled by non-craft breweries
The beer itself is at least one of the main products of the brewery, or accounting for more than 50% of sales
No use of supplementation in the making of the product
No artificial additives or flavorings
How is Craft Beer Made?

Craft beer production requires a fair amount of TLC and time. Firstly, you need to crush the malt to extract the starch inside. Then, the grain mix is steeped in hot water in order to the starch to begin to convert into sugars. If you don’t have sugar, the beer won’t develop alcohol compounds.

Next thing to add are the hops. Then, more water is added and the malt, hops, and water simmer together in a vat. By cooking the hops alongside the starch-released sugars, when the yeast is added it has a lovely mix of sugary particles to start converting into alcohol.

Craft beer has a much richer taste than commercial or industrial produced beer because of the malt. Craft beer malt can contain wheat, but more often than not it’s barley that is the malt constituent. This is what gives craft beer its wonderful aromas of toast, warm oven-baked bread, and even biscuits.