The Independent Craft Brewer Seal
Any discerning drinker of American Craft Beer may have recently noticed the appearance of The Independent Craft Brewer Seal logo, which may be used completely free by any Craft Beer brewer who meets the criteria specified by the Brewers Association.
The popularity of Craft Beers has led to a recent surge in the number of big-beer brewers trying to regain their stranglehold on the industry by spuriously producing something aimed at fooling drinkers into thinking they’re supporting an independent beer scene. We’ve all seen them appear on the shelves of our favourite beer stores in recent months: bright, appealing packaging suggestive of innovation; a design that advocates brewing at the cutting-edge; and alluring, thought-provoking names that belie a monopolising and controlling boardroom decision to jump on the bandwagon.
Not only is this alarming to both beer enthusiasts and Craft brewers trying to gain a solid foothold in the market, but it is also unfair that young and pioneering brewers trailblaze with disruptive innovation simply for the corporate giants to soak-up the gains from a position of strength and market domination.
Drinkers have been demanding beers that proudly display a “genuine Craft beer” badge-of-honour for many years. And thankfully it is now something recognised by the Brewers Association.
So long as a brewery has a valid TTB Brewer’s Notice —compliance with the Federal Alcohol Administration Act — and meets the Brewers Association definition of a Craft Brewer, it is free to use the Independent Craft Brewer Seal in, more-or-less, any manner it choices, so long as it is used appropriately subject to the Brewers Association licensing agreement. There is currently no charge for this.
It’s a model that needs replicating across the globe, in each country witnessing an explosion in interest about Craft Beer, in each market where the threat of the well-known and less-than-sincere corporates is real.
Craft brewers relish the opportunity to offer something unique. Loyal Craft Beer drinkers relish the choice, relish the opportunity to try something different from the ubiquitous, mass-produced blandness.
Let’s get behind this initiative before the you-know-who brewers continue to squeeze the little people out of business, since that’s how they’ve always played the game. In this case, let’s not let history repeat itself.