Brewers Association launched the independent craft brewer seal. The video below lays out the broad strokes of the project.
The Brewers Association will be licensing the use of this seal to brewers who meet the Brewers Association’s craft brewer definition:
Small - Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships.
Independent - Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
Traditional- A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.
BUT, IS THIS GOING TO HELP BREWERIES SELL MORE?
Launching Seal to breweries, is this something new?
An official ‘Independent Craft Beer of Ireland” symbol has been launched (2016) by the Independent Craft Brewers of Ireland (ICBI). The symbol is designed to assist consumers seeking authentic Irish craft beer and to make an informed purchase based on the providence of the product.
Here is a link to ICBI - http://www.icbi.ie/symbol.html
Let's wait for 2017 beer consumption numbers from Ireland to see if something changed.
Impact or not
How many of you check food ingredients when you buy food?
How many people will stop drinking a specific brand just because they are not independent?
I’m sure this is a step in the right direction.
But, I think it is not going to make the impact the Brewers Association believes it will bring (I hope I’m wrong).
I always think of Craft breweries founders/owners as entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs think different, and they move fast, they adopt to changes.
For many years, I don’t see innovation in the beer market. It seems that everybody is doing the same just with a different logo on the bottle.
Six brewers whose companies have been acquired by AB InBev spoke out against the seal
The Brewers argued that the "independent craft" seal is virtually meaningless. In the brewers' view, independence is unrelated to craft beers' quality.
"To be independent would mean you don't put the logo on because you're indie," said David Buhler, the co-founder of Elysian, a Seattle-based brewer that AB InBev acquired in 2015 and that used to be known for the tagline "Corporate Beer Still Sucks."
"To be truly punk you don't use the logo — you do your own thing, and you follow your own rules," Buhler continued.
YOUR SMALL, YOUR INDEPENDENT, MOVE FAST!
Look at companies like Uber or AirBnB. They used technology to change industries.
What if we can give craft breweries technology that big breweries will use only in two years.
Technology that will let you:
2) Connect with consumers in a new way.
3) Promote your beer when consumers hold your brand in their hands.
4) Get stats on consumption
5) Promote independent craft breweries, and they will promote you
6) Create smart marketing campaigns that bring consumers to buy your brand again and again.
7) Let consumers discover your brand and your promotion in a new way.
8) Build loyalty program.
You can use the Seal or not, but please remember to do things differently.
Use technology and move fast.