A craft brewer is one that is small, independent and traditional. They have an annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less, and the brewery is less than 25% owned or controlled by a non-craft brewer who is a member of the alcoholic beverage industry. In other words, the big brewers can only own or control a small portion of a craft brewery.
A traditional craft brewer is one who has an all malt flagship beer or brews at least 50% of its beers as all malts. The malt and other traditional ingredients may be part of reason craft beers are so popular. Or maybe it’s just the fact that craft brewers represent the American spirit, that desire to strike out, discover the new, blaze a path.
As of July 1, 2012, there were 2,075 craft breweries operating in the U.S., up from 1,989 in 2011 and 1,749 in 2010. Those breweries account for more than 103,000 jobs in the U.S., which includes the serving staff in brewpubs. Those craft breweries also bring capital and tourism dollars to their communities.
Nashville has certainly seen a boom in craft breweries in recent years. Big River, Blackstone, Boscos and Yazoo have been around for some time now. Then came Fat Bottom, Jackalope and Jubilee, and according to the Brewers Association, Nashville has more than 8 craft breweries in various stages of planning and development. Add in the brewers a little farther out, such as Clarksville’s Blackhorse, Sparta’s Calfkiller, Franklin’s Cool Springs and Turtle Anarchy and Murfreesboro’s Mayday, and craft brewing in Middle Tennessee is sure to be even bigger business in 2013.