Crafty Marketing: An Evaluation of Distinctive Criteria for “Craft” Beer

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There is increasing consumer demand for craft beer, and for clarification of its definition in the face of widespread (mis)marketing. In recent years many small scale and independent breweries have been purchased by large brewing organisations vying to get a share of the growing and profitable niche market in craft beer. This raises the question of whether the beer produced by such breweries can still be defined as “craft”. Are there other factors that should be taken into consideration when defining genuine craft breweries? From the perspective of a consumer who seeks a craft product, little is known about how and where the beer is produced, and when labels are taken at face value there is a greater responsibility for retailers to distinguish between craft and mainstream beers. In this paper, we explore the conceptual and practical aspects of defining craft beer, with reference to definitions established by various national industry associations.


  • Breweries, ales, authenticity, microbreweries, provenance, sustainable Sourcing
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913-929
JournalFood Reviews International
Issue number5
Early online date29 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2022

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