This 4th of July Seek Independence... Drink Craft Beer
As we approach the annual celebration of Independence as declared by our founding fathers, July 4th , 1776, I urge you seek and support independent, small business. The Brewers Association defines a craft brewer as being small, independent and traditional. Independent is defined specifically as having less than 25 percent of the craft brewery owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member which is not itself a craft brewer. Further, the BA has developed a campaign and seal for display on packaging to provide differentiation for the consumer on what is and is not true and independent craft beer.
Why Support Independent Craft Brewers?
For many craft beer drinkers, the answer is authenticity. The desire to support passionate brewers who are bootstrapping their dreams and providing the marketplace with a myriad of flavorful beers with traditional ingredients yet influenced by independence. The independence to choose ingredients and techniques to produce unique high-quality beers that push boundaries surely mirrored the desire of our forefathers to create a nation where free-thinking and liberty could succeed without oppression.
Bringing Jobs to Main Street
Craft beer is booming. In 2008, when Marshall Brewing first began brewing we were one of 1, 500 craft brewers in the United States. By 2012, that number had grown to 2,400, and today, there are more than 6,400 true and independent craft brewers in the US. These new businesses bring highly valued manufacturing jobs to urban areas. The BA reports that as a whole the craft beer industry provides 456,000 full-time equivalent jobs with more than 128,000 of those jobs directly at breweries and brewpubs.
Location, Location, Location
More often than not, craft brewers have chosen to locate their breweries in forgotten urban areas, historic neighborhoods and warehouse districts. The success of these breweries and taprooms have attracted development around those areas renewing once vital urban and historic neighborhoods and business districts.
Seek the Seal
As you plan your celebrations with friends and family, consider the beer you are drinking. Choosing true and independent craft beer matters not only for flavor, but it directly impacts our communities and the small business necessary to provide sustainable growth in our economy. Ask yourself, what would our founding fathers have drank in celebration of Independence, a beverage with multinational ownership or flavorful beer inspired by the very principles they pronounced in the Declaration of Independence? Have a great 4th of July and please drink responsibly. Cheers!