More and more craft breweries are beginning to be recognized as craft beer gains more popularity. This type of brewing is often interchanged with the microbrew. Many beer drinkers assume that microbrews are made with craft ingredients, while others believe that craft beers are produced by low production breweries. While they may have many similarities, craft beer and microbrew have many differences.
The main difference between craft beer and microbrew is the type of breweries used and a number of beers they produce. To help you identify them from the beers that you are drinking, the following are the factors you should know:
The number or the amount of beers the breweries produce
When it comes to numbers, craft breweries produce more barrels or gallons of beer than microbreweries. According to the American Brewers Association, microbreweries are allowed to make up to 15,000 barrels or 460,000 US gallons of beer every year. They must be able to sell 75% of their product outside of their brewery. On the other hand, craft breweries can make 2 million to 6 million US gallons per year.
They are still smaller than commercial brands of beers. They are also independently owned and operated mostly by families. A microbrewery that grows into a large-scale brewery can be called a craft brewery if they follow the standard number of beers to produce and sell. Meanwhile, the other classifications of the craft brewery are regional brewery, contract brewery, and brewpub.
The style of beer they make
If you are looking at the techniques on how the craft beer vs. microbrew is made, you can say that craft beer tastes better. Unlike microbrews, a craft beer undergoes strict procedures that are followed by all craft breweries and must contain 50% traditional malt. Craft breweries take pride of their beers because of the high-quality ingredients and the equipment used during the process of brewing.
Most of them source their malts and other ingredients from the local community to add quality and distinction to their flagship beer or limited release beers. Some of the most common styles of craft beers are ales, lagers, porters, and stouts.
This type of craft beer often looks pale, golden, amber, or dark. They are conditioned in low temperatures and are best served chilled or cold. Lager beers use specific yeast that is bottom-fermenting. Because of this, the whole process of making lagers would take weeks or months. However, this makes them cleaner, crisper, smoother, and mellower.
Ales are the oldest and the most common type of craft beer. They have different varieties and are brewed at a warmer temperature. To make ales, breweries use top-fermenting yeast. This makes them taste stronger and more forceful, especially when served at cellar temperature.
Porters or Stout
Porters are very bitter and very dark type of craft beer while the stouts are the stronger version of porters. Though there are many debates being made between the two, history will tell you that they are almost the same. The bitterness and strength are the only differences.
On the other hand, microbreweries follow no laws or requirements to make their beers. This allows them to be more creative to experiment with their ingredients. You will notice that their flavors and aromas are more surprising and unique than those of beers produced in craft breweries.
In summary, a microbrewery can be a craft brewery if it makes craft beer by following the standards of craft brewing. However, craft breweries are not necessarily microbreweries. There should be no competition between craft beer vs. microbrew, because they are both a good choice of beer. If you are a true lover of beer, you should know that good beer have always been about the community.
They are produced by small brewers working and sharing recipes and inspirations with each other. Both types of breweries can produce world-class beers. Having to produce beer on a smaller scale allows them to pay attention to the quality of their ingredients and perfect their brewing recipes.