Unsure if the beer you’re drinking is craft?
The number of independent, small craft breweries in Australia – also called micro breweries or boutique breweries – has been growing steadily in the past few years. An ever-changing ebb-and-flow of openings and closures can make it confusing to the general public if the beer they’re drinking is actually “craft”, or if it’s the craft arm of a larger company.
There is nothing wrong with these large craft arms, but the beer they produce may not be made in the traditional way, and the money earned will often fall in hands of large company owners that reside overseas. The popularity of craft beer isn’t a fad, it’s a way of life. There’s something to be said about going into a venue where brewers (and brewsters) are sweating away over bubbling vats of liquid goodness, or squeezed inside a tank to sweep out the remaining spent malt. When drinking these beers, consumers know the money they’re paying is going to support these hard-workers and their families, keeping money and jobs in the local communities. Not only that, but the beer is, on the whole, much much better than anything mass-produced.
Credit to the Craft Beer Reviewer for his updated list showing which large, inter- and multi-national companies own what many think of as craft breweries in Australia. We have recreated the chart for clarity below; please feel free to share it if you’re so inclined. Please note the focus is on Australian breweries; while some of these companies (Lion, for example) own smaller breweries in other countries (Panhead in NZ, for example), they are not represented here. That will come next.