Beer drinkers are puzzled by the proliferation of craft breweries in the United States and elsewhere. It is hard for them to differentiate between authentic craft beers from small and independent breweries on one side and craft-style beers produced by large brewing groups on the other side.
According to a consumer survey in February 2018 by GlobalData, a British digital media company, UK craft beer drinkers actively seek specific characteristics like authenticity (38%), local production (36%), small independent producer (30%), and small batch production (23%).
For this reason several professional organizations around the world have introduced logos and seals that can be applied to bottles, cans and other items and are thought to help differentiating independent craft beer from beer made by larger beverage corporations.
In August 2016 the British Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) introduced an ‘Assured Independent’ logo for what they designate genuine British craft beers. (inside.beer, 10.7.2017)
Two months later, in October 2016, the Independent Craft Brewers of Ireland (ICBI) followed suit and launched the official symbol for independently brewed Irish craft beer.
Their American counterpart, the Brewers Association, launched their own Independent Craft Beer Seal in June 2017, which can “be applied to bottles, cans and other items at no charge by every independent brewery – even non-members.” (inside.beer, 28.6.2017)
And last in line in May 2018 was Australia’s Independent Brewers Association (IBA) with their own seal “to educate all beer consumers , especially those who still consume industrialised beer made by massive multinational corporations, to ensure that they understand the variety, quality and emotional engagement that beer made by local independent breweries offers,” according to IBA board member Will Tatchell.
The U.S. Brewers Association has now started a new campaign to drive awareness of the independent craft beer seal . Since its launch in June 2017, more than 3,200 small and independent craft breweries—representing more than 75 percent of independent craft volume in the U.S.—have adopted the seal. The That’s Independence You’re Tasting campaign features videos which are focusing on independence and choice—both key tenets of the craft brewing culture. The campaign is geared toward educating beer drinkers on why independent craft beer matters and merits their support and sales.
“Based on data from our recent work tied to the independent craft brewer seal, we know that more than 90% of consumers surveyed were interested in the seal and what it stands for,” says Julia Herz, craft beer program director at the Brewers Association . “Additionally, beer drinkers who have been exposed to the seal showed a 77% increase in being more likely to prioritize beer from independent breweries.”