What is Indie Beer?

Posted on February 2, 2016


Living in Australia we are lucky enough to view posts online from Drinking American-ati types that blog, post thoughts and drink beers we can only admire from down here. This morning I came across a link to an article from Epic Beer Girl that linked to this article “Craft is Dead. We drink Indie” that discussed how this term came up.

In short it centres on 10 Barrel Brewpub that is owned by AB-Inbev that is from Oregon, but now has multiple destinations (Pho Brewpub Concept?). This angered Beer Bloggers and PodCasters, which is pretty hard to do!! SO term came from this podcast ThreeBzine that ultimately will take credit for this term. Until a bigger beer writer terms it with different spelling.

Old News

What is OLD is New Again. As a teacher the other day in Corporate training explained that although he’s been out of corporate support for 10 years, the previous 20 is historical versions of what we all currently use. Nobody in a room of geeks could dispute that. Time discussed ‘Independent Brewers‘ back in 2013 as ‘About to BOOM’.

“As the craft beer scene has flourished and evolved, and industry giants have pressed into the market with so-called “crafty beers,” something of a pecking order has emerged, in which small, independent mom-and-pop operations are respected most of all—and huge global beer conglomerates are derided as “industrial” bullies who care about profits, not quality.”


So is Craft Beer really a term that is current? relevant anymore? or is Pho Craft/ Crafty’ish/ more apt for what is ultimately business and economic decisions. In Australia I discussed last week the top 100 beers, and ultimately it was ‘Crafty’ brewers with high distribution that won the tourny in 2015. Though hype/marketing plays a huge role in beer too.

A term I came up with years ago among many were Rent-Taps and Rugby League Beer (Working Class Rugby in AUS). Think terminology is interchangeable and each region has distinction of how or where it is used. Like the term “Session” beer means a lot more in the US than in the UK where all beer is mid-strength. I have friends around the world that run bars, restaurants and who knows probably even illegal institutional gambling rings. All business has to make money, so if they sell beer I don’t like I don’t judge them. Okay yes I do!

Is Craft Beer Terminology Dead?

No! as we have only just started integrating the terminology to NEW beer drinkers that want a point of distinction. Instead of Michelob GOLD, or Budweiser Premium/Silver, they will pick up a Sam Adams, Blue Moon, this is the journey into manhood. We can see this BA diagram below that Snip20160202_4we currently have over 3000+ breweries in the US, and hundreds overseas competing for the same dollar value of “NEW” consumers. BigBeer is no different.

Think that #craft is outdated, but a new term that doesn’t imply a van full of bearded hipsters going to a ‘festival’ that INDIE seems to sound like. (hey if I was cool enough to grow a REAL BEARD and head to a festival I would).

Thoughts on Big Brewers still in Craft Territory?

  • Well does Sammy Cal need more money from a Magazine he’s pumping?
  • Does Sierra Nevada still classify or what about Sam Adam Airport Lager?
  • Is Goose Island(Ab-Inbev) still craft?
  • Stone Brewing has about 10 facilities in San Diego, along with everywhere you look in San Diego is a Ballast Point tasting room?

Should these big boys step aside and let the smaller boys take over ‘CRAFT Beer’? What about the definition being extended by Brewers Association to let Yuengling Brewery into the fold.

Think it comes down to political interests who manage and run the Association. There’s a lot of money in ‘Craft’ and for many there’s a lot of politics involved, and its a very lucrative business now.