WHAT ARE MICRO BREWS?
A microbrewery or craft brewery is a brewery that produces a small amount of beer. Exact definitions vary, but the terms are typically applied to breweries that are much smaller than large-scale corporate breweries and are independently owned. Such breweries are generally characterized by their emphasis on quality, flavor and brewing technique.
The microbrewing movement began in the United Kingdom in the 1970s — although traditional artisan brewing existed in Europe for centuries — and subsequently spread to other countries. As the movement grew and some breweries expanded their production and distribution, the more encompassing concept of craft brewing emerged. A related term, “brewpub”, refers to a pub or restaurant that brews its own beer for sale on the premises.
Although the term “microbrewery” was originally used in relation to the size of breweries, it gradually came to reflect an alternativeattitudeandapproachto brewing flexibility, adaptability, experimentation and customer service. The term and trend spread to the U.S. in the 1980s, where it eventually was used as a designation of breweries that produce fewer than 15,000 US beer barrels (1,800,000 L) (475000 US gal) annually.In a June 2014 interview, the owner of an Oregon, U.S.-based microbrewery explained: “You’ve got to do more than just make great beer. It’s really about innovation, creativity—stepping outside the box of traditional beer marketing”, while an employee explained that “heart and soul” is the essence of the operation.
Furthermore, microbreweries have adopted a marketing strategy that differs from those of the large, mass-market breweries, offering products that compete on the basis of quality and diversity, instead of low price and advertising. Their influence has been much greater than their market share, which amounts to only 2% in the UK,indicated by the introduction by large commercial breweries of new brands for the craft beer market. However, when this strategy failed, the corporate breweries invested in microbreweries; or, in many cases, acquired them outright.