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As craft brewing grows in popularity, brewers using new identification seal

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In an effort to show consumers which beers are authentically craft, and not owned by big beer corporations, brewers across Florida are using the Brewers Association’s independent craft brewer seal.

As of June 1, 3,459 small and independent breweries have adopted the seal, and that number grows every week.

“People feel comfortable knowing that their beer is coming from a local brewery,” Bart Watson, Chief Economist for the Brewers Association said. “I think it shows a certain quality of beer that consumers are looking for.”

The seal features a beer bottle shape flipped upside-down, sending a message that craft brewers are under no influence from big beer companies and are truly a craft beer brewery. More than 52 percent of craft breweries are currently using the seal, the association says, sending a message that craft breweries are demonstrating transparency within their companies, as well as helping local business across the Southwest Florida region.

“As Big Beer acquires former craft brands, beer drinkers have become increasingly confused about which brewers remain independent,” said Bob Pease, President and CEO of the Brewers Association. “Beer lovers are interested in transparency when it comes to brewery ownership. This seal is a simple way to provide that clarity—now they can know what’s been brewed small and certified independent.”

According to the Brewers Association’s database, 13 Southwest Florida breweries are using the independent brewers seal.

Craft beers and smaller breweries have exploded in popularity in recent years. In a March report released by the Brewer’s Association, Florida craft brewers had an economic impact of $3.07 billion, fifth highest in the nation, as the state’s 243 craft breweries 1.4 million barrels of beer.

While the overall beer market declined by 1.2 percent in 2017, craft beer sales were up 5 percent, accounting for $26 billion in sales.

“Independent breweries continue to better beer and our country by going beyond just making the beverage. These small businesses give back to their backyard communities and support thousands of cities and towns across the U.S.,” Pease said.

The Brewery Finder and the Brewery Directory on both allow consumers to search for breweries by state, there is a comprehensive list of Florida breweries there. Breweries that fit the definition of a craft brewer will be designated by the independent craft brewer seal next to it.

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