NC Beer Facts & Figures

What is a craft brewery?

The NC Craft Brewers Guild adheres to the definition of an American craft brewer as published by the Brewers Association (BA), the not-for-profit trade group that protects and promotes small and independent U.S. brewers.

The BA defines an American craft brewer as small, independent and traditional

  • Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately three percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships. 

  • Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. 

  • Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beers.


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