Confused about the term microbrewery and what it means, and how it is different than just a regular brewery? Not to worry, this should help with expanding your beer knowledge and get a little bit more of an understanding of what a microbrewery is.
Well for one, the difference is in the name, as the term “micro” refers to the size of the brewery. Let’s take for example a traditional brewery like MillerCoors, which produces millions of barrels of beer each year. In the United States, a brewery is defined by producing 15,000 to 6,000,000 barrels per year. Anything under this amount would be considered a microbrewery.
One of the things that make a microbrewery unique is that they are known for their “boutique” or specialty small batch beers. These beers might be a limited release, as they might be catered for the season or a very limited number of bottles might be available for purchase. When it comes to distribution, microbreweries have very limited, if any distribution. When a microbrewery becomes popular and is picked up for distribution by a national distributor it loses its “microbrewery” status.
When it comes down to it, lots of microbreweries love to experiment with flavours, ingredients, portions or the fermentation process. Think of them like a beer science lab and how they are constantly looking to find that next great tasting specialty beer.
Microbreweries are limited when it comes to getting their name and brand out there, since they can’t compete with bigger beer companies that spend tons of money of advertising. Most microbreweries will normally have a tasting room and bottle shop, so you can have a sip of some of what they have available and then make your purchase. These beers might only be available through their bottle shop or through a small regional distributor.
Another way microbreweries get their name out there is through beer festivals. These festivals help beer lovers discover new breweries and help breweries set themselves apart from other beers. If you plan on heading to a beer festival, why not try some beer you’ve never heard of before, who knows maybe you’ll find a new favorite beer.
When it comes down to it, there’s just something about microbreweries that make them different and set them apart that regular breweries can’t compete with. The Brewers Association reported the production of craft beer has doubled between 2011 and 2016, with the number of breweries growing from 2,000 in 2011 to 5,200 in 2016. The Brewers Association reported the production of craft beer has doubled between 2011 and 2016, with the number of breweries growing from 2,000 in 2011 to 5,200 in 2016.