We see it everywhere yet we know it’s not a light lager. It’s not one of the latest craft breweries to “sell out.” So is Guinness craft beer?
The definition of a craft brewery from the Brewers Association, being “small, independent, and traditional,” is often the measure used to dictate the public’s option of what is craft beer. Additionally, their standard caps the maximum output for a craft brewery at six million barrels. And they continued to state that if a brewery has access to the same retail, distribution, and ingredients, then they should not be considered craft.
Guinness doesn’t fall into any of the craft beer criteria. They are huge; brewing in 49 countries and available in about 150. Worldwide, Guinness sells about 220 million gallons of beer and over 25 million gallons alone in the United States. They’re also part of a huge global conglomerate, which also owns Burger King and Alpo Dog Food.
So why do we often associate it with our local craft brews? Mainly because being a “macro beer” hasn’t stopped Guinness from experimenting with new beers, despite being way less popular than the traditional stout. On top of that, they’ve popularized and innovated nitrogenous beers and developed their famous beer can widget.
Craft or not, Guinness is still a solid, filling beer and it will always have a place on my beer menu.