The difference between a nano brewery and a microbrewery lies in the size of the brewery. The simple definition of a nano brewery is any brewery that produces batches of three barrels or less. Additionally, a nano brewery is defined as a brewery that produces less than 2,000 barrels per year.
A microbrewery is classified based on the number of beers produced in a year (in barrels). They can produce up to 15,000 barrels of beer each year, and 75% of the beer needs to be sold outside the brewery.
Although 75% or more of the beer in the microbrewery must be sold outside the brewery, there will still be some microbreweries selling beer to beer consumers in small tasting rooms or bars. Microbreweries complete sales in one of three ways:
Three-tier sales: brewers sell to wholesalers, wholesalers sell to retailers, and retailers sell to consumers.
Two-tier sales: brewers act as wholesalers and sell to retailers, and retailers sell to consumers.
Direct sales: Brewers sell directly to consumers through takeaway or sales at on-site bars or restaurants.
A brewpub is a combination of a restaurant and a brewery. It needs to sell at least 25% of the beer on-site and provide consumers with delicious food. In a brewpub, beer is mainly provided to offer more choices for consumers in restaurants or bars. Of course, where permitted by law, brewpubs will also sell beer like other regions.
Brewpubs have the unique advantage of being able to dispense beer directly from storage tanks in the brewery. These large tanks are often used as the aesthetic cornerstone of the establishments because they have a strong industrial visual appeal. The presence of cans also provides an authentic atmosphere, which many consumers appreciate when enjoying craft beer. The setup of a brewpub often showcases the brewing process as well as the technical skill required to produce a quality beverage.
When legally allowed, many brewpubs also offer takeaway services and establish distributors in other regions to help build their brands.
A taproom brewery is similar to a brewpub in that it also needs to sell more than 25% of the beer on-site. The main difference between a brewpub and a taproom is that a taproom does not provide food service. Of course, taprooms can also sell beer like other regions.
A regional brewery refers to a brewery that serves beer in a fixed geographical location. Regional breweries fall into one of the broader categories. According to the Association of Brewers, a regional brewery produces 15,000 to 6,000,000 barrels of beer each year.
A craft brewery needs to brew no more than 2 million gallons of craft beer each year, and the brewery must be independently owned. Unlike microbreweries, craft breweries impose restrictions on beer production technology. The beer produced by craft breweries must contain at least 50% traditional malt instead of grains such as oats, barley, and wheat. The term “craft brewing” in craft beer comes from the fact that these breweries view brewing beer as an art form. They don’t aim to compete with large breweries. Craft breweries are small and independently owned, and they need to establish frequent contact with customers. They prioritize the taste and aroma of craft beer over making huge profits.
The craft beer brewing industry takes pride in using high-quality raw materials, reliable equipment, and unique brewing techniques. As a result, craft beer is usually brewed in small batches using high-quality raw materials, rather than being produced on a large scale like in a major brewery.
What Is The Difference Between Craft Breweries And Other Types Of Breweries?
The main difference between craft breweries and other types of breweries lies in the beer brewing process. Many microbreweries use unique brewing processes to make beer, and because they meet the production standards of craft beer, they can also be called craft breweries.
The purpose of the beer, the people, and the brewery itself define craft breweries, not just the size and distribution as classification criteria. Microbreweries and large breweries are defined based on the number of beers produced each year. If you have a limited budget, opening a microbrewery can be a good choice. Additionally, craft beer is a product, not a measure of size. When some beer drinkers consume craft beer in a microbrewery, they may mistakenly believe that a microbrewery is a craft brewery. However, this is not the case.
All in all, craft breweries are not always microbreweries. If a microbrewery adheres to the production standards of craft beer, it can also be classified as a craft brewery.