Is your favorite craft beer independently certified?

The Brewers Association, a non-profit trade association, launched a new seal to designate independent, authentic craft beer from those owned by “Big Beer” companies.

While small and independent craft brewers represent 99 percent of the 5,300+ breweries in the U.S., they make just 12 percent of the beer sold in the country. The rest of U.S. beer sales comes from “Big Beer” and imported brands.

The Brewers Association Craft Brewer Seal

The Brewers Association’s independent craft brewer seal features an iconic beer bottle shape flipped upside down, which informs beer enthusiasts they are choosing a beer from a brewery that is independently owned. These breweries run their businesses free of influence from other alcohol beverage companies which are not themselves craft brewers.

The seal is available for use free of charge by any of the more than 5,300 small and independent American craft brewers that have a valid TTB Brewer’s Notice, meet the Brewers Assiocation’s craft brewer definition, and sign a license agreement. It is available to both member and non-member breweries of the Brewers Association.

The Brewers Association defines an American craft brewer as small, independent, and traditional.

  • Small -Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships.
  • Independent -Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member which is not itself a craft brewer.
  • Traditional -A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavors derive from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored Malt Beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.


To date, more than 50 percent of small and independent brewing companies in Kentucky have signed on to use the seal. Wide adoption of the seal means customers can more easily identify and support independent businesses.


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