What is Craft Beer?

What is a Craft Beer?  


You’ve certainly heard of craft beer but what exactly defines a craft beer? How is craft beer distinguished from other types of beer? 

Craft beer is usually defined as “a beer made in a traditional or non-mechanized way by a small brewery.” 

“According to the Brewers Association, an American craft brewer is:

Small: Annual production of six 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 a beverage alcohol 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 flavour derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavoured malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.” (Brewers Association USA).

It’s worth bearing in mind that comparisons in size of a New Zealand craft brewery are unrealistic.

Because the average craft beer has a considerably smaller production size than most beers, craft breweries tend to be more experimental in their use of ingredients; this means you will often find bolder more adventurous flavors.

The four ingredients that make beer are, barley, hops, yeast, and water. However, minor changes in quantities as well as time, temperature and method lead to dramatic differences in how a beer tastes. The particular type of malt and hops used also make drastic differences to the taste of a given brew.

Our range of New Zealand’s finest craft beers continue to expand and includes some of the most highly regarded craft beers in the country.


Some of Our most highly Regarded Craft Beers:


Emerson Pilsner:

Beer Nation voted Emerson Pilsner the 3rd best beer from New Zealand! Claiming its “probably the single most important beer in introducing Kiwis to the beauty of hops”. If you haven’t given it a try you’re undoubtedly missing out.


Epic Hop Zombie:

If you’ve got a serious taste for the hops, you can’t do much better than Epic Hop Zombie, with an incredible rating of 99% on ratebeer.com. Hop Zombie was one of the most successful introductions to the craft beer market back in 2011, and it was said to be a one-off run. However, due to its extreme popularity, it’s become a staple of Epic’s beer selection.


Mac’s Ginger Brew:

Do you have a sweet tooth, we recommend giving Mac’s ginger beer a go! Mac’s Ginger Brew is an alcoholic ginger beer properly brewed from real ginger for pure refreshment with a classic ginger kick.


Panhead Super-Charger

The Pan head supercharger was voted New Zealand beer of the year by SOBA – the Society of Beer Advocates in 2015. The supercharger is a heavy 5.7% beer with a powerful hops flavour. As suggested on the label this beer has "more bitterness than a Palm Springs divorce."




Tuatara range packed into one six-pack:

Six dramatically varying styles of beer in one pack! Tuatara has to be one of the most common gateways into a craft beer obsession, their range of beers is fairly inexpensive and packed full of a variety bold flavours. Grab a six-pack, and experience their selection. Warning, we can’t promise it won’t start you on the path to craft beer aficionado, causing some friction among your larger swigging friends.

Have some pride in what NZ has to offer and sample some of our nations best craft beers with delivery from Brewbound.



“The Importance of Defining Small and Independent”- Julia Herz


“New Zealands 50 Greatest Beers Top 10”-Michael Donaldson


“Why Panhead Supercharger is The Best Beer in New Zealand”-Michael Donaldson


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