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Indie Brewers Take On ‘Faux Craft’ Beer

Ever picked up a craft beer only to read the label halfway through drinking it and get annoyed when you learn it’s instead been made by a massive beer company?

That’s about to change.

A ‘seal of independence’ will be printed on the labels of locally-brewed beer to properly differentiate between independent brewers and craft beer made by a big brewer.

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Fairfax has reported that small producers say that drinkers intending to support local brews are falling victim to ‘craft washing’ – where beers produced by multinationals are passed off as independent.

Having a seal on their beers means that genuine independent labels can capture a bigger stake in the craft beer market, worth about $147 million.

According to IBISWorld, more than 50 per cent of the craft beer industry is controlled by giants Lion and SAB. Many brands don’t list the owner on the product.

More confusing is when the big brewers buy out independent labels but continue to market them as ‘craft’ such as Little Creatures, Mountain Goat, Feral, James Squire, Fat Yak and Goose Island.

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It’s expected that the 200-odd members of the Independent Brewers Association will have the new seal appear on their product.

Graphic: Fairfax

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