About American Craft Beers

There's a lot more to discover here...

What is Craft Beer?

  • The hallmark of craft beer and craft brewers is innovation. Craft brewers interpret historic styles with unique twists and develop new styles that have no precedent
  • Craft beer is generally made with traditional ingredients like malted barley; interesting and sometimes non-traditional ingredients are often added for distinctiveness
  • Craft brewers tend to be very involved in their communities through philanthropy, product donations, volunteerism and sponsorship of events
  • Craft brewers have distinctive, individualistic approaches to connecting with their customers
  • Craft brewers maintain integrity by what they brew and their general independence, free from a substantial interest by a non-craft brewer

Discover Styles

The sheer number of beer styles that make up the craft beer scene is exciting, but it can also be intimidating - and that’s okay. With all of the different beer styles and beer names, it is tough to remember what differentiates them from one another. That is why we’ve created a detailed list of the types of beer that make up the craft beer world, complete with a few beer names and beer styles to help you find your favorite types of beer.

  • Beer Style Spotlight: American India Pale Ale
  • Beer Style Spotlight: Belgian-Style Dubbel
  • Beer Style Spotlight: American Stout
  • Beer Style Spotlight: Belgian-Style Witbier
  • Beer Style Spotlight: Belgian-Style Saison
  • Beer Style Spotlight: American Brett
  • Beer Style Spotlight: German-Style Marzen Oktoberfest
  • Beer Styles Spotlight: Barrel-Aged Beer
  • Beer Style Spotlight: Berliner-Style Weisse

Do All Craft Brewers Brew Beer to Style?

Simple answer is no. Craft beer styles are not governed by laws as wine is, rather guidelines. Craft beer resides at the intersection of art and science. It is up to each individual brewer to decide whether they want to create beer within specific style guidelines or forge a new path and break the mold of traditional styles.

Common U.S. Beer Styles

Craft brewers use a wide variety of ingredients to achieve the aroma, body, flavor and finish they desire in their beer. They often take classic, old-world styles from great brewing countries like England, Germany and Belgium and add their own twists by modifying the amount or type of ingredients or the brewing processes. Due to the popularity of craft beer in America, there are now multiple beer styles uniquely credited to the U.S.

Due to the constant experimentation and exploration by today’s U.S. brewers, new beer styles are constantly evolving. That makes it difficult, if not impossible, to fully document all types of beer being made at any given time. Another factor is that new beer styles usually become established by developing a track record of multiple breweries making the same type of beer over years and years. In other words, it takes time before any trendy new type of beer is deemed a recognized beer style.

Craft Beer styles found in France...

Download our guide

Download the American Craft Beer guide...

This guide is a short course in how to understand and appreciate great beer. We’ll introduce you to some of the many ingredients in craft beer, and how, with the brewer’s help, they contribute to the fabulous variety of aromas, flavors and textures found in beer.
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Alcohol abuse is dangerous to you health

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© All rights reserved. Brewers Association

Alcohol abuse is dangerous to health

Campaign organized in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service

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