By James Atkinson

The Craft Beer Industry Association (CBIA) is set to launch a new website that aims to educate drinkers about the craft beer category.

CBIA chair Dave Bonighton (pictured below) previewed the What Is Craft Beer? website at the Australian Craft Beer Conference in Melbourne this morning, ahead of an expected launch in the coming weeks.

The Mountain Goat Beer co-founder told TheShout that educating consumers is crucial for craft beer to be able to grow its share of the total beer market beyond its current three per cent.

“When we do a brewery tour here and we pull out malt and hops for people to smell and taste, it’s often a very new experience for them,” Bonighton said. 

“These are people that have had the thought to come to a brewery, so there’s even less knowledge out in the mainstream.”

The website will include educational modules covering the history of craft beer, its ingredients and the brewing process, how best to serve and drink craft beer and a craft beer encyclopaedia. 

It will enable consumers to discover the many different styles of craft beer, with 41 different styles defined and explained.

Other features will include a dedicated beer and food matching section and a map showing the location of the CBIA’s member breweries, with links to their websites.

CBIA agrees on craft beer definition

The website also provides the CBIA’s official definition of craft beer, which will no doubt spur plenty of debate.

The definition recently agreed by the board is: “Craft beer is born of a mindset, an idea between art and science executed by the dedicated skill of a brewer.”

Bonighton acknowledged that it was challenging for the CBIA to come up with a definition that would be acceptable to all in the association’s widely contrasting membership base.

“The definition was always a curly one,” he said. 

“For use it’s really hard to draw these lines around an industry or a segment that’s been around for a long time – there are big players and there are small players, there are ‘gypsy’ brewers and contract brewers. It really was a challenge to try and draw a line around that.”

He said the chosen definition aims to convey to consumers that craft brewers are deliberately setting out to create something a little bit different to the mainstream, and that the human element is intrinsic to what ends up in the glass. 

“It’s not a beer that’s born in a lab, it’s born in someone’s heart who is perhaps a little bit experimental and wants to push the boundaries of beer,” Bonighton said.

Also this morning, Matilda Bay and Little Creatures founder Phil Sexton addressed delegates on the history of craft beer and predicted a rosy future for the category in Australia (pictured above).

The conference continues.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *