Craft Beer’s Official Seal Gets Giant Endorsement As It Achieves New Milestone

craft beer dogfish head 60 minute ipa independent craft seal large label packaging

One of craft’s most well-known brands is fully leaning into promoting independence and the small craft brewery.

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery recently announced major design changes to one of their flagship beers – 60 Minute IPA. The Delaware beer maker’s larger-than-life founder, Sam Calagione, is now plastering the Brewers Association’s (BA) Independent Craft brewers seal as large as possible on 60 Minute IPA packaging.

“We are using our 60 Minute package as a soapbox on which we stand to amplify the dialogue and the expectation that brewers large and small be as transparent and authentic as possible with their marketing and packaging,” stated Calagione.

Dogfish Head has been proudly displaying the seal on its packaging since day one. Now it’s clearly taking things to the next level to show its support loud and proud.

In just 18 months, more than 4,000 craft breweries have adopted the Independent Craft seal.

The seal, announced in July 2017, was created to help consumers easily identify brands that fit the BA’s definition of a craft brewery (small and independent). In a time when Big Beer was gobbling up the competition through acquisitions, it was becoming harder and harder for the casual drinker to discern what was craft beer and what was simply hiding behind a marketing scheme.

The seal’s upside down beer bottle design “captures the spirit with which craft brewers have upended beer, while informing beer lovers they are choosing a beer from a brewery that is independently owned,” according to the BA.

Today, you can find the seal on hundreds of thousands of cans, bottles, and other types of packaging from more than 4,090 craft breweries large and small across the country.

About a year after the seal was released, the BA launched another national campaign – That’s Independence You’re Tasting. This included a new Facebook page, multiple video shorts and two full-length 30-second spots that have made it to national airwaves.

Going big on the seal leads to better-informed consumers.

The target of the Independent Craft seal is the consumer that’s still learning the ropes. They might’ve heard of a few brands and maybe even have popped into a few local taprooms – but when they walk down the aisle of the local liquor store they might not know the ins and outs of faux craft.

Displaying the seal prominently on a highly recognizable beer is the next step forward in advocating for the small, independent brewery. It’s a valuable asset to have national brands like Dogfish Head, Stone Brewing, Left Hand Brewing, Rhinegeist Brewery, and even Samuel Adams Beer rocking the seal.

 

brewers association independent craft seal metrics graphic

Graphic from BA website shows the power of the Independent Craft seal in the marketplace.

 

Plenty of today’s drinkers, even if they’re just learning about craft, know about these nationally-available brands and that they represent craft. If they see the independent label among these stalwarts, they’ll remember the relationship. They’ll know without doing much research what the seal represents because they already know what those beer labels represent.

The next time they’re roaming down the beer aisle, they might think twice when making a choice between a beer with the seal and a beer without it. Now they’ll quickly know that the packaging with the upside down bottle represents a true craft beer.

“Ultimately the freedom of choice is in the consumer’s hand,” Calagione said. “And we believe the consumer should be armed with the facts before they make that choice. Once they have the facts and know which beers come from indie American craft breweries and which ones don’t, then the choice is all theirs.”

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Greg spends 9-5 as a content strategist while nights and weekends are for craft beer escapades. A southern New England native, he's been writing about the local beer scene and related current events for over 5 years. Find him and his illustrious beard raising a pint or on beardandbrewed.com.

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