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The Daily Beast has a story about how a US District Court has essentially ruled - by tossing out a class action suit accusing MillerCoors of deceiving consumers by calling its Blue Moon brand a "craft beer" - that any beer can call itself a "craft beer."

The problem, according to the judge, is that there is no legal, binding definition for the term. The issue of differentiation has become more significant as smaller breweries nibble away at the market shares owned by the big brewers, which in some cases seem to be getting even bigger through consolidation.

"This conflict has been long brewing (sorry), as a growing number of small brewers try to distinguish their product from the nameless (and arguably tasteless) products of larger companies," the Daily Beast writes. “'Craft' was supposed to be the term of endearment, as well as a piece of jargon (like Champagne or 'bottled in bond') that set certain standards of production quality and rarity—standards the big guys have no interest in pursuing if they can avoid it."
KC's View:
I guess I would tend to agree that maybe we need a legal definition of what "craft beer" means, though I'm not sure who would impose that definition and make it legally binding.

That said, I think that for the most part, beer drinkers have a pretty good BS detector for this stuff. They know the difference between a craft beer and a mass produced beer. And I think most people know when companies are being disingenuous ... and will penalize those that cross the line.

However ... I also think that if this trend means that more big beer companies try to diversify and create boutiques that make better beer, that probably is a good thing.