A search for a clear definition of “craft” yields many results. You will discover meanings such as:
- “Denoting or relating to food or drink made in a traditional or non-mechanized way by an individual or a small company”
- “Relating to food or drink made using traditional methods by small companies or companies and people that do this”
Or when used as a verb:
- “To make or construct (something) with care or ingenuity”
- “Exercise skill in making (an object), typically by hand”
If you ask members of the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) community, you will likely receive varying definitions of the above. Alas, ACSA decided NOT to define craft but allow its members and consumers to ultimately determine their own definition.
While we recognize that to many, the term “craft” is in the eye of the beholder, ACSA prefers to think of craft spirits as:
- A product produced by a distillery who values the importance of transparency in distilling, and remains forthcoming regarding the spirit’s ingredients, distilling location, and aging and bottling process.
- A distilled spirit produced by a distillery producing fewer than 750,000 gallons annually.
- A spirit produced by a distillery that is independently owned and operated, with more than a 75% equity stake in their company, or operational control.
The American Craft Spirits Association defines a craft distillery as follows:
- A distillery who values the importance of transparency in distilling, and remains forthcoming regarding their use of ingredients, their distilling location and process, bottling location and process, and aging process.
- A distillery that produces fewer than 750,000 gallons annually.
- A distillery that is independently owned and operated, with more than a 75% equity stake in their company, or operational control.