Craft Beer vs Beer: Unraveling the Distinction

If your taste for beer is getting a bit more sophisticated, then there’s no doubt you’ve been introduced to craft beer.

So, what is its difference from regular beer anyway? 

In a nutshell, craft creations refer to beer produced by small or independent breweries. 

On the other hand, we all know what regular or mass-produced beer is.

Regular beers are canned or bottled at corporate macro breweries. 

Of course, there are other factors to uncover.

So, read on to discover how craft beer and regular beer are distinct concoctions. 

Craft Beer vs. Beer: Defining Both Brews

Let’s delve a little deeper.

Before diving right into the distinction between craft beer and regular beer, it’s a good idea to quickly review some fundamental concepts to grasp the two categories better.

Craft Beer

A Craft Beer Sign For A Bar.

The term “craft beer” is new to beer brewing and consumption.

That’s odd because the beer-making enterprise has a pretty extensive history. 

Little information about the term’s originator is available, but it makes sense that it’s called such. 

Here’s how I would define craft beer: 

Small or independent breweries typically dominate the craft beer scene. 

If you were to ask The US Brewers Association, they would tell you this.

Breweries must produce less than 6 million barrels annually to be considered “small.” 

However, they would still need notice from the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

You can’t just brew batches from your garage and officially call it draft beer. 

Additionally, a brewery must own at least 75% of the shares to be “independent.” 

In comparison, an establishment is regarded as a non-craft brewery if it controls less than 25% of the company’s stock.

Craft beer has an artisanal or customized flair. 

Any “handmade” or personalized brew is another way to define craft beer.

The popularity of this beer style increased in the 1990s when sales were falling due to breweries producing unappealing beers.

Many breweries were more concerned with making money than with the customers’ tasting experiences. 

They essentially traded quality for shoddy brews.

Customers undoubtedly picked up on the flavor variations in the beer. 

Homebrewed craft beers then became more popular as a result.

Craft beer is produced with custom methods and ingredients, with inventiveness driving the process.

Regular Beer 

When most people hear “regular beer,” they most likely picture some popular, weak beers like Coors or Millers

Some may go one step further and define regular beer as any inexpensive American beer—Budweiser, Busch, Narragansett, etc. 

However, just about every country produces beer in large quantities.

Beers like Heineken and Corona are “international” beers we know well. 

Let’s compare Ale vs. Lager vs. Pilsner vs. Stout vs. Porter.

A Brief History of Craft Beer 

Craft brewing has unquestionably found its home in the US, a sizable market mainly responsible for Fritz Maytag’s success.

Young Fritz Maytag, who came from the Maytag family, purchased 5% of the Anchor Steam Brewery in 1965, just as it was about to close.

He began brewing a variety of previously unheard-of beer varieties to salvage the business as an investment. 

In effect, American beer lovers in the 1960s who were used to mild macro brews started paying attention.

The American palate for craft beer had begun to adapt by 1975.

A bill authorizing homebrewing of beer with a strength greater than 0.5% was signed by Jimmy Carter in 1979.

Homebrewers were passionate about the craft, and microbrewery growth exploded until 1997 when the market was overrun with breweries—many of them awful.

Because so much subpar beer was available in the 90s, brewing as a hobby emerged as a natural reactive movement. 

Enthusiasts started making hoppier and boozier beer with all sorts of crazy flavors.

The beer scene was booming.

Macro breweries quickly became interested in getting in on the fun. In 1995, craft-inspired microbrews like Michelob Amber Bock and Blue Moon could be found on the shelves.

The craft beer movement is still on the uptrend and shows no signs of slowing down. 

Comparing Craft Beer and Regular Beer 

Glass Filled Light And Dark Beer.

When contrasting craft beer with ordinary beer, there are several significant distinctions.

The critical distinctions between craft and regular beer are listed below: 

Alcohol Content 

Is craft beer stronger than anything you can buy at any grocery store?


While certain craft beers may contain less alcohol than conventional beer, most craft beers have more than standard beer. 

I suggest exercising caution when drinking craft beer.

Depending on the brand, one craft beer may have the same alcohol content as 2-4 standard beers. 

To avoid overindulging, know the alcohol content of the craft beer you’re chugging down.

More Economical 

Regular and craft beer might differ significantly in price throughout a drinking session.

Drink smart; craft beer packs a punch, so half the sip, double the flavor!”

Sure, craft beer is typically more expensive per bottle than regular beer.

However, you may still save money by going for craft beer. 

You might even luck out.

Some craft breweries in your area might offer high-quality craft beer for meager prices. 

Food Pairings 

Similar to most wines, different craft beers are produced with specific food in mind.

Craft beer is now paired with elevated 3-course meals and other meals, precisely like a pricey red or white wine.

Beer can generate distinctive flavors and subtleties.

It has advanced to the point where it can now be paired with particular dishes to enhance the flavor profile.

I don’t know if I can say the same thing about Budweiser


Craft beer fans will tell you that most people usually drink mass-produced beer as “water.”

Craft breweries typically invest much more time and effort into developing their beer recipes.

That’s what gives their brews distinctive flavors and qualities.

The larger producers of conventional beer are typically thought not to give their products nearly as much attention.


Craft beers usually offer a novel flavor experience with each sip compared to most conventional beers. 

As noted, craft breweries spend much more time making these beers, producing intriguing products.

There are countless varieties of craft beers.

Because each one has a distinctive flavor, you have an incentive to explore various brands and labels.

A Personal Touch 

When you look at a craft beer, the label itself frequently contains a wealth of information about the history and philosophy of that particular brew. 

The perception that the brewers genuinely care about their craft is a critical factor in why people drink craft beer.

There are many craft brewers in the US, so there’s a high likelihood that one is near you.

You can even visit the brewery that makes your favorite craft beer to learn more about how it is made.

Walking into a large factory and chatting up the workers there would be more challenging.

Does Craft Beer Taste Better Than Regular Beer? 

Enjoying A Can Of Beer.

Craft beer is miles away in flavor from regular beer.

Any craft beer or home brewing enthusiast will be happy to tell you that drinking Coors alone won’t do. 

Craft brewers don’t produce as much beer as macro breweries, which have billions of gallons annually. 

You might be amazed at how inventive beers can be if you haven’t visited a nearby artisan brewery yet.

You can get smooth lagers, acidic ales, and stouts with chocolate flavors that will dazzle you with their complexity.

Ordinary beers don’t even come close to competing.

Most of the time, icy cold temperatures are the only thing that can save a regular beer.

The cold conceals how tasteless mass-produced beers are. 

On the other hand, craft beer will only be served slightly chilled, allowing your palate to detect the flavors and smells as you sip.

Should You Go For Craft Beer For Health Reasons? 

How comparable is craft beer to regular beer and wine regarding how it affects our health? 

Craft beers generally have more calories per serving than typical beers because of the methods and ingredients used in their production.

Although, as I previously noted, you often drink less beer overall when drinking craft beer due to the increased alcohol levels. 

This might result in a close or possibly lower calorie intake than when drinking standard beer.

And according to some studies, craft beer is healthier than wine.

Experts and medical professionals have promoted the heart-healthy qualities of antioxidants, particularly those in red wine.

However, craft beer may be as beneficial to health as wine, if not more so.

With the moderate consumption of craft beer, the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes might be reduced.

Beer won’t harm you regarding general diseases, but wine may be slightly healthier if you want to reduce weight.

Other Related Articles To Read Below:

Best Beer Blogs On The Internet.

Beer Styles and Their Alcohol Content.

Brewing Beer For Beginners.

Final Thoughts 

When discussing beer styles, everything depends on the quality of the ingredients and the manufacturing process. 

Brewers of craft beer prioritize quality and originality.

While ordinary beer is relatively flavorless, craft beer is brimming with flavor. 

Naturally, this also impacts the cost and caloric content of the beers.

While craft beer and regular beer have their merits, I always advise trying a regional brew.

You might find a hidden gem of a brew that could be your signature drink!