Independent Craft Brewer Seal

Support Independent Beer

Does independence matter?
You bet it does.

About the independent craft brewer seal

For years, small and independent U.S. craft breweries have been turning the beer world upside down. Their ability to take risks, innovate flavors and build better communities has made the U.S. the craft beer capital of the world.

To proudly display that independent spirit, the Brewers Association created a symbol to unify U.S. craft breweries and those who want to support them. This certified mark gives beer lovers an easy way to identify independent craft beer.

Whether you’re a brewery, a retailer or a supporter, it’s time to join the movement. Celebrate the spirit of independence by adopting and activating the independent craft brewer seal.

What Defines a Craft Brewer?

The Brewers Association defines an American craft brewer as a small and independent brewer.

  • Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships.
  • Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member which is not itself a craft brewer.
  • Brewer: Holds a Brewer’s Notice issued by the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau, or its successor, or control the intellectual property for one or more brands of beer, have that brand or brands brewed for it in the United States, and have as its primary business purpose the resale of the brand or brands it controls.

Is It A Craft Brewery?

Search our database of U.S. breweries


I Am Independent

What Others Are Saying About The Seal

Julie Verratti

Co-Founder, Denizens Brewing Co.

“Because who doesn’t like to support locally owned and independent businesses? We are a proud member of our community and want customers to know more about our company, including that we are independently owned and operated.”

Colby Cox

Co-Founder/Brewmaster, Roadhouse Brewing Co.

“We are in the midst of a defining moment that will impact the future of craft beer for generations. Adopting the Brewers Association’s independent craft brewer seal was the most important thing we did at Roadhouse to participate in claiming our future as a community.”

Doug Constantiner

Societe Brewing Co

“The big brewing conglomerates are succeeding in confusing beer lovers on what craft beer is. The independent craft brewer seal helps beer drinkers make the conscious decision to spend their money on small, independent craft beer. It can help small brewers take back our core customers.”

This New Seal Means the Beer You’re Buying Is Actually Made by an Independent Craft Brewer

“The little guys are inherently disadvantaged when competing with the deep pocketbooks, marketing acumen and economies of scale enjoyed by the big beer companies. But consumer research has shown that craft beer buyers do care about supporting small, local or independently owned breweries.”

Not Sure If Your Craft Beer Is Actually Owned by an International Conglomerate? Look Out for This

“If there’s one thing most craft brewers will agree on, it’s that large internationally-owned conglomerate breweries are bad for their business, so a seal showing their independence can’t hurt.”

The Craft Beer Seal is Hitting Shelves and Will Revolutionize How We Buy Beer

“Given the speed of information dissemination in the digital age, and passion of craft beer drinkers, the Brewers Association’s seal could easily surpass the reach and impact of organic food labels.”

Seek the Seal

Have you seen the seal? Snap a photo and share it on Instagram with the #SeekTheSeal hashtag. When you do, you join the movement!

Show us how you use the seal

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Get Seal Gear & Gifts

Join the movement! Show that you support independent beer by grabbing some gear and gifts.

History of the Independent Craft Brewer Seal

The independent craft brewer seal was launched on June 27, 2017, as a tool to identify the breweries who fit the craft brewer definition. On that day, 432 U.S. craft breweries signed up to use it. Today, more than 5,700 craft brewers are using the seal. Early adopters see it as a mark of distinction, differentiation and certification.”Take Craft Back,” which rolled out in October 2017, was the first campaign to feature the likeness of the seal. “Take Craft Back” had a ginormous goal: crowdsource $213 billion to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), flipping the script on the global company that’s purchased 10 independent U.S. breweries since 2011. The campaign earned more than $3.8 million in pledges of support from almost 12,000 people.

Take Craft Back


Building on the momentum from “Take Craft Back,” the Brewers Association launched “That’s Independence You’re Tasting” in August 2018. The campaign centered around two commercial spots, “Independence” and “Choice,” to put small brewers on the big stage across multiple channels, including linear TV, digital TV, social media, and Pandora Radio. Historic in scope, the national advertising campaign increased awareness of the independent craft brewer seal across major channels, including the CBS Sports Network, Comedy Central, Travel Channel, and a variety of other CBS shows. In 2019 the campaign effort and success continued. See here for a summary of the mounting momentum.

The seal captures the spirit of what small and independent craft brewers have achieved. Brewers have been adding the seal to everything tied to their brands, especially packaged beer—bottles, cans, six-pack carriers, case boxes, keg collars, and more. For many people, beer is more than just what’s in the glass—it is also about the people who brew it and who owns the brewery behind the brands.

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