The term “craft beer” refers to beer brewed by small, independent, traditional, American breweries. Craft brewers are style driven, in that they interpret historical beer styles with unique twists and/or develop creative, new styles that have no precedent, all the while using high quality ingredients. Although craft beer is generally made with traditional ingredients like malted barley; interesting and sometimes non-traditional ingredients are often added for distinctiveness. Craft beers often boast bold flavors and a complicated taste profile. The term “domestic specialty” refers to a beer that itself has many of the qualities associated with “craft beer” but is brewed by a large brewery that does not fit the definition of a “craft brewer”.
“Domestic beers” are mass-produced American beers that have a flavor profile designed to appeal to the widest range of consumers, and are the best selling beers in the United States. The breweries that make these beers are very large and typically spend copious amounts of resources promoting their products with massive marketing campaigns.
The term “imported beer” refers to any beer brewed outside of the United States. This designation is broad in that it includes beers made by breweries of all sizes. Beers in this category can have taste profiles similar to craft or domestic beers.
Flavored Malt Beverages, or FMB’s, are brewery products that are often sweet, colorful (although some are clear in color), and refreshing. Their flavors and color are primarily derived from the addition of natural fruit juices and/or artificial flavorings and colorings. These products exhibit little or no traditional beer character.