The desire to define craft beer is not a new one. Here are some of the more notable episodes in humanity’s quest to unravel this most ancient of mysteries.
- 38,000 BC: Cave paintings in Spain depict a prehistoric brewer defining craft beer. In the next scene he is shown being clubbed to death by the rest of the tribe.
- 3000 BC: A hop cone falls into a Chinese farmer’s bowl of hot water. He declares it to be craft beer and is made Emperor of China.
- 1001 AD: Leif Ericsson sets out to find a definition for craft beer and discovers North America by mistake.
- 1517 AD: Martin Luther nails his 95-point Craft Beer theses to the door of a brewery in Wittenberg. The Head Brewer excommunicates him. Luther founds his own brewery, eventually causing the Beer Reformation that split the beer drinking world into ‘Real Ale Drinkers’ and ‘Craft Beer Drinkers’.
- 1593 AD: After a heavy drinking session in a London pub, Christopher Marlowe loudly declares the definition of craft beer. Moments later he is stabbed to death. Shakespeare overhears the exchange and becomes the first person to pen the word ‘craft’ in his play “The Craft Brewer of Venice.” The play is believed to have been burned by the censor.
- 1773 AD: Continued disagreement with Britain’s Imperial definition of Craft Beer results in angry colonial Americans staging the Boston Craft Party. Gallons of British Craft Beer is seized from ships in Boston and poured into the sea. This event leads to the Craft Revolution and the ultimate signing of the American Declaration of Craft on July 4th, 1776.
- 1912: The Terra Nova Expedition led by Robert Scott sets out to find craft beer in Antarctica. The expedition takes a dark turn when Captain Oates disagrees with Scott’s definition and is beaten to death. Scott later writes Oates’ famous last words in his diary, “I am just going outside to discover the meaning of craft and I may be some time.”
- 1953: President Nixon becomes embroiled in the “Craftgate” scandal and resigns office.
- 1963: Watney’s unveil their latest Craft Beer to a packed out AGM; the Directors and Head Brewer deliver their famous iconoclastic speech denouncing established brewing.
- 1969: Americans land on the moon but fail to find evidence of craft beer.
- 2009: The Large Craft Collider is unveiled which scientists believe will define Craft Beer. After continued failures a Very Large Craft Collider is proposed instead.
- 2013: BrewDog unveil their Craft Beer to a packed out AGM; the Directors and Head Brewer deliver their famous iconoclastic speech denouncing established brewing.
- Present day: Philosophers, explorers, scientists, marketers and bloggers all continue to seek the meaning of craft beer. The rest of humanity watches quizzically as they drink beer down the pub.
What’s your favourite episode from Craft history?