Last month, Beer Ireland launched their Micro Brewed badge and it has since started to appear on bottled beer and possibly on pump clips too? I'm not sure about that one.
For those that don't know, Beer Ireland is one of the two industry groups that represent craft breweries in Ireland with the other being the ICBI. Don't forget, Beoir represents the consumer and not necessarily the interests of the industry, though the two tend to go hand in hand when it comes to craft beer.
Beoir welcomes an attempt to provide a label that consumers can use to identify a beer as being independent. While being from an independent brewery doesn't necessarily mean the product is better, it does mean that it comes from a small brewery that supports local jobs and industry rather than a foreign owned multinational. One could consider it similar to the Guaranteed Irish badge except that it's more restrictive. At its core, the badge allows the consumer to make an informed choice to support a verified independent brewery.
To qualify for a Beer Ireland Micro Brewed badge, you need to meet the same definition Beoir uses for Irish Craft Beer with the addition of one.
- The beers have been produced in a brewery on the island of Ireland.
- The brewery is legally and economically independent of any other brewery.
- The brewery meets the legal definition of micro brewery.
- The brewery owners are professional members of Beer Ireland.
The last one means that the absence of the badge doesn't mean it's not a micro brewed beer, it simply means they are not a member of Beer Ireland and are perhaps a member of the ICBI or perhaps even not a member of any industry group at all. It's also worth noting that the criteria is all about the brewery that produces the beer, not the brand. A contract brand brewed by an independent brewery would still qualify in the same way it qualifies as Irish Craft Beer under our definition.
If you are ever in in doubt, just check the Beoir A - Z list. If it has a green tick, then it is a micro brewed beer and meets our definition.