What is the big deal about a “microbrew,” isn’t beer all pretty much the same?

Microbreweries (the little guys, however you want to define them) almost universally use craft brewing techniques. This is the traditional method of making beer in single batches. Each recipe is produced to maximize the desirable characteristics of one beer.

On the other hand, macrobrewers (the globally present brand makers) almost always use high gravity brewing to produce their products. Although it may sound like work for NASA, the gravity that is referred to here is just another word for alcohol. In this process beer is fermented to an alcohol content approaching that of wine and then cut with water. It may also be further processed to produce more than one brand. These practices usually result in a less malty and more estery(fruity) product.

Another macro technique is the high budget advertising campaign to convince consumers that there actually is a difference between their brands.

The Old English word “draught” meant “to pull,” like the draught horses that used to deliver beer kegs back in the day. Before pressurized carbon dioxide and nitrogen were widely used to push beer from the kegs through the lines to the tap, the beer had to be “pulled” with a beer engine (a hand operated piston). Hence the term “draught beer.”