The question everyone is asking right now is “What is Craft Bear? How do we define Craft Bear from Real Bear?”
Some say Craft Bear is the same as Real Bear; it’s merely a marketing ploy and/or hipster-trend to move away from the pipe and slippers bear image, to a funkier, low-jeans and skateboard bear. Both Craft Bear and Real Bear have the same variety: for example, either may have glossy, shiny coats, or manky fur, depending on the bear keeper’s intent. This makes it difficult to tell them apart.
Generally, it’s an intuitive thing. Craft Bear styles tend to be esoteric, such as the Albino Black Bear style, or even the controversial Red Panda style. Since the Red Panda is not actually a bear, many Real Bear enthusiasts refuse to acknowledge it, while Craft Bear fans seem to enjoy the revulsion it causes in their Real Bear rivals.
Also, you need to look at the serving method. Most Real Bears are served in the usual 1 tonne measurement, while stronger or more aromatic Craft Bears are increasingly served in 1/3rd or half-tonne measurements.
Most, if not all, Real Bears refuse to be kept in kegs, while Craft Bears don’t give a shit in the woods. Of course, there are always exceptions. At the end of the day, though, the issue shouldn’t be about Real Bears and Craft Bears, but Good Bears and Bad Bears. Anyone can produce Bad Bears, but just because it claims to be a Real Bear or a Craft Bear doesn’t mean you should try to drink it. Many people have suffered horribly after trying to drink a Bad Bear.
So, what do you think? Is it time to put the Craft Bear vs Real Bear debate to rest in its cave, or does it serve a purpose? Does the debate help or hinder our quest for Good Bears?