The ABCs of craft beer – Part 3

Craft beerIn part one and part two of our three-part blog series, we learned common terms used by beer drinkers, as well as attributes and characteristics to describe the brews.

That vocabulary also often includes terms about who brews the beer, like brewpub or craft brewers. Cherokee Distributing Company distributes more than 250 leading brands of beer and other beverages, and that portfolio represents top products from a variety of types of brewing companies.

To conclude the series, we crafted a list of the different types of places that brew and sell beer.


  • Brewpub: Brewpubs also are known as restaurant-breweries because they produce beer primarily to sell in restaurants and bars. While 25% or more of the brews are sold on-site, the brewpubs also can sell packaged beer “to-go” and distribute to other locations, such as markets and grocery stores. Try some beer from one of Tennessee’s well-known brewpubs, such as Blackstone Brewing Company in Nashville.


  • Craft brewery: Craft breweries sell 6 million barrels of beer or less annually, are primarily independent in ownership from non-craft brewers in the beverage alcohol industry and brew beer with flavor derived from traditional or innovative ingredients. That is the recognized definition by the Brewers Association.


Some of Tennessee’s excellent craft breweries are Yee-Haw Brewing Co. in Johnson City, Tennessee Brew Works in Nashville, Big River Brewing Company in Chattanooga and Depot Street Brewing in Jonesborough. You also can enjoy local craft brews by going to The Casual Pint Craft Beer Market, which offers an assortment of craft beers, and has six locations in Knoxville and one in Maryville.


  • Microbrewery: To classify as a microbrewery, the brewery sells the majority of its beer off-site and produces less than 15,000 barrels per year, as defined by the Brewers Association.


  • Macrobrewery: Macrobreweries also are known as large breweries. To classify as a large brewery, the annual beer production exceeds 6 million barrels, as defined by the Brewers Association. An example of a large brewery is Heineken.


The good news is that, whether brewed at your neighborhood pub, at a macrobrewery or by a local craft brewer, there is plenty of good beer to go around in East Tennessee.

We hope you enjoyed this three-part series. Savor your next craft beer and, as always, drink responsibly.  Cheers!