Craftsmanship, what do we understand that term to mean? What is craft brewing? Frequently craft brewing and craftsmanship are considered synonymous.When taking a look at the beer region of Franconia, it becomes clear that artisanal brewing – or however we are to call the brewing activities of most breweries between the towns of Bamberg and Bayreuth – with the exception of just a few cases, follow tradition, not creativity.Adding to the confusion, it is not only possible that craft brewing is identical to artisanal brewing, but it in fact often is.What do they have in common?
Craftsmanship can be defined as work which is done for its own sake. This concept implies lifelong learning, acquiring knowledge with regard to what conditions make for a “good product”, dealing with the quality of the raw materials, and continuous improvement of production processes. Experience and intuition as well as trial and error go hand in hand with gaining such knowledge and skills.
The quality of the end product is a testament to the ability of the craftsman. The mutual acquainting of the brewers and consumers is also a way of becoming familiar with the seriousness of the craftsmanship.
The passion for the product can, on the one hand, be focused on maintaining traditions, or on the other hand, it can break said traditions and instead focus on creativity – new impressions and experiences related to the product.
Craftsmen as economically acting persons are subject to the requirements of economic action as are all others who do not live completely self-sufficiently. Artisanal companies are owner-managed (either by individuals or collectives), but they do not depend on the return expectations of investors. This gives good artisanal work the creative freedom yield-oriented industrial companies do not have.