Craft beer on the other hand is in a horrible mess already. The American definition (made with new or old ingredients, owned less than 25% by a multi-national brewery, total production less than Denmark's) is laughable. The Brewers Association even had to have an advertising campaign pointing out which breweries are and aren't craft. It backfired spectacularly though, and they had to run off with their tail between their legs and redefine craft again.
In Britain attempts at defining craft beer have been even less successful, and many beer geeks have had to settle for "I know it when I see it", which I'm sure if of great help to the average beer drinker.
In a local supermarket craft beer is now another ill defined category like world lager.
Let's look at that a bit more closely:
|Craft, crafty or Crabbies?|
Is the situation any better in pubs?
As to focussing on quality, this is something that's incredibly hard to do in practice. Brewery's quality can vary, as can how the beer copes in the distribution chain, and how well it's kept in the pub. The national quality scheme for cask beer, Cask Marque, seems to be met with universal derision by beer geeks. If a professional industry body has a hard time ensuring quality standards would a voluntary consumers' organisation be likely to fare any better? Beer geeks seem to grumble about the Good Beer Guide more than praise it. Quality is very hard to pin down, and can vary from day to day. CAMRA's focus on dispense method was not a mistake, it was a stroke of genius.