Craft Beer vs Domestic Beer

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I am often confronted with numerous kinds of beers, and it could cost too much effort to keep up with them and know which is best for you, especially for beer novices. Here, I will give you a quick breakdown of craft beer vs domestic beer, which you should be drinking, and why. 

Craft Beer vs Domestic Beer Overview

There are a number of similarities and differences between craft and domestic beer. To make a choice, you first have to understand these similarities, differences, and the unique features that make them what they are. Here is a breakdown of both:

An image of domestic beers

Domestic Beer

To understand what craft beer is, you first have to understand domestic beer. Domestic beer, also known as regular beer, is made by macro breweries that produce in mass. Domestic beers refer to brands within the US that are very common, like Narragansett, Budweiser, Busch.

However, every country has its mass producers of beer, for instance, Heineken, Puppers, and Corona.

Domestic beer brands have only one goal: produce and bottle lots of beer as quickly as possible to make it available for the public to consume. To reach this goal, they pay less attention to the quality of the product, mostly making use of low-grade, substandard ingredients, malt, grains and hops. They are watery, pale yellow, have low carbonation, thin heads, and low alcohol content. Also, they have a monotone flavor.

Craft Beer

Now that you understand what domestic beer is, one thing to keep in mind is that craft beer, also known as special beer, is a direct opposite. Three different factors make a brewery a craft brewer. It has to be small, independent, traditional, and finally, have a TTB Brewer’s Notice.

A small brewery is one that does not produce more than 6 million gallons of beer per year. This means that their beer production has a limit that cannot be exceeded. An independent brewery is one that has 25% or less of it owned by a non-craft brewery.

A traditional brewery is one that makes use of traditional ingredients to make beer. This is perhaps the most crucial factor.

Traditional ingredients include yeast, grains, malt, and hops. Of course, other ingredients can be included, but only for the purpose of additional flavoring and not in a bid to cut down costs. Craft beers have specific flavor palates such as chocolate, orange, spice, and grapefruit. They come in a variety of rich colors, have a long-lasting beer head and taste, and have higher alcohol content.

Cold craft beer on glass

Craft Beer vs Domestic Beer

Now, I will discuss the similarities, differences, and the distinguishing factor between craft beer and domestic beer:


Despite how different they are, craft beers and domestic beers do have a few basic similarities. They are:

Brewing Method

The method used in brewing beer does not exactly differ from type to type. While the quality of their contents may differ, both craft and domestic beers still go through the fundamental processes of milling, mashing, boiling, fermentation, racking or bottling, and distribution.

End Result

All beers are brewed for consumption at the end of the day, whether public or private. Both domestic beers and craft beers are produced for a particular audience and are well received by the said audience.


Here are the differences that exist between craft beer and domestic beer:


Domestic beers typically come with a pale yellow, watery appearance, while craft beers have appearances ranging from light colors to dark and deep colors. Also, while craft beers have a nice beer head with long-lasting carbonation, domestic beers have a thin head of beer and short-lived carbonation.


As a result of the high quality and diversity of ingredients used in making craft beers, they usually have a richer taste than domestic beers and a variety of flavor palates, unlike domestic beers, which usually have a monotone flavor.

Alcohol level

The alcohol by volume (ABV) of craft beers is usually higher than that of domestic beers. This is because craft brewers have more refined recipes that allow for higher alcohol percentages and because craft brewers produce in smaller batches and can pay lots of attention to their output.


There is a high level of competition between domestic beer breweries, and each one wants to provide the public with the lowest prices. They make use of very low-quality ingredients to achieve this. On the other hand, craft beer breweries produce expensive beer because of the high expenses incurred during the production of their beer.

An image of different kinds of domestic beer

Distinguishing Factor

The primary distinguishing factor between craft beer and domestic beers is the emphasis on quality and not quantity that craft brewers have. This emphasis is further supported by their need to produce only a specific amount of beer per year. As a result, unlike domestic beers that focus more on mass production, craft beers focus more on quality.

When to Drink Domestic Beer

You should drink domestic beer if:

  • You have a low beer budget because domestic beers are very cheap.
  • You love drinking beer in large quantities. Domestic beers are watery and have a low ABV, making them easier to consume in large quantities.
  • You are not exactly particular about the quality or the taste of beer.

When to Drink Craft Beer

You should drink craft beer if:

  • You can afford the high expense that it comes at.
  • You are not a heavy drinker. With craft beers, you only have to drink a little quantity to feel satisfaction.
  • You are very particular about the quality and taste of beer.

Final Verdict

In the end, it boils down to your choice regarding taste, appearance, and price. Other factors such as occasion, location can also affect your personal choice. The differences between craft beer and domestic beer lie in the varying quality of their ingredients, how long they produce beer, and the specific production method used to create both beers.

Craft beers are not only better tasting -flavor-, better looking -appearance-, and stronger -alcohol content-, they are also ultimately a healthier choice for you. They are healthy because they make use of better ingredients, and because of their high alcohol content, you only consume a small amount of them, thereby reducing the risks of heart diseases and diabetes 2. Also, they do not contain additives, which makes them great.