One of the hot topics of beer blogger and beer blog commentator conversation of late has been the origin of the term “craft beer.” On more than one occasion it has been suggested that this is purely a North American term — which will come as a complete surprise to all the Italian, Danish, Japanese, etc. breweries which employ it regularly — and it has also been described as a marketing term invented by Americans.
Thus, it was with great interest that this morning I came across the following lines from Michael Jackson’s The World Guide to Beer, first edition, circa 1977:
A weighty heritage…in the Region du Nord [of France] craft-brewing survives, and there are one or two superb top-fermented specialty beers.
There you have it, craft used in direct association with brewing by a British writer referring to a European country, in the book that served as introduction to the world’s greatest beers for an entire generation of consumers, yours truly included.
I hope that settles that.