Is Shipyard a Craft Beer?

Shipyard is a brewery that produces craft beer, including popular varieties like Pumpkinhead and Monkey Fist. If you're a craft beer enthusiast, you'll want to learn more about Shipyard's offerings.

So, you've heard about Shipyard Brewing Company and their range of beers, but you're not quite sure if they fall into the category of craft beer. It's a question that's been debated among beer enthusiasts and industry professionals alike.

There are certain criteria that define what constitutes a craft beer, and examining Shipyard's practices and offerings can shed light on whether they fit the bill. The answer might not be as straightforward as you think, and exploring this topic could provide some interesting insights into the world of craft brewing.

Key Takeaways

  • Shipyard Brewing Company's ownership and independence have raised concerns within the craft beer industry.
  • Shipyard's production volume and presence in the New England craft beer scene solidify its position as a significant player.
  • Shipyard emphasizes the use of quality ingredients and brewing techniques to produce a diverse range of high-quality craft beers.
  • Shipyard's impact extends beyond just brewing beer, contributing to local economies, employment opportunities, and offering a unique brewery experience to visitors.

Defining Craft Beer

Craft beer is typically produced by small, independent breweries, emphasizing quality, flavor, and traditional brewing methods. These breweries take pride in their independence and often have a strong sense of community.

They're known for their innovative and unique ingredients, which contribute to the distinct flavors that craft beer is celebrated for. American Craft beer isn't just about the end product; it's about the process, the creativity, and the dedication to the craft.

This dedication is evident in the diverse range of beer styles that American Craft breweries offer, catering to various tastes and preferences. The emphasis on quality and flavor sets craft beer apart, making it more than just a beverage – it's a testament to artisanal craftsmanship and a celebration of the brewing tradition.

Ownership and Independence

The ownership and independence of Shipyard Brewing Company have been the subject of discussions and debates within the craft beer industry. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Family Owned: Shipyard Brewing Company operates as a family-owned brewery in Portland, Maine, emphasizing its roots in the local community and its commitment to traditional values and quality.
  2. Expansion and Acquisitions: The acquisition of Casco Bay Brewing Co. in 2008 and its wide distribution network showcase Shipyard's growth and market presence. However, this expansion has also raised questions about the brewery's independence and its adherence to craft beer principles.
  3. Global Connections: Shipyard American Pale Ale's ownership by Marsden's PLC, a British beer institution, and its production in the UK for the French market, raises concerns about the extent of the brewery's independence and its alignment with the ethos of craft beer.
  4. Industry Impact: Despite these ownership complexities, Shipyard Brewing Company has played a significant role in the craft beer industry, contributing to local economies, providing employment opportunities, and serving as a model for aspiring craft breweries.
See also  Why Do I Get a Headache From Craft Beer?

These factors raise important considerations about Shipyard Brewing Company's ownership and independence within the context of the craft beer industry.

Production Volume

Despite the discussions on ownership and independence, Shipyard Brewing Company's production volume in 2013 totaled 166,060 barrels, showcasing its substantial output within the craft beer industry. Shipyard Brewing Company, located in Portland, Maine, is a significant player in the New England craft beer scene. The brewery's production volume of 166,060 barrels in 2013, equivalent to 2,288,300 cases, illustrates its notable presence and influence in the craft beer market. This substantial output reflects the brewery's capacity to meet the demands of a wide distribution network across over 40 states. Shipyard Brewing Company's consistent production of a diverse range of high-quality and award-winning beer styles reinforces its position as a key player in the craft beer industry. The brewery's ability to maintain this level of production showcases its commitment to providing consumers with a wide selection of top-notch brews. The following table summarizes Shipyard Brewing Company's significant production volume in 2013:

YearProduction Volume (Barrels)Production Volume (Cases)

Quality Ingredients

Using carefully selected malted barley, hops, yeast, and water is essential for crafting quality beer. When it comes to Shipyard Brewing Company, here's how they ensure top-notch ingredients for their brews:

  1. Two-Row Malted Barley: Shipyard sources two-row malted barley and specialty malts from various countries to guarantee the highest quality in their beer production.
  2. Imported Hops: The brewery imports hops from Germany and the Pacific Northwest, renowned for their exceptional flavor properties, ensuring a rich and diverse hop profile in their beers.
  3. Modern American Hops and Lighter Malts: Shipyard's commitment to quality is evident in the use of modern American hops and lighter malts in their unique Explorer Hazy White IPA, showcasing their dedication to innovation and flavor.
  4. American Pale Ale: Shipyard Brewing's American Pale Ale is a testament to their dedication to crafting quality beers, utilizing top-tier ingredients to deliver a flavorful and easy-drinking experience.
See also  Who Is the Target Market for Craft Beer?

Shipyard Brewing's meticulous selection and use of premium ingredients, such as those seen in their Pale Ale and Explorer Hazy White IPA, underscore their commitment to producing high-quality craft beer.

Brewing Techniques

Crafting quality beer requires mastering precise brewing techniques, which encompass methods such as mashing, boiling, fermenting, conditioning, and packaging. Each technique plays a crucial role in determining the flavor, aroma, and overall characteristics of the beer. Here's a breakdown of these brewing techniques:

Brewing TechniqueDescriptionImportance
MashingExtracting sugars from malted grains through controlled temperature and water, forming a sweet liquid known as wort.Essential for creating the foundation of beer and influencing its body, mouthfeel, and sweetness.
BoilingAdding hops for bitterness, flavor, and aroma, while sterilizing the wort to ensure a stable fermentation process.Affects the beer's bitterness, aroma, and overall balance, crucial for achieving desired flavor profiles.
FermentingYeast converting sugars in the wort into alcohol and carbon dioxide, influencing the beer's alcohol content and flavor.Determines the beer's alcohol level, carbonation, and various flavor compounds, impacting its final taste.
PackagingBottling, canning, or kegging the beer for preservation and distribution, ensuring its quality and longevity.Preserves the beer's freshness, carbonation, and overall quality, crucial for consumer satisfaction.

Mastering these brewing techniques is fundamental in producing a wide range of beer styles, each with its own unique characteristics and appeal.


In concluding, Shipyard Brewing Company has solidified its position in the craft beer market through its high-quality and innovative brews, contributing significantly to the local economy and the brewing community. Here's a summary of why Shipyard is a prominent player in the craft beer industry:

  1. Diverse Beer Selection: Shipyard offers a wide range of beers, each known for its unique flavors and characteristics, such as the Explorer Hazy White IPA and American Pale Ale.
  2. Awards and Recognition: Shipyard's beers have received numerous awards and recognition for their quality and innovation, further establishing its presence in the craft beer market.
  3. Economic Impact: The brewery has a significant impact on the local economy, providing employment opportunities and contributing to the growth of the craft beer industry.
  4. Brewery Experience: Visitors can immerse themselves in Shipyard's offerings by visiting its Tasting Room and Brewery Store in downtown Portland, Maine, where they can explore exclusive beers from the Discovery Series.
See also  Is Boston Beer Company a Craft Brewery?

Shipyard Brewing Company's commitment to producing exceptional craft beer hasn't only solidified its position in the market but has also made it a significant contributor to the local economy and the brewing community.