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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nanobreweries Defined

I have always felt that a reasonable definition for nanobrewery was any brewery using a three-barrel system or smaller, and now I see I'm correct. John Holl has a nice piece on nanos at, and that's the definition he uses. His source? Me.
Nano-breweries, sometimes referred to as pico breweries, or bucket breweries, distribute to a limited area and only make beer in very small quantities.

How Small are Nano-Breweries?

"My working definition is three barrels or less, which essentially makes them large-scale homebrewers," said Jeff Alworth, author of the Portland-based beer blog Beervana.
Now, if only someone would call to ask my opinion on whether beers fermented with brettanomyces can properly be called sour, we'd be all set.


  1. Nano-brewers cannot be pico-brewers as pico is to nano as nano is to micro. Don't be frigging with the metric system.

  2. indeed, they are all 1/1000th of the next highest order!

  3. Chad Yakobsen of The Brettanomyces Project and the soon to come Crooked Stave Brewery did his whole graduate thesis on Brett. You can read what he says about calling Brett a Sour beer.