The big brands won't stop until they have total control … 

Everyone loves a frosty mug of Blue Moon, right? With each sip, you can imagine the six or seven hardworking employees hand-crafting each keg of beer … Mostly because its parent company MillerCoors spends millions of dollars on ad campaigns to trick you into thinking that. MillerCoors cranks out over 70 million barrels a year, which translates to 23 billion bottles of Blue Moon. Six or seven hardworking souls our ass …

Just imagine this, but times a billion every year. 

You can see why people would get pissed that it qualifies as a "craft beer," because it would be hard to be less like a craft beer in reality.  

So along comes a California man named Evan Parent, who filed a lawsuit against MillerCoors for falsely advertising Blue Moon as a craft-brewed beverage. Tragically, Parent’s plan to call out the big beer assholes on their bullshit backfired in every way. He lost, and now every beer factory in the nation could legally slap a “craft” sticker on every case as early as tomorrow.

Parent argued that the baseline for determining whether a brew is craft or not should refer to the standards set by the Brewers Association. That seems reasonable, right? These are the organization’s criteria:

(a) “Produce[s] less than 6 million barrels of beer annually; (b) [is] less than 25 percent owned or controlled by a non-craft brewer; and (c) Make[s] beer using only traditional or innovative brewing ingredients.”

But the judge called bullshit. From the ruling:

Judge Gonzalo Curiel wants a better template for what does and does not constitute a craft beer before he says Blue Moon — or Bud Light Lime, for that matter — can’t allude to itself as being craft brewed in advertising.

Ultimately, it came down to an issue of marketing:

The lawsuit, filed in California by lead plaintiff Evan Parent, alleged that Blue Moon was conspicuously over-priced in comparison with the rest of the MillerCoors portfolio, that it does not meet requirements agreed upon by the Brewers association, and that it misleads customers by disguising the ownership. Judge Curiel denied that last claim, referring to the company’s website where it is clearly labeled. He also rejected a claim that Blue Moon’s grocery store shelf placement (mixed in with all the craft brews) has misleading intent.

So crafty marketing is totally groovy in the beer world. And if you're going against the biggest beer producer in the universe, you better bring your A-game. 

The dust has settled, and this ruling basically gives every beer maker everywhere the right to market their crap as "craft beer" no matter how many billions of gallons they make. When you're buying brews this weekend, completely ignore any reference to "craft" and dig around a little to make sure you're getting the genuine product. Big beer is getting in the habit of designing edgy labels to blend into the microbrew landscape, so stay smart out there.