Have you ever wondered where your favourite Pale Ale gets its electrifying strong flavour? Indeed, it is derived from the raw, conventional ingredients used to craft the flavor-packed bombshell. Furthermore, this beer isn’t just any beverage; it’s a craft beer! Surprisingly, had you no idea?
What is the craft beer exactly? By definition, it is a beer specially made in small, independent breweries with an innovative twist. Craft Beer not only adheres to tradition but also screams pleasure. So, if you are new to the beer-tasting trip, a great craft beer can be a good start.
Are you curious about what microbrews are? How is craft beer different from regular Beer and microbrews? You will also get to know various types of craft beer and master the right way to enjoy it. So, grip your screen and scroll.
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What is a Craft Beer?
The market is going gaga over the art of craft beer. But what is a craft beer exactly? If you research and dig deeper, you will analyze that craft beer is something personal, and consequently, its meaning varies from individual to individual. As the name implies, craft beer is a work of innovation and labor. It is meticulously crafted rather than simply manufactured.
However, to eliminate confusion, here is an accepted definition by “The Brewer’s Association”. It succinctly encapsulates the true meaning of this beverage – “Craft beer is a beer that small, independent, and traditional brewers brew.”
Distinctive features of this type of beer that set it apart include:
- Authenticity and uniqueness. Each craft beer possesses a distinct recipe and brewing process.
- It is brewed using traditional ingredients such as malted barley.
- Incorporation of unconventional elements for a distinctive flavor.
Now that it’s clear what craft beer is. Let’s move ahead and rewind history.
What is the History of Craft Beer?
Brewing is an ancient technique with roots tracing back to the Mesopotamian Era. Nevertheless, the inception of this art form is a few decades old. In the 1960s, the initiation of a movement occurred with the takeover of Anchor Brewing Company by Fritz Maytag. This pivotal business move marked the beginning of a revolution.
Consequently, Maytag introduced new techniques that conceived handcrafted beverages. Notably, Anchor Brewing Company launched Anchor Porter in 1972 and followed it up with Liberty Ale and Christian Ale in 1975.
Nevertheless, the true essence of what is a craft beer can be traced back to 1976 with the establishment of New Albion Brewery in California by Jack McAuliffe. His passion for Scottish Beers compelled him to start his brewing company that crafted distinct beers with captivating flavors from around the globe.
During this time, homebrewing became famous for both personal use and for small business profits. However, from 1920 to 1979, homebrewing was not legal. Only after the 21st Amendment of “The U.S. Constitution” did states have independent rights to regulate alcohol-related laws.
In 1984, the New Brewer Magazine added “craft” as a prefix to beer. Since then, the Brewer’s Association has been commendably promoting a culture centered around this beverage. Recent reports indicate the presence of over 8000 breweries specializing in this domain in the U.S. Approximately 4000 emerged between 2015 and 2020. It’s an era devoted to this type of brewing.
What are the types of Craft Beer?
You can get craft beer with a fresh-fruity flavor and an edge towards the bitter side. The difference in craft beers lies in the fermentation process and their wide range of tastes.
Whichever taste you prefer, a craft beer will satisfy your taste buds. However, there are two main types of craft beers- The Lager and The Ale. Lager Craft Beers are fermented over a long period and are known for their smooth and balanced flavors. In contrast, The Ales take a short time to ferment and are available with a broad spectrum of tastes.
To make it simpler, here is a list of different craft beer types.
Stouts and Porter
Wondering what is a craft beer with a rich and robust character? Enter the world of stouts and porters – popular ale styles boasting a dark and husky flavor.
Stouts and porters are your go-to craft beers if you’re a chocolate or coffee lover. Both share similar taste styles, but the porter distinguishes itself with a lighter body.
Pilsner is One of the most popular Lager Craft Beers, known for its balanced taste, which is a beautiful compromise between the sweetness of malt and the bitterness of hop.
When on the topic, you should dig deeper into what hops are in a beer.
India Pale Ale(IPA)
Who has not heard of the IPA? Every beer enthusiast must have tasted the popular IPA for its intense flavor.
IPA itself has a vast flavor range from earthy to pine. It compliments best with spicy and tangy meals.
Also known as Oktoberfest, the Märzen is a lager craft beer with a caramelized flavor and an amber color.
A list of beers is complete with the name Pale Ale. If the consumer data and preference are believed, the Pale Ale is the most loved Beer.
With its slight amber to golden color, the Pale Ale is the best buddy of fresh brewers.
What is the best way to drink Craft Beer?
Tasting a Craft Beer demands expertise. It’s about choosing the right Beer and perfecting the right way to drink it. And if you get it on point, you treat yourself to an exquisite experience.
If you are new to beer experience and want to know what Beer tastes like, here are quick steps that will make your Beer drinking a memory to behold-
Get The Right Glass And Pour:
Choosing a perfect glass is as important as choosing an ideal beer. A beer glass is designed in different ways. Some keep the beer cooler, and some give it a distinct color.
Beer tasting should be a visual treat. Visual appeal is a crucial part of the tasting tour. So choose a glass that compliments your Beer and pour. But wait, do you know pouring is also a craft? Yeah! Follow the tips to get it right-
- Hold the glass and tip it at a 45-degree angle. Then start pouring slowly and try to make the Beer fall in the middle of the glass.
- Straighten your glass and keep flowing at the center when it’s half filled.
- Stop pouring once the glass is filled up to half an inch and half a foam.
By understanding what is craft beer and the craft behind pouring, you enhance the entire craft beer-drinking experience, making it a delightful journey for your taste buds.
Take Some Time And Enjoy The Look
Glance at that beautiful glass of Beer. Steal some time to take your Beer to your taste buds and give your eyes a treat.
The idea is the same when you see a tempting plate of colorful pasta. It excites your buds. Isn’t it? So, why not have a visual treat before a taste treat?
Swirl And Smell
After pouring, gently swirl your beer glass, let the Beer settle, and release its fragrance. Again, take a moment and let the aroma fill your nose.
Try to recognize and register the Beer’s smell. Each Beer varies. Each Beer will transport you to a different world.
Gulp The Craft
Yes, right! Do not sip, but gulp your craft beer. Let the sweet taste of Beer roll all over your tongue.
Give it a minute, and let the flavor shift from sweet to flowery. And in a go, gulp it down.
What is a Craft Brewery?
Let’s come to the definition of a craft brewery.
An independent brewery that produces 6 million barrels of Beer or less annually is categorized as a craft brewery. These contribute around 3 percent of the United States’ annual sales.
The following are the features that will clarify what is a craft brewery-
- Owned by small brewers.
- Large Beer manufacturing companies possess only 25% of craft breweries.
- Innovation is their hallmark.
- Active involvement in volunteer work.
Craft Beer Vs Regular Beer
Beer appreciators take the differences between regular Beer and craft Beer quite seriously. It’s not only about the production but also about the flavor explosion. Here are the essential points on which these two categories of Beer vary:
In bulk batches/in large breweries
|In small batches/ small or independent breweries
|Traditional ingredients like barley, malt, and hop.
|Standard taste profiles. Thin, watery taste.
Wide flavor ranges. Strong, unique taste.
|ABV is 3-5%
ABV is 7% or more.
Microbrew vs Craft Beer
The fundamental differentiator between Microbrew and Craft Brew is the production volume. The Brewer Association says craft beer is brewed less than 6 million gallons annually. On the other hand, microbrews produce less than 15,000 barrels of Beer in a year.
These brews are often consumed at the site of production itself. This also clears up the concept of what is a micro beer.
Now, you know how craft beer differs from regular Beer and microbeer. You should also understand what draft beers are.
Give some examples of Craft Beer.
Pale Ale, IPA, and Stout are some examples of Craft Beer.
Does Craft Beer contain alcohol?
Yes, Craft Beers contain alcohol with an ABV value of 7 percent or more.
What is Craft Beer made of?
Craft Beer is made of traditional high-quality ingredients like barley, malt, etc.
What is the difference between a craft beer and regular Beer?
The primary difference is craft beer is made using traditional ingredients, whereas regular beers are manufactured from non-traditional ingredients like low-quality grain and water.
What is a craft beer? Indeed, you all must be well aware of everything associated with craft beer. Isn’t it? The Brewers Association states that craft beer is processed by small, independent brewers who use traditional ingredients like fermented barley. Craft beers are produced with an annual 6 million gallons or less capacity.
On the other hand, microbreweries produce less than 15,000 gallons of beer annually. With a diverse array of available flavors, this beverage provides its enthusiasts with an incredible treat. And now, when someone inquires about it, what does it signify? You can describe it with expertise.
Kendall Jones: Seattle journalist, freelance writer, and top contributor to Washington Beer Blog. Published 5,400+ stories on beer and brewing.