Craft beers and the craft beer culture can be quite intimidating as a newbie. If you’re interested in learning more as a beginner connoisseur or if you’re completely new to craft beer, here are ten things you should know about it! Let’s jump right in!
1. Craft Beer Definition
Craft beer is defined as “a beer made in a traditional or non-mechanized way by a small brewery,” meaning the beer uses conventional methods and at least semi-conventional ingredients during the brewing process. The term macro brewery – think Anheuser-Busch InBev – is a great example of what a craft brewery is absolutely not.
Hops are the main preservative in any modern beer. They’re also the main ingredient in the world’s most popular craft beer portfolio piece – India Pale Ales. Hops used in the brewing process provide longevity to a beer and add flavor to the large majority that uses them. Hops provide sweetness, bitterness, and other natural flavors to a beer.
If you think you might know everything about beer when you’re just starting, think again. Beer has been around for centuries and is an evolving art that will live on even after we all bite the dust. After all, New England – or, hazy – IPAs have only been around since the early 2000s. Beer will likely take on many new forms in years to come, so there is always room for learning more about it.
This is a big one! Lagers and Ales are two classifications that encompass all beer styles; every single beer is either a lager or an ale. Ales are fermented at warmer temperatures and use a specific type of yeast strain: Saccharomyces cerevisiae a.k.a. “Brewer’s Yeast.” Lagers are fermented at lower temperatures and use Saccharomyces pastorianus. Ales are fuller beers and offer more complex and sweeter tastes and aromas. Lagers, although still complex and enjoyable, are crisp and clean and often noted to have that ‘beery’ taste.
All brews, not just Yeasty Brews, like hefeweizens, require yeast. This living organism is the driver behind all beers ever made – you can’t make beer without it. Some beers rely heavily on yeast for their flavor profile, mouthfeel, and appearance, like the aforementioned hefeweizen. Yeast produces the actual alcohol in beer by feeding on the sugars inside the wort during the brewing process known as fermentation.
6. Beer is made up of more than 90% Water
Beer uses a lot of water – from the brewing process and cleaning to the beer you drink. With that much water used, brewers often try to mitigate water waste and reuse any that they can for cleaning, etc. There’s only a small percentage of alcohol in beer, but the combination of ingredients and the process make it beer, despite the amount of water.
7. Pour your Beer into a Glass
Beers, especially craft beers that are delicately made with attention to detail to create amazing aromas and flavors, should be poured into a glass. Doing this allows the beer’s aromas to flow and elevate your senses to permit a better drinking experience.
Pairing beer with food is critical. You don’t want a beer to overwhelm your taste buds by pairing it with the wrong beer. In general, you should pair lighter beer with lighter food and darker beer with more savory food. Pair pilsners with grilled chicken and fried fish. Pair stouts with a sweet chocolate dessert or a hearty bowl of spicy chili.
9. Drink What you Like
If you’re just starting to drink craft beer and you find a beer that you like, try more beers in those styles. It’s easy to learn more about beer – or anything for that matter – when you start slow and focus on one thing at a time.
10. Everyone is Different
This is an important one. Not everyone is going to like every beer style. (That’s cool) Someone that loves IPAs might not enjoy Belgian tripels or lagers. It’s all personal preference, but a beer connoisseur is always willing to try new things!
Yeasty’s opened its taproom and kitchen in December 2020 giving people a place to enjoy flavorful craft beers and hard seltzers in a funky, fun environment. Founded by the Double D’s, Dan & Denielle, who love bringing awesome people together over delicious drinks and scrumptious food. Our menu is simple and satisfying with something for everyone. If you are looking for a place to vibe out and chill, then stop in today! We are all about fresh tasting craft beer, yummy bites, and good times with great people and that’s exactly what you will find here. The beer is outta this world so get ready to have your mind blown! Your tastebuds will thank you.