Craft Beer: A Passionate Pursuit of Flavour
Craft beer is a term that has evolved over the years and doesn’t have a universally accepted definition. However, it typically refers to beer produced by small, independent breweries that emphasise quality, flavour, and traditional brewing methods. These breweries prioritise the art of brewing over mass production and are driven by a passion for creating unique and diverse beer experiences.
Key characteristics of craft beer
- Independent ownership: Craft breweries are usually not owned or controlled by large beverage corporations, ensuring that the brewery’s decisions and recipes remain true to its vision and values.
- Key styles: Craft beer styles can be new inventions or modern interpretations of old styles. Variations on an India Pale Ale are the most popular. These can be hop forward, high or low ABV, and many these days have distinct fruit notes and flavours.
- Small batch production: Craft breweries typically produce beer in smaller quantities compared to mainstream, industrial breweries. This allows for more attention to detail and customisation, ensuring that the beer remains authentic and high-quality.
- Innovation and creativity: Craft brewers are known for pushing the boundaries of beer making. They often experiment with unconventional ingredients, aging methods, and styles, leading to unique and inventive brews. This spirit of innovation is what makes craft beer so exciting for both brewers and consumers
- Local and community-centric: Craft breweries are often deeply rooted in their communities. They provide a gathering place for locals, contribute to the local economy, and participate in charitable activities, strengthening the bonds between beer enthusiasts and their neighbourhood.
Craft beer styles
Craft beer offers an astonishing array of beer styles, each with its own distinctive character. Some popular craft beer styles include:
- IPA (India Pale Ale): Known for its hoppy and bitter flavours. IPAs come in various substyles, such as American IPA, New England IPA, and Double IPA.
- Stout: These dark and rich beers often feature roasted malt flavours and can range from the dry and bitter Irish Stout to the sweeter and heavier Imperial Stout.
- Sours: These beers are intentionally brewed to have a tart or sour taste, and may include styles like Berliner Weisse, Gose, or Lambic.
- Pilsner: A lighter, crisp beer style with a clean and refreshing taste that originated in the Czech Republic.
- Belgian Ales: These are known for their fruity and spicy notes and include styles like Witbier, Dubbel, and Tripel.
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