Craft beer has exploded in popularity over the past few decades, with more and more beer enthusiasts seeking out unique and flavorful beers made by independent breweries. But what exactly is craft beer, and why is it so special? In this blog, we’ll let you know what the hype is about craft beer!
What is craft beer?
So what is craft beer exactly? The term craft beer is typically defined as beer that is produced by small, independent breweries using traditional brewing methods and high-quality ingredients. Unlike mass-produced beers from large corporations, craft beers often have more complex and varied flavours, and are made in smaller batches with greater attention to detail.
Why everyone loves craft beer
Another key factor in the rise of craft beer is the sense of community that often surrounds independent breweries. Many craft beer fans enjoy visiting their local craft brewer to sample new brews and chat with the brewers about the brewing process. In many cases, breweries also host events and gatherings that bring together beer enthusiasts from all walks of life.
If you’re someone who loves exploring new flavours and tasting different styles of beer, then craft beers are the perfect choice for you. With a never-ending variety of small-batch brews that boast unique and bold flavours, the world of craft beer allows you to discover something new every time you sip. From light, crisp lagers to rich, malty stouts, craft brews offer a spectrum of intricacies that are sure to please any palate. Support local, find your independent craft brewer and sample what they have to offer!
What are some of the most popular craft beer styles?
There are thousands of craft beers across the globe! It’s difficult to give an exact number of how many craft beers exist in the beer world because the craft beer industry is constantly growing and evolving, with new breweries and beer styles being introduced all the time. Here are some of the more common one:
1. India Pale Ale (IPA)
One of the most recognisable styles of beer on the craft beer market, IPAs are generally strong with a moderate to intense aroma from hops and a high bitterness that lingers in its finish.
This clear pale lager came from the Czech Republic originally but is now found around the world. It’s usually very dry, light-bodied, and highly carbonated by the lagering technique.
3. Saison/Farmhouse Ale
The saison is usually light in body with fruity esters resembling notes of cloves or haystacks with a combination of earthiness blended in as well. It’s often referred to as “summer” beer due to its lighter taste profile yet slightly higher ABV than some other styles like lagers or pilsners – making it perfect for outdoor activities.
A classic German wheat beer brewed with both wheat malt (at least 50%) and barley malt (at least 40%). This type has distinct banana undertones while having low hop character, providing a crisp finish which makes it very refreshing – perfect for hot summer days!
Characterised by its deep black colour – this type keeps reasonably sweet flavours derived from roasted grains making it an ideal pick for winter months when a more robust body is desired over lightness & refreshment offered by other beverages.
Lagers provide grafters years’ worth of enjoyment thanks to crisp refreshing flavour profiles accomplished through the lagering ( cold ageing ) technique followed after fermentation has taken place.
7. Brown Ale
Smooth texture combined with nutty tones makes this English-style ale highly enjoyable; also given the lack of alcoholic strength, many people find themselves able to enjoy multiple glasses without exhibiting any signs of fatigue.
8. Kolsch Beer
This easy-drinking ale originating from Germany offers a subtle blend, malty sweetness, and crisp clean flavour thanks to the addition of rice corn adjuncts during the fermentation process. Kolsch’s pale golden colour gets bonus points because it’s great for pairing food.
9. Red/Amber Ales
Caramel malts prevalent throughout red amber ales result in rich caramel bold hop aromas and full-bodied texture making them great choices for those who equally appreciate a robust smooth finish.
10. Blonde Ales
Last but certainly not least this golden-hued American descendant of continental lagers with slight bitterness provides a balanced mouthfeel and crisp refreshing qualities that set it apart.
How craft beers are made
Craft beer is made by small, independent brewers who take a lot of care and attention to detail when creating their beers. It starts with selecting the ingredients for the particular kind of beer they want to brew. Brewers generally use malted barley as their base ingredient, then add hops to provide bitterness, flavour, and aroma. After selecting these ingredients, brewers formulate a recipe that balances malt sweetness with hop bitterness and flavour/aroma profiles.
Once the recipe has been established, the brewing process can begin! First off is mashing: soaking grains in hot water which activates enzymes that break down starches into fermentable sugars for yeast consumption.
From there comes lautering—the separation of clear liquid wort from spent grain. Wort gets boiled with additional hops (depending on desired results) before cooling down and being transferred into fermentation tanks filled with yeast – which converts sugar into alcohol.
After fermentation is complete – usually 1-2 weeks depending on type of beer – craft beers are pulled from the tank (sometimes dry hopped), and packaged according to the delivery method (tap/bottle/can). From there comes carbonation & storage at cool temperatures prior to being enjoyed by customers!
Though craft brewing is a relatively simple process in theory; making great craft beer takes time & knowledge plus plenty of trial & error experimentation over multiple batches until the desired result is achieved! That’s why so many people respect what skilful artistry goes into producing world-class craft beers.
Serve your craft beer in style with Kombi Keg
Whether you’re a craft brewery looking to host an event or a craft beer fan planning a celebration, we’ve got your drinks sorted! You can’t beat beer straight from the tap, and with our Kombi Keg mobile bar, you can serve up your favourite craft beers straight from an icy cold tap. We’ve also formed strong bonds with local craft breweries in your area to guarantee a flawless event experience. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get this party started!
Frequently Asked Questions
Craft beer has a shelf-life that can vary greatly depending on the type and style of beer. Generally speaking, many types of craft beers will last up to six months or more if they are stored correctly in cool and dark locations away from direct light or heat sources.
Most beers have an expiration date printed on the bottles, which is usually two months after it’s been brewed. However, there are certain factors that can affect how long your craft beer will last: oxygenation levels, alcohol content, and pH balance can all break down your brew over time.
Craft beer can be found in your local craft brewery, bottle shop, or specialty liquor store. Many craft breweries now offer online ordering and home delivery options as well. At Kombi Keg, we have relationships with different craft breweries all over the world. So when you’re planning your next big celebration, you can count on Kombi Keg to deliver the drinks!
The primary difference between craft beer and mass-produced beer is the level of quality and complexity of the flavours. Craft breweries focus on producing small batches of well-crafted, full-flavoured beers with unique variations that often reflect regional preferences. On the other hand, mass-produced beers tend to have consistent flavour profiles that lack any distinctive characteristics.
In terms of ingredients, craft breweries typically use only natural ingredients like hops, barley malt, yeast, spices and water. Mass-produced beers may also use these same ingredients but are more likely to contain preservatives or chemical additives which help improve shelf life but can compromise taste and body.
When it comes to brewing processes, craft brewers usually implement longer brew times or cold processing temperatures which add complexity and character to their beers. In comparison, many mass-producers employ quicker methods of production such as high-temperature boiling that make for simpler flavours without much depth or nuance.