It’s starting to gain shelf space at the LCBO and the Beer Store, not to mention taking the tourism world by storm. But what exactly is craft beer? We’re here to fill you in on everything you need to know to choose the right brew for you.
- There’s a world of different flavours available with craft beer. On one end of the scale, we have our typical fizzy, yellow lagers. On the opposite, perhaps a 120 IBU, extremely bitter India Pale Ale brewed with scotch bonnet peppers. If you’re not a fan of either of these, don’t worry: there are nutty brown ales, chocolatey stouts, refreshing farmhouse ales and heavy-hitting Belgians in between – and that’s just the beginning.
- It’s not all about the hops! Many people have their first craft beer experience with a hoppier, IPA-style brew. The initial hoppiness can turn a new craft beer drinker off, especially since some styles are much more bitter than what many people are used to. Not all hoppy beers are bitter, though – the difference is in the timing of the hop addition. Adding hops early on produces a bitter flavour, but “dry hopping” or adding the hops at a later point in the brew process, imparts an herbal, hoppy flavour with less of the bitterness factor.
- You don’t have to go dark to be a true craft beer lover. Some of the more serious craft beer aficionados might lead you to believe that anything other than the darkest, coffee-flavoured porter is not “true” craft beer. They couldn’t be more wrong! Most breweries make beer on all points of the spectrum, and like wine, there’s a craft beer for everyone.
- You don’t need to be loyal to a single brand. Commercial beer advertisements are often based on brand loyalty, but in the craft beer world, it’s all about growing the community and spreading the love. Craft brewers regularly come together to create collaboration brews and unique brews for special holidays or locations, and they’re all about cross-promotion. We bet you’ll hear plenty of recommendations from brewers at Quinte Craft!
- Beer itself doesn’t give you the gut. We all know the adage. The ol’ keg where the six-pack should be. This is usually attributed to the wheat in beer, but what actually causes a beer gut is mass-consumption – often in the form of consuming an entire case of beer over the course of an evening. The thing about craft beer is that the flavour – and the sometimes higher alcohol content – is more satisfying than most commercial beers. This means you’ll usually want to drink fewer in order to get the same satisfaction.