Craft Beer 101

Craft Beer
Craft Beer

Beer talk these days, is a lot more complex than it used to be. Here are a few basics to build your beer knowledge.

The technical definition of craft beer is simply beer that comes from a microbrewery.

These small, independently owned breweries will create smaller amounts of beer than larger corporations. Their smaller portions of beer are known as craft beer.

Today’s modern definition of craft beer also reflects an alternative attitude and approach to brewing flexibility, adaptability, quality and experimentation. Their wild and quirky marketing themes have us entertained as well!

There are two main categories of beer: ales and lagers. Many different styles of beer reside within these two categories.

Ale, the original beer, is brewed in a warmer environment (60-72F degrees). While brewing ale, the yeast ferments at the top of the tank. These conditions result in fruity, earthy flavors. Ales are more flavorful, complex and generally darker beers.
Common ale styles include: pale ales, India pale ales (IPA), stouts, porters, and wheat beers.



Lagers make use of modern brewing systems to be lighter and drier. This category of beer uses a process where yeast ferments at the bottom of the tank.

Lagers are brewed in colder temperatures for a longer time than ales. This process makes for crisper, less-complex beers. Common lager styles include: pilsners and ambers.

Tasting beer is a lot like tasting wine! Craft beer has specific qualities that are affected by its ingredients, the region it’s produced in, how long it was fermented and more.

Here are a few beer-tasting adjectives for you to try out:
Body: the sense of fullness or viscosity of the beer on your palate. Beer is usually described as being thin-, light-, medium-, or full-bodied
Complex: beer that involves multiple flavors and sensations on your palate
Crisp: effervescent and bubbly
Hoppy: having a bitter flavor of hops and a spicy aroma
Malty: sweet caramel-like flavors
Mouthfeel: sensations of warmth, carbonation, dryness, etc., on your palate
Roasty/toasty: roasted grain (not burnt) flavors

Cheers!

Stop by Vintners Hill at 7427 Matthews-Mint Hill Rd #108 for a flight of craft beer to test your knew tasting knowledge! Call us at 980-207-4242 for what is on tap.