To fully understand which beer type is best, the drinker must fully understand how is the beer made and the types of beer available. This will make the drinker appreciate the flavors in the beer and the way in which these flavors were produced.
Craft beer is different from commercially made beer due to its flavor and the fullness of its taste. This is why there is a wider variety of tastes in craft beer than in commercial beer.
Beer is made from grain, water, hops, and yeast. The grains are soaked in hot water and converted into sugars. The water is boiled, and, upon reaching the boiling point, hops are added to balance the bitterness and the sweetness of the beer.
Yeast is added to let the sugar be converted to alcohol, and carbon dioxide is expelled. The sweetness of the fermentation is mixed with the hops to produce a bittersweet, fruity effect. The particular type of hop will bring out the added flavor that the brewer wants to create.
How is beer characterized?
Craft beer is defined by appearance, aroma, taste, and alcohol content. These are the very basic features that are sought for in a beer. There are still many other factors that quantify the features of beer, but the most obvious are the ones that are used to describe the brew.
Appearance refers to the color and clarity of the liquid. There are beers which are yellow, golden brown, dark brown and even red. The color of the beer is produced by the ingredients, and the retention of the head signifies the type of the beer. Opaque beers are stouts and porters while lagers and ales are usually golden yellow or semi-transparent.
The alcohol content will be determined by the way the beer is fermented. The top layers usually have the highest alcohol content while the bottom has lower content. The amount of time spent in fermentation will also determine how weak or strong the beer will become. Aroma is also determined by the length of time that the liquid is fermented.
What are the types of craft beers?
The most common type of beer is the ale. This type has many varieties including pale, brown, porters, and stouts. These are the beers that are mixed with The Cascades, a type of hop that brings a citrus type of flavor into the beer and can go very well with lemon. The most common types of ales are pale ale, English India Pale Ale (IPA) and double IPA.
The pale ale has an equal malt to hop ratio. This means that the number of hops equals the number of wheat in the liquid. IPAs have more hops and were developed by the English for expeditions to India, as the hops help preserve the freshness of the beer. The taste of IPAs is spicy and earthy as well as full-bodied and a little woody. The American counterpart has even more hops and the scent is woody. American IPAs are more bitter.
Double IPAs are also called imperial as this is wholly American. The number of hops is doubled or tripled and more malt is added to balance the formula. The result is a beer that is bitter, deep, and has a strong kick. There are tones of fruit and caramel but they are very weak.
Another type of craft beer is the lager. They taste similar to Budweiser or Miller and have the least variety in taste. This is a type of beer that is a great starting point for learning how to drink craft beer since the taste is not too far from commercial beers. Lager is also fermented at a lower temperature and with a specific type of yeast. The lager is collected from the bottom of the fermentation tub and has very low alcohol content.
The pilsner is a type of pale lager that is developed in Europe. The modern type has a golden yellow appearance and the aroma of the hops can be clearly distinguished. The alcohol content is 4.5% to 5% and the beer is labeled “export”. Pilsen is made by both craft beer makers and microbreweries.
There are other types of craft beer produced year-round, such as brown ales, porters, and stouts. These beers are robust and most appropriate to drink during the winter because of the higher alcohol content.