Today I want to take by first step into beer blogging. Just recently I’ve been converted to the world of craft beer and I havent looked back since. I scrounge around craft beer forums, I stake out on local businesses websites for updated inventory, I do anything I can to consume everything there is about craft beer.
When I tell someone that I’m into craft beer as a hobby, a lot of people think I brew my own beer. Unfortunately, I don’t. I guess it is a common misconception that craft beer is synonymous with homebrew. While I would love to brew my own beer one day, I lack the funds and space to properly brew right now, and my girlfriend isn’t all that excited about the thought of it.
Getting into craft beer can be daunting, and I understand all the reasons to keep your fridge stocked with Bud Light. It’s cheap, goes down like water and gives a buzz. Though that “craft beer” you’ve tried, maybe it was a Magic Hat or Shock Top or Blue Moon…yeah, those beers aren’t even good and they are to craft beer like apples are to oranges. But you don’t have to stop there, plenty of different styles of beer exist, and you’ll have to experiment to see what you like.
All craft beer is expensive.
All craft beer is bitter.
Craft beer contains more alcohol.
Sure there are beers that push >$30 or more, but there are world-class beers that range from $8-$12 a six-pack or like one of my favorites; Sierra Nevada Torpedo for $14.99 per 12 pack.
Most people start out with Pale Ales or sometimes India Pale Ale (IPA). They can be bone dry and extremely bitter, but not always. You’ll notice a lot of the craft world revolves around ale.
Bud, Miller, Coors, Stella Artois, Corona, Pabst, Heineken, even Buffalo favorites Labatt and Molson are all the same style of beer: American Adjunct Lager. They are labeled as such because instead of true “all grain mash” of malts, there are adjuncts like corn and rice that are used, but that’s another post. Hence this is the reason those beers taste like water and go down so smooth.
Which brings us to the two main categories: Ales and Lagers. There are main differences which we will not go into in this post, but remember that (generally) only those two exist.
Stouts, IPA’s, Porters, Cream Ale, Barleywine, Saison, Witbier, Kölsch, Sours, Belgian Dubbels/Tripels/Quadupels etc. are all ales.
Czech Pilsner, Bock, Dopplebock, Märzen, Eisbock, Helles, Dunkel, etc. are Lagers.
There are a lot more styles than that, too. If you want to get more information about each visit the BeerAdvocate Beer Styles page. I’m really brand new to all of this, but I’ve had some really great beer from all over the world, and I’m excited to share my experiences.
I intend to write this series to both review craft beer and use it as an education tool for people to learn and experience craft beer. Please feel free to join in on discussions, post comments or questions below or if you want, contact me directly!
Email: Mark [at] IceandBites [dot] com
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