Exploring the craft

Exploring the craft

December 9th, 2013 in Chattnow Dining

The craft beer industry is brewing to heights of unprecedented popularity and is harder than ever to pigeonhole.

Craft connoisseurs use many terms to describe their favorite brews - specialty, artisan, gourmet, boutique and microbrew to name a few.

But no matter what you call it, craft beer's definition is based in how it is prepared.

Small, independent breweries are popping up across the country to meet the demand of a thirsty target audience. According to the Brewers Association, more than 400 breweries opened in 2012.

That number is expected to continue to rise in the future as craft beer fans flock to local liquor stores, festivals and wineries to find their favorite varieties.

Ingredients

Craft beer makers take pride in their ability to mix simple ingredients into complex concoctions. They use a wide variety of ingredients to achieve their desired color, aroma, bitterness and finish.

Traditional beer ingredients such as yeast, water, malt and hops are being infused with new, diverse additions to change beer drinking as we know it.

This unique approach to brewing is what helps the craft beer industry carve out new niches of buyers and appreciators.

Sit Back and Relax

Craft beers are not meant to be chugged.

Often packing a higher alcohol content than its lighter-fared competition, craft varieties are the perfect complement for a laid-back evening of enjoying a sporting event or visiting with acquaintances.

From dark and bold to pale and citric-based, there is a craft beer for every taste.

Personality

What the craft beer industry lacks in multimillion-dollar marketing budgets or celebrity spokespeople, it makes up for in the underdog, us-against-the-world mentalities.

Craft beer brewers will give you 100 reasons why their product is better than the mass-produced variety churned out by established powerhouses.

Their product packaging is unique, with bright colors, detailed ingredient lists and instructions on how to best enjoy them.

Infusing a little personality into their marketing plans is a big factor in craft beer makers' ability to win over audiences.