The World of Craft Beers
If you are a lover of beer, there has probably never been a better time to be alive. The craft beer movement is in full swing, with over 2,ooo microbreweries and brewpubs in the U.S. alone. The quality and diversity in product has never been better at any other time in history. So congratulations
on being born at the right time. But with such a myriad of beer options available to today’s consumer, where does one start? Well, we humbly suggest you take a look at some of the major styles of beer found in our interactive menu to the right. There you can find a basic description of the various types as well as a handpicked suggestion of a beer to try within each category. It just so happens that we carry a huge selection of beers here at ABC – including all the delicious examples we suggest on these pages. In fact, our selection is large enough that you could try a different beer each and every day for the next year and never have to worry about repeating yourself (highly recommended). But at any rate, we hope to assist you in finding a beer that really has your taste buds tingling with newfound excitement and pleasure. And if you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to come in and ask for some friendly assistance. Cheers!
THREE SIMPLE INGREDIENTS – A WORLD OF CHOICES
All beer needs a starch source. The most common source is malted barley, but wheat, rice, rye, oats, corn & sorghum are also widely used. The grain is malted by soaking it in water, allowing germination to begin. The partially germinated grain is then removed to a kiln where it is dried and heated. Malting the grain produces enzymes which will cause the starch to convert into fermentable sugars during the mash process. Which grain or grains were used and the temperature of the kiln greatly effects the malt, and thus the taste, aroma, color and texture of a beer.
Where would the IPA craze of today be without hops? A lot less flavorful, that is for sure. Those lovely aromas of citrus and pine are thanks to the hops, as is the tongue slapping bitterness. Hops are far and away the most common way to add flavoring to beer. But they also offer several other benefits when making a brew. These cone clusters also act as a kind of preservative, aid in giving a beer its “head” and help keep the brewer’s yeast free of less desirable microorganisms. Which hops are use and how much plays a huge role in the taste profile of a beer. There are over 80 hop varieties currently in use, with more being developed all the time. Every single one of them has the potential to bring something unique and fitting to a particular beer recipe.
Without yeast, fermentation would not take place. No fermentation, no alcohol. So let’s hear it for Saccharomyces cerevisiae (used for the making of ales) & Saccharomyces pastorianus (used in the brewing of lagers) because our drinking options would be a lot less interesting without these busy microorganisms. So, how does it work? Once the malt has gone through mashing, enzymes have caused the starch to be converted to sugars. It is at this point that the yeast strain can be added. Fermentation is the result of the microorganisms feasting on the sugars, metabolizing them into alcohol and carbon dioxide.