The craft beer movement was for so long, a refuge for bearded hipsters and tattooed trendsetters but it seems with each passing year, craft beer continues to surge in popularity, slowly replacing more mainstream beer sales and other alcoholic drinks and converting drinkers one punter at a time.
With the New Year upon us and this growing subculture now opening its doors to any and every one, perhaps it’s about time you HOP-PED‘hop’d on the bandwagon.
The styles that were considered craft are now considered mainstream and WA has def led the charge in producing some of our nation’s best known craft breweries... cough..Little Creatures, Gage Roads cough, cough.
in 2017, craft beer made up 11% of beers purchased here in WA while at Liquor Barons, craft sales made up a further 18% of sales.
Here’s our final instalment of our New Year New You blog series and your guide to becoming the ultimate Beer Boffin...
It’s safe to say all the beer you have ever tasted were either styles of ale or lager. The difference between these two styles can be easily compared to understanding how different types of grape varieties and wines fall within two categories of colour.
Unlike its less alcoholic ancestral origins, modern Ale can be anywhere from 5 to 15% alcohol. Ale is the most common beer type in the craft kingdom with most craft beers falling under a sub-category of ale variety due to its incredibly bold flavours. Ales are brewed through fermentation in a warmer tank for shorter periods of time where ale yeasts fond of higher temperatures begin producing carbonation and alcohol from the sugars at the top of the tank. This process can often produce stronger flavour and scent profiles while the length of time malted barley is roasted will largely determine the colouring and strength of flavour. From pale ales through brown and red ales, to porters and stouts. But you can’t forget about the India Pale Ale either.
The majority of modern, commercially available beers from across the world are lagers. This style of beer is brewed using a similar process to ale but using a chilled temperature tank for longer periods of time with a speciality lager yeast that prefers cold temperatures fermented in the bottom of the tank. Lagers also need to be stored and chilled at cold temperatures before they’re ready to drink unlike ale. Lager typically describes beers brewed in a southern German style which covers pale styles such as pilsner to the darker varieties like dunkel.
Here are some tips on becoming the Ultimate Beer Boffin:
1. Memorise every beer term possible
Don’t panic, we got your back on this one. Check out Part 3 of our Craft Beer Guide for a list of terms you’re going to want to know.
2. Bring good quality exotic beer to every event
Craft beer can be expensive but don’t stress, you aren’t buying for the whole party. Just enough for yourself so everyone has a chance to take a sniff and to watch you drinking it. You don't even need that much beer for yourself. Most of the time, crafties are considerably higher ABV too. So keep it in mind that in mind that you won't need too many the next time your love of craft beer burns a hole in your wallet.
3. Social media is beer’s BFF
Forget foodies on Instagram and embrace your inner boffin. Don’t let anyone tell you your snaps of empty bottles lining the perimeter of your kitchen shelving isn’t art. You’re also going to want to join the group Perth Beer Snobs on Facebook. The best local resource to see what’s pouring where and the latest trending tinnies. You might also like to check out some banger local beer bloggers like Girlplusbeer and the Beerwalrus.
4. Enjoy your beer at the right temperature
Australians love their beer ice-bloody-cold however ice cold beer isn’t necessarily the correct temp. This is because the sensation of coldness shuts down the tongue’s taste buds. So by over-chilling your beer, you’re numbing your palate to any nuances. Beers primarily flavoured from hops such as IPAs should always be kept refrigerated in storage as flavours produced by the hops are more sensitive than those found in most lagers for example.
5. Never let that light shine
Light is the main factor in making beer go bad. Beer can go sulphurous when touched by the sun. This is why breweries utilise darker glass bottles for storage.
6. Don't Bore us!
As the craft beer movement intensifies it seems determinied to follow in the footsteps of wanky wine culture with people eager to give pompous tasting notes and food pairing suggestions non-stop!
But beer is most definately not wine and it shouldnt follow suit.