In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the popularity of craft beer. Craft beer refers to beer that is brewed using traditional methods and natural ingredients, with an emphasis on flavor and quality.
Craft beer has gained popularity for a number of reasons, including the increasing interest in locally produced and artisanal products, as well as the growing trend of consumers seeking out unique and interesting flavors.
Craft breweries have also benefited from the rise of the internet and social media, which have made it easier for them to reach a wider audience and build a strong following. Many craft beer enthusiasts are passionate about trying new and different beers, and are often willing to pay a premium for high-quality, artisanal brews.
Overall, the popularity of craft beer shows no signs of slowing down, and is likely to continue to grow as more consumers become interested in supporting small, independent breweries and exploring new and exciting flavors.
But some craft beers, perhaps a hazy IPA for example, achieve a level of perceived greatness that others don’t. Why is that?
What is the Difference Between a Great Craft Beer and Just a Good One?
The difference between a great craft beer and a good one can be subjective and dependent on personal taste preferences. However, in general, a great craft beer typically has a few distinguishing characteristics that set it apart from a good one.
- Complex and Well-Balanced Flavor: Great craft beers usually have a well-rounded flavor profile that balances different tastes, such as sweet, bitter, sour, and savory. A good beer might have a decent flavor, but a great one will often have a more complex and nuanced taste that evolves as you drink it.
- High-Quality Ingredients: Great craft beers are typically made with high-quality ingredients, such as specialty malts, hops, and yeast strains. The use of these ingredients can result in unique and exceptional flavors that cannot be found in mass-produced beers.
- Skillful Brewing Techniques: The brewing process plays a significant role in the final flavor and quality of a craft beer. Great craft beers are often brewed with skillful techniques that produce consistent, high-quality results.
- Innovation and Creativity: A great craft beer often stands out due to its innovative and creative approach to brewing. It may use unusual ingredients or techniques, or it may be a unique style of beer that is not commonly found.
- Attention to Detail: Great craft beers are often brewed with a high level of attention to detail, ensuring that every aspect of the beer-making process is carefully considered and executed.
Overall, a great craft beer is often a more unique and memorable experience than a good one, and it can leave a lasting impression on the drinker. Understand that greatness is in the eye of the beholder and everyone has different taste preference and taste buds vary in what they pick up in a beer. But the list above helps immensely in creating a top shelf craft beer.
What are the Best Craft Beers?
There are thousands of craft breweries worldwide, each producing their own unique and exceptional beers. What one person considers the “best” may not be the same for someone else.
However, some popular craft beers and breweries that consistently receive high ratings and recognition from beer enthusiasts and critics include:
- Pliny the Elder by Russian River Brewing Company
- Hopslam Ale by Bell’s Brewery
- Bourbon County Brand Stout by Goose Island Beer Co.
- The Abyss by Deschutes Brewery
- Two Hearted Ale by Bell’s Brewery
- Heady Topper by The Alchemist
- Westvleteren XII by Brouwerij Westvleteren
- Dark Lord by Three Floyds Brewing Company
- Trappist Westvleteren 8 by Brouwerij Westvleteren
- Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) by Founders Brewing Co.
These beers represent a wide range of styles and breweries, and they have all received high praise for their unique and exceptional flavors. However, it’s essential to remember that taste is subjective, and the “best” beer is ultimately a matter of personal preference.
Are Craft IPA Beers More Popular Than Others
Craft IPA (India Pale Ale) beers have become increasingly popular over the last decade, both in the United States and globally. IPA is the most popular craft beer style in the United States, accounting for approximately 30% of craft beer sales. The popularity of IPAs can be attributed to their bold and hoppy flavor profile, which is distinct from the lighter and more refreshing taste of traditional lagers or pilsners.
Craft breweries have also been experimenting with different types of IPAs, such as hazy or juicy IPAs, double IPAs, and triple IPAs, which has helped to further increase their popularity among beer enthusiasts.
That being said, there are many other popular craft beer styles, such as stouts, porters, lagers, sour beers, and Belgian-style ales, that have their own dedicated fan base. Craft beer drinkers tend to enjoy a wide range of beer styles, and the popularity of any given style can vary depending on factors such as location, season, and personal preference.