Ah, the quest to quench your thirst. For many, understanding what makes an ideal craft beer is ever sought. There are many factors, and sometimes even biases to beer. But, we’re here to tap into the world of brewing and help you understand what makes the best craft beer.
From newbies to connoisseurs, craft beer holds a certain mystique — if not an insider culture — not everyone feels privy to. To first understand how to approach conceptualising the best craft beer, we explain the importance of ingredients, as well as the differences between macro and craft beer. Once these basic concepts are tucked into your beer boffin belt, the concept of what makes a good craft is easy to understand. The next step to understanding the breakdown of beer: the families and flavours. Between the two main brew families, ales and lagers, there is a spectrum of subtle differences that develop signature styles and sensations. Both range from being pale in colour to rich, dark hues, due to the individual malts chosen and used.
With a range of spicy, fruity and floral flavours, ales are a popular choice among many. This variety of beer is produced by top-fermenting yeast, developed in warmer temperatures about 15 to 25 degrees Celsius
This end of the spectrum uses bottom-fermenting yeasts, in colder conditions — about 9 to 15 degrees Celsius — for longer. Lagers typically have a cleaner, crisper and rounder taste than ales.
The best way to summarise the key points of a beer? Sniff, stare, sip, swish, savour, and swallow. From colour to flavour, body and mouthfeel, there are so many elements to appreciate. When done correctly, drinking a cold craft is an experience. Explore how to judge your next brew like a professional in our quick guide to craft beer tasting.
Microbreweries are built around two main things: the process and the product. While the actual drink itself is the prize, it’s the culture and the creative process that becomes a story and, ultimately, an experience.
Craft brewers centre their final product through channelling the importance of the process, as well as adding new elements. Whether it’s experimenting with traditional techniques, trying new ingredients to create a new flavour palette, or brewing to pair with food, each batch is a journey. Brewers work to develop, discuss and merge ideas, using the brewing process as a way to fully explore the full potential of their craft.
Brewers want to ensure the culture of craft beer is understood and appreciated, as well as enjoyed. From development to drinking, the beer process carries the heart and soul of the beer in the taste, experience of the product and knowledge of the process. Just visit a brewery or explore a craft market, you are sure to find a beer aficionado ready to bond over brew. As craft brewers focus on establishing a better product through shared knowledge and experience, the next important step to deciding the best craft beer: authentic ingredients to the region.
Craft brewers define their unique flavour by encapsulating their brews with local flavours. Everything from the deciding which hops to use (avoiding cheap substitutions like rice or corn) to sourcing the local water (the pH balance and minerals are important here). Craft beer is based on being authentic with the ingredients, stories and experience for both the producer and consumer. We only source the best ingredients for our beers and are always on the lookout for fantastic local ingredients.
The answer to this question? It all comes down to personal preference. Come and visit us to decide which elements make the best craft beer for you. Contact us to book a brewery tour and beer tasting, available Friday to Sunday by appointment. We’ll happily share our knowledge over a crafty pint.
Who doesn’t love sipping on a freshly-poured brew? There’s no better way to kick back after a long day than cracking open a cold one and watching the sun go down. Beer has been enjoyed for centuries, from the ancient Egyptians to the middle ages to today. During that time many myths surrounding beer have surfaced. Little things we all believe in, but don’t quite know why. It’s time for the best beer facts. We’re about to debunk the myths.
We’ve all watched the ads where a beer so cold it’s covered in icicles is popped open and gulped down followed by a refreshing ‘ah’. The preconceived notion that beer is best served ice cold is definitely a myth. Serving beer that cold numbs the taste buds on your tongue and hides the flavour. The serving temperature of beer should be between room temperature and ice-cold – the ideal temperature depending on the beer. This allows the complex aromas to shine through and add character to your brew. Don’t serve your beer ice cold if your really want to taste the full flavour it has to offer.
The idea that craft beer always has a high alcohol content is a false one. Craft beer is not this magical beer with high alcohol percentages set to turn you on your head. Nope. Craft beer, like any other beer, ranges in strength from as little as 4% all the way up to 11%. At 1000 Hills Brewery, our strongest beer is The Foreign Exchange Student (FES), a dark Belgian ale with an ABV of 9%. The Dean and The Quarterback have the lowest ABV, only 4.5%.
Brown, green, clear – it doesn’t matter what colour bottle your beer comes in, right? Wrong. Dark bottles are the best option for storing beer. Light and oxygen have a negative effect on beer. The sun’s UV rays break down the acid in the hops causing a reaction with the sulphur in the beer, turning it skunky. A dark coloured bottle helps filter out the UV rays, protecting the delicious liquid inside.
Why bother with a glass? The best beer is always drunk straight from the bottle. Isn’t it? Again, no. The bottle top can taint the liquid with a metallic tang. For the best taste and drinking experience, beer should be poured into a glass. Beer glasses have been designed to release the flavour and aroma of craft beer. In fact, many have been shaped specifically for a certain beer. Always pour your brew into a beer glass where you can. Discover our basic guideline to beer glasses here.
Perhaps it’s because of the depth of colour, but it is often thought that dark beer is heavier and stronger than light beer. In fact, dark and light refer simply to the colour of the beer. The colour has nothing to do with strength, it’s determined by the toasting of the malt. The more heavily the malt is toasted, the darker it becomes.
We’ve all been there – tilting the glass to minimise the amount of foam when pouring a cold one. Everyone tries to pour their beer with the least amount of foam possible, but a frothy head is actually a good thing. The foam head serves a purpose. It helps trap the carbon dioxide and aroma, adding to the scent and flavour of your beer. Without a good head of foam, the flavour is lost to the air.
Now that we’ve busted the common myths surrounding beer, go crack open a cold 1000 Hills brew (not too cold) and pour it into shapely beer mug – don’t forget the foam. Sit back, relax and savour the flavour. Stock your fridge with our brew crew. Find a local stockist.