What Sets a Craft Brew Apart From a Commercial Beer?
It’s OK if you haven’t yet realized why drinking craft beer is simply better. When asking about the difference between craft beer vs regular beer, you should consider more than a quick buzz. There’s nothing that industrial beer offers that you can’t get from a craft brewery. However, there are plenty of benefits of craft beer that commercial beer simply can’t produce. If all you’ve ever known was industrial beer, then you need to read this. You’ll certainly learn more about the craft.
Are You Drinking Regular Beer?
Millions of beer drinkers have never thought about what regular beer is or how it’s made. Regular beer is just that: nothing special. Like most things that get commercialized, this commercial beer has character but within a tiny spectrum of imagination. That character has been diluted due to the need for mass production.
Those who drink this beer, also, don’t have better expectations, so it will remain watered down. They aren’t critical about it and might be solely drinking to forget things. When produced, its higher quantities are more important than its quality.
The Importance of Quality and Tender Care
Craft breweries can only be compared to industrial manufacturers in that they produce alcoholic beverages made from wheat, barley, yeast, and hops. The core difference is the control that microbreweries have over their process. They can afford to put in the time for better results. What this results in is a richer beer with no compromises in quality for the sake of production.
Whereas industrial breweries create large batches, craft beer makers take their time and remain intimate with each step of beer making. This intimacy is the difference between a basic suit and something tailored or bespoke. The nuisances make a difference but can’t be done en masse. Everything an industrial brewery does is, essentially, an attempt to do more, resulting in less.
What Is Craft Beer Then?
For starters, you need a local brewery or something comparable to create something worth being called a craft. Those who make craft selections, by law, can’t even produce more than 6 million barrels each year. They’re forced to perfect the process and invest in it. Though not always a local brewery to you, craft beer is recognized by where it’s from more than by who makes it. Small, limited quantities and specific processes grant the title of craft.
Here’s a better look at what to expect with craft beer vs commercial beer:
The best ingredients are often rare and take time to replenish. Producing such on a mass scale isn’t practical for the biggest corporations. If more months are needed to confirm quality, then microbreweries can find that time. Larger ones, however, have to meet demand immediately.
Where ingredients grow make a difference in how they taste and even synthesize into alcohol. The cultural practices of a specific region are also important and will be limited to that region in most cases. You find the same phenomenon with rare wines like Burgundy wine from Burgundy.
Personal and Friendly
Smaller breweries are often a bit more personal. They offer tours of their facilities and usually have to start their businesses by serving those who are local to them. As they then build a larger brand, they’ll have the resources to reach you wherever you are.
A Larger Variety of Styles
One of the main aspects of an industrial brewery is consistency. They have to meet a set standard in order to avoid discouraging their drinkers from finding other malts. Variety, when it comes to craft beers, however, is what makes them exciting and somewhat of an adventure.
Is One Stronger Than the Other?
Absolutely, the alcohol content is definitely a game changer when comparing craft to regular beers.
A craft beverage can have as high as 9% in alcohol content. This depends on the brewery and its State in some cases. On the other hand, the typical light beer only has about 3.5% ABV on the shelf. The difference doesn’t make craft options malt liquor, but it will make those beers stronger overall. This spectrum literally means that you can drink one craft beverage to achieve the same results as two light beers. However, you can still get craft options with less alcohol.
If you’ve ever felt that commercial beer was a bit watered down, then its alcohol content is the reason why. Though light beers have the lowest, typical beers will have up to 5%, and this is still below their crafty counterparts. When testing craft beer vs regular beer, their labels make it clear which carries a heavier punch. As to be expected, industrial beer will get watered down in order to turn out two beers from what’s really just one volume. The ingredients will get diluted.
Now for the Spectrum of Flavors
Don’t get carried away and start thinking about flavored beer as it relates to limes, apples or grapes. Beer that comes from craft breweries are like works of art in a gallery. The details are what matter the most, and this affects flavor. They have the freedom to experiment and produce more flavors than a commercial brewery can keep up with. What’s important to note is that microbreweries make it a specific focus to talk about and experiment with aroma or taste.
When finding such beer makers, you’ll hear them discuss qualities like piney or floral. You haven’t discussed common beer this way for a reason.
These flavors simply can’t be reproduced with the same potency and, therefore, they aren’t a factor. Experiencing the craft variety, however, will bring before you qualities like bitter or resinous. Even more, each brewery is working to stand out from others, so expect their experiments to result in vast differences.
When Your Health Is the Focal Point
There is a popular argument that crafty beers are, in general, healthier for you.
The health benefits of drinking beer have been studied as it relates to moderation. Beer, itself, could lower your risk of heart disease, according to Healthline Magazine. Moderate drinking can even reduce your risk of dementia.
These benefits have been studied, but take into account that your craft varieties also use better ingredients and processes. If a typical beer offers your body good benefits, then boosting the quality of that beer is a factor. Even bone density can be improved.
Crafty Beer—Have You Thought of Making Your Own?
Trying to reproduce your typical industrial beer is a waste of time for most drinkers. The process of creating craft beer vs commercial beer, however, is intriguing and warrants some attention. The more you learn about the process, the closer you get to actually calling your beverage a craft beer. Like carpentry or sculpting, don’t expect to perfect that craft overnight. Start with a specific craft kit if you don’t already have the equipment or experience.
The basic ingredients are water, hops, malt and yeast. Yes, you can learn about and add more ingredients, but those are the basics. Get a container with a 10 gallon volume for example. Now boil one gallon of water. When hot, add in the malt extract, sugar, yeast and hops. Let these simmer before putting the ingredients into your final container. Add in the other 9 gallons of water, and stir heavily in order to get the yeast activated.
Seal for roughly 10 days, and allow the ingredients to ferment. Now enjoy. The process is simple, but the details at each stage are worth perfecting. To get the exact results you want, you need to fine-tune the steps and find more exotic ingredients to use.