A for Aroma In contrast to industrially produced beers, the craft beer scene likes to use rather out-of-the-ordinary aromas. From chocolate or coffee, forest fruits and wood, to smoke or ham – the choice of aromas is limitless.
B for Barley
For some people, barley and malt in regard to beer are one and the same. This is not quite correct, however, because barley is the predecessor form of malt, meaning that the malt you need to brew beer is obtained from barley.
C for Creativity
When it comes to conceiving new types of beer, craft brewers give free rein to their creativity. They don’t work to strict rules and are not bound by any limitations.
D for Drinking
Enjoyment is paramount when it comes to craft beer. Here, the beer is not downed in massive gulps (as is sometimes the case for industrially brewed beers), no, the taste is explored sip by sip. You don’t just drink craft beer – you relish it.
E for Events
With the success of the craft-brewing scene, events at which craft brewers can showcase their products have proliferated. Events like this bring craft beer to the notice of the general public.
F for Foam
The foam is an important indicator for the quality of any beer, and, of course, of a craft beer in particular. Depending on the type involved, the head has to be firm, creamy or almost non-existent.
G for Glasses
You can, of course, drink craft beer out of bottles or cans. But true craft-beer-lovers know: the taste can still best be savoured to the full in a glass – which is why they always have their tasting glasses with them.
H for Hops
Besides water and malt, hops are the most important constituent of beer. They are primarily responsible for the taste. Normally, it’s the hops that give the beer its bitter note. In the craft beer scene, however, aroma hops are being used increasingly, since thanks to their complex aroma profiles they give the beers a special fragrance and flavour.
I for IPA
The IPA is a light-coloured beer with a high content of alcohol and hops. It has a strong, intensive taste, and scores highly with what is in most cases an intriguingly fruity note.
J for Job
Whereas a few years ago craft brewing was still regarded as a hobby, there are meanwhile many people who brew craft beers as a full-time job. And if you go about it the right way, you can make a decent living from it into the bargain.
K for Keg
Needless to say, beer comes in kegs, too, though for craft beer, this kind of storage is pretty unusual. It is, however, gaining increasingly in popularity. But not every beer is suitable for maturing in casks. The beer concerned has to have a relatively lengthy shelf-life. This is why the stronger beers, like stouts for example, are stored in casks.
L for Lautering
As many of you will probably know, the brewing process creates mash. This mash is a watery mixture, in which undissolved substances like cereal grains have to be filtered out so that ultimately the wort for the beer is left. This filtration is called lautering.
M for Malt
Malt is one of the three major constituents of (craft) beer. It is produced from special types of cereal, such as wheat or barley. This cereal is soaked in water until it germinates. After that, it is dried and milled; the end-product is malt.
N for Nitro
The term “nitro beer” denotes beer that is filled using nitrogen instead of CO2. The nitrogen makes the beer creamier and milder, which is particularly suitable for stouts.
O for Origins
Craft beer originated in the USA during the s. Since back then only a few types of beer were being offered, people began to brew their beer themselves. Gradually, this proved highly successful, and the trend spread all over the world.
P for Porter
Porter is a jest-black beer with a malty taste. Because most porters have a lot of hops added, it ranks among the more bitter of beers.
Q for Quality
Quality is the be-all and end-all when it comes to craft beer. More and more brewers have resolved to brew their beers using only the best-quality constituents and under optimum conditions.
R for Reinheitsgebot
The German Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot) lays down that beer may consist only of hops, water and malt. This has for five centuries been the fundamental rule governing the brewing of beer – one that recently has not been universally regarded as an unreservedly beneficial tradition.
S for Stout
Stout is a top-fermented beer with a dark, almost black coloration. Its usual distinguishing feature is its marked, cream-coloured head.
T for Tradition
Like conventional beers as well, craft beer is made from water, malt and hops. Traditional brewing craftsmanship is highly regarded by craft brewers, despite abundant creativity and love of experimentation.
U for Unity
The craft beer scene is a closely-knit fellowship. Once you’ve been lucky enough to experience the pleasures of craft beer, you’re normally hooked for life, and are cordially welcomed into the community of craft beer-lovers.
V for Variation
Craft Beer is particularly popular due to its diversity. What’s often in short supply with industrially brewed beers takes top place in craft brewing. Meanwhile, there are millions of different taste and fragrance variations on the market, and new ones are being launched every day.
W for Water
Besides hops and malt, water is the third ingredient officially permitted in beer under the German Purity Law. And without it brewing would not in fact be possible at all. After all, this vital liquid accounts for per cent of a beer.
X for Xylology
As already described above, storage in wooden casks is all the rage at the moment for certain craft beers. And it goes without saying that for this the type of wood is of crucial importance. Knowing all about these types of wood is called xylology.
Y for Yeast
Yeast is the reason why beer (normally) contains alcohol. This is because the yeast, in conjunction with the malt sugar, causes the beer to ferment, prolongs its shelf-life thanks to the alcohol created, and also puts the carbon dioxide in the beer. A genuine allrounder then.
It’s difficult to define when a beer is ultimately ranked as a craft beer. But all of them have this in common: the driving force behind the production operation is not commercial success, but passion. A passion for brewing, for giving full rein to creativity, and for going to the limit (and perhaps even beyond it sometimes as well).