A Beginner’s Guide to Craft Beer

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No matter how hard you try, it’s hard to resist cracking open a cold one with your mates on your day off. Or any day for that matter. The Aussie community is known to be an exquisite connoisseur of good food and drinks, and beer is no exception. It might even be the most popular drink of choice among liquor enthusiasts.

With such high standards and high demands, it’s no wonder that we’ve got such a vast pool of options when it comes to locally sourced beer. For avid beer lovers, this is a match made in heaven. Nothing can quite boost the mood like going to the store and getting a few cans of the favourite artisanal brews.

What Are Craft Beers?

In short, craft beers aren’t manufactured by those big breweries and bubbling businesses. Instead, they’re produced with all the love and care they need in a small, independent brewery. Needless to say, this doesn’t make them any less good. In fact, many people would argue that refreshing craft beer made by smaller businesses closely resembles a homebrewed concoction, giving you the authentic taste and smell of homemade beer.

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How Many Craft Beer Styles Are There?

For more adventurous types, trying out all the different beer styles could be a welcome challenge. Truth be told, there are over 100 beer styles all over the world, each one bringing something special to the table. Lots of breweries choose to experiment and come up with new styles, which leads to an ever-growing number of craft beer options.

How Can You Tell a Good Beer?

With so many options, it’s easy to see that there’s something in it to tickle everyone’s taste buds, regardless of where your preferences lay. Keep in mind that what works for you might not work so well for the next person and vice versa. But if you’ve yet to figure out which beer is your favourite, or you’re just in the mood to try out new things, there are a few telltale signs that can lead you in the right direction as you shop for craft beer online.

Aroma

This is a little tricky because you can’t exactly open up every bottle and can of beer you find at the store to get a whiff, but the smell of beer is usually the first thing that hits your senses, even before you take your fist sip. The signature aroma of different beer styles relies heavily on what the ingredients are and how they’re produced. Some people like a stronger scent whereas others are more inclined to choose subtle aromas. Either way, if you notice a funky smell that closely resembles vinegar, you definitely shouldn’t drink that.

Colour and Appearance

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These days you’ll find a range of craft beer colours, starting from extremely light, and see-through shades, all the way to darker and more mysterious ones. Oftentimes, we assume that light beers are inherently sweeter than their more pigmented counterparts but this isn’t always the case. So don’t be fooled by the colour as it doesn’t go hand-in-hand with the flavour.

Taste

This one’s entirely subjective. Some people like a sweet side to their beer. Other are more appreciative of a bitter aftertaste. It’s up to you to decide which one matches your preferences the most. But if your drink has a sour edge to it, that means that it’s gone bad and you should throw it away.

Alcohol Percentage

Finally, your last criterion is how strong your drink actually is. The percentage of alcohol should be visibly displayed on the package for all to see. In general terms, most beers’ alcohol percentage is somewhere about 5%, but you’ll surely find more than a few that are well over 10%.

What About Making Your Own Beer at Home?

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Yes, absolutely. This is probably one of the most exciting and thrilling hobbies for men, or anyone really. But here’s the thing, you don’t have to go through all the mashing, distilling and fermenting in order to make beer at home. That’s always a possibility, sure, but there are more convenient ways to do that. In recent years, the process of making beer at home has gone through massive changes, all for the better. Perhaps the most revolutionary step is the creation of the so-called beer extract kits that make the whole thing much easier.

Basically, the kits contain everything you need in both liquid and powder form. Both options are equally as effective so you can’t really go wrong either way. This is especially beneficial for beginners too since all the details, such as pH-levels and brewing temperatures, have been taken care of. If you’re looking for a place to start, getting an easy-to-use homemade lager kit is a great choice. It’s quite handy because you’ll get all the instructions you need on how to prepare your brew along with a detailed step-by-step guide on how to make the perfect mix.

The first thing you need to do is put a boiling kettle on top of a heat source. Then, you can dump the contents of your homemade lager kit into the kettle and let it sit for a bit. This will provide all the recommended sugar levels for fermentation. Once that’s done, make sure you use the right tubes to move the mix into a fermenter. Here, you’ll have to use a hydrometer to measure sugar levels and alcohol percentage. If you’re satisfied with your numbers, you’ve successfully finished your first brew.