Consumers have been moving away from the mass-market beers that most Americans think of when you mention beer. These Craft Beers for the lack of a better term have been slowly increasing their market share since the 1980’s and in the last few years have been increasing by 15% or so a year. Still the vast majority of beer consumed in the Unites States is a pale lager or its lower calorie version that became popular not because they have great flavor, but because they are not overly flavorful and they inoffensive to most people.
Today consumers are looking for a more flavorful option that they might like, but others may not. Craft beers are often a local product, only available close to the brewery so they are part of the community. And people are looking for the option of having a couple beers they really enjoy instead of pounding down a 6-pack of corporate beer and dealing with the consequences.
It can be daunting to go into a craft beer bar and see 40 tap handles and not know what the differences are, or go in to a liquor store and see a very long set of shelves with lots and lots of different beers. Falling back to the pale lager you saw on TV is an option, but I urge you to go on and explore the whole world of beer and I believe in the end you will be glad you did.
Click on the links below to learn more about beer, brewing, and what the corporate brewers are really doing.
Do you have a club, an organization or a group of friends that would like to know more about beer?
FMBeer can help you with a Beer Tasting or a Beer 101 class that fits your needs with possible topics of basic information, paring beer with food, a tour or Belgian beers or something in between.
If you would like further information, have suggestions on what should be on this site, or would like to arrange a private group beer tasting or Beer 101 class, contact me at dean(at)fmbeer.com
Beer – The Basics
The Brewing Process
Beer’s American Journey
Craft Beer and Beer Styles
Beer Marketing Speak – What the words in the beer commercials really mean
Pairing Beer with Food
What Bartenders Should Know About Serving Craft Beer
How to Taste Beer:
Look at your beer. Raise the beer in front of you. Describe its color, its head and its clarity.
Agitate your beer. Swirl your beer, gently in the glass. This will pull out aromas, slight nuances, loosen & stimulate carbonation and test head retention.
Smell your beer. Much of what you experience as taste is through you sense of smell. Agitate again if you need to.
Taste. Now sip the beer. Resist swallowing immediately. Let it wander and explore your entire palate. Note the mouthfeel, the consistency of the liquid’s body. Also, try tasting the beer after it warms a bit. Really cold beer tends to mask some of the flavors. As a beer warms, its true flavors will pull through, become more pronounced.