Many people new to the craft world have often expressed their fear of the term “craft”, and I’ve heard all too many opines: “It’s too hoppy”, “That stuff is too fancy”, “It’s not for me”. The fact is, craft beer is just a name used for beer made in a traditional manner, in a modest sized brewery. There’s hardly anything scary about that, and beyond lager (which is like having sex in a canoe**) you can take your mouth on an incredible flavor-blasting journey by trying out some craft brews, and WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DENY YOURSELF THAT KIND OF HAPPINESS?
- I Don’t Like Hoppy Beer
There are two styles of beer: Lagers and Ales. If you aren’t a fan of hoppy flavor, guaranteed there will be something for you to try at a brewery that won’t offend your taste buds, and these will generally fall under the larger category. I know, I know, I just made a hysterical crass joke about lagers that I CANNOT take credit for. But there’s actually an availably of lagers that don’t taste similar in any way to one another. There’s a list for that here. For now, I highly recommend checking out the Firestone Larger.
- I Don’t Like Hoppy Beer and I Don’t Like Lager
Good thing there are varietals of ales for you to choose from! A sweet Hefeweizen is a good choice for starting out on your craft journey. It’s a perfect segue for those used to
the standard Coors or Budweiser (and maybe not even enjoy those), but are looking for something fun yet easy to throw back. There’s generally a hint of banana flavor on the backend, and it pairs well with sea foods, salads, and most items found on a pub menu. If you’re looking for something sweeter than a hefe, look no further than fruit beers. Popular in the US during the summer months, fruit beers like Mango Cart or Guava is my Jam are great intro beers for the hesitant newbie in the craft world.
- Wannabe Know-it-Alls
Just as there are those who defend their Fosters to the bitter end, there are those who will ensure the entire tasting room is aware of their “expertise”. There is nothing more annoying than a know-it-all whodoesn’t actuallyknow it all. It’s one thing to be a
genuinely knowledgeable connoisseur of beer; others can learn valuable information from such a person. But what makes matters worse with the Wannabe Know-it-All is that type of obnoxiousness can scare off the curious, and prevents those who are interested in learning more from curling out of their shells.
- It’s Too Fancy
Don’t let the pretty faces fool you. The process for making beer is exactly the same at the Anheuser Busch brewery in Van Nuys, CA, as it is for Bentwater Brewing in Lynn, Mass. The only difference is one has automation and the other does not … and one is a mega, global conglomerate worth billions. The reason why people think craft is fancy is twofold: first, it is described with the adjective “craft”, which gives it both false prestige and a basis of fear of the unknown, and second, there is variety. Variety is scary. Have you ever looked at a menu with over 20 options for appetizers? It’s overwhelming. So when you’re presented with a menu at a brewery that has a list of 12 different beers in 3 different styles, it’s no wonder some people may feel overwhelmed.
So don’t let the loud-mouthed bros, or foreign information prevent you from dipping your toes into the unknown. You may find something that opens up your world to a whole new level of experience, right in your backyard. We aren’t meant to stand still as humans, stagnant like a stick in a puddle of mud. Get out there and live a little! Allow yourself to find unexpected excitement in a glass: THAT is genuine craft.
If you’re already a fan of craft beer, leave us a note and tell us what got you into it, your favorite craft brewery, or just say hello. Cheers!
– Vicki D.
**fucking close to water