The craft beer movement is exploding, and it’s easy to see why! After decades of mass-produced lagers dominating the market, people are discovering the amazing flavors of small-batch, artisanal brews.
Craft brewers focus on quality, not quantity, using only the finest, freshest ingredients to produce innovative beers in a variety of styles. IPAs bursting with citrus and hoppy bitterness. Dark stouts and porters with notes of coffee and chocolate. Sours and saisons with a tart, spicy kick. The options seem endless!
Homebrewers have turned pro, opening neighborhood taprooms where you can sample creative, handcrafted concoctions. Many source local, organic ingredients and aim for sustainable practices. It’s a booming industry that boosts economies and fosters community.
The best way to experience the craft beer renaissance is to go on a tasting tour at your local breweries. Chat with the passionate brewers, learn about their process, and find a new favorite brew. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at how craft brewing combines art and science.
With so much variety, there’s a perfect craft beer out there for you. Whether you prefer hops or malts, light or dark, fruity or spicy, the craft beer revolution has a surprise in store. Cheers to the innovators bringing us these handcrafted brews and helping spark a new generation of beer lovers! The craft beer movement is here to stay, so get out there and start exploring. Your new go-to beer is waiting to be discovered!
Craft Beer Styles: Ales, Lagers, Stouts and More
The craft beer world is filled with endless options to explore! Within the major craft beer styles of ales, lagers, stouts and more, there’s a flavor for every taste.
Ales are fruity, full-bodied beers fermented at warm temperatures. Pale ales are light and citrusy, while amber ales have caramel notes. IPAs are hoppy with floral aromas, and stouts are dark, rich and roasty. Want something lighter? Try a kölsch, blond ale or wheat beer.
Lagers are crisp and clean, fermented at cooler temps. Pilsner has a mild hoppy bite, while Munich helles is mildly sweet. Bocks are malty, and Märzens like Oktoberfest are toasty.
Porters are dark, complex and chocolaty. Stouts range from dry Irish to sweet imperial, with coffee and molasses flavors. Barrel-aged stouts are infused with bourbon and oak.
Sours get tart and funky from wild yeasts and bacteria. Fruited sours burst with berries and stone fruit. Gose is lightly salty, fruity and sour.
With new craft breweries opening every day, you’ll never run out of new beers to try. So get out there and start tasting – your perfect pint is waiting to be discovered! Craft beer offers endless adventures in flavor for all you beer loving enthusiasts. Cheers!
Popular Craft Beer Flavors: Hoppy, Malty, Fruity and Beyond
The craft beer world is bursting with a variety of flavors that go way beyond the standard hoppy IPA. Brewers today are experimenting with all sorts of interesting flavor profiles that showcase a range of ingredients. Here are some of the popular craft beer styles and what you can expect from each.
Hoppy beers like IPAs are still king in the craft world. The bold, bitter flavors of hops shine through in these ales. IPAs tend to be very aromatic, with citrus and floral notes. The bitterness provides a crisp, refreshing taste that many craft fans love. Look for terms like “hoppy,” “bitter,” “citrus,” or “floral” to find these hop-forward ales.
Malty beers get their flavor from different types of malted barley. Malts can impart sweet, nutty flavors. Styles like amber ales, brown ales, porters and stouts tend to be malty. You may detect tastes of caramel, toffee, chocolate or coffee. Malty beers usually have an almost chewy mouthfeel and tend to be darker in color. If you like sweeter, fuller-bodied beers, malty ales are for you.
Many craft brewers are experimenting with fruit-infused beers. Fruity beers contain real fruit purees, concentrates or extracts to create tropical, berry, citrus or stone fruit flavors. Styles range from lighter wheat beers and sour ales infused with berries, to heavier stouts aged with cherries or raspberries. Fruity beers tend to be brightly colored, aromatic and bursting with flavor. For a refreshing summer beer, you can’t beat a raspberry wheat ale or a peach sour!
The craft beer world has a flavor for every taste. Whether you prefer bitter and hoppy, sweet and malty, or tangy and fruity, craft brewers have you covered. The only difficulty is deciding which one to try first! Cheers!
Favorite Craft Breweries in the US
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (Chico, CA)
You simply can’t talk craft beer without mentioning Sierra Nevada. This trailblazing brewery launched in 1980 and helped spark the craft beer movement. Their signature Pale Ale is a hoppy classic, bursting with aromas of grapefruit and stone fruit. Sierra Nevada continues to push boundaries, with innovative barrel-aged beers and collaborations with brewers from around the world. If you’re near their stunning brewery in Chico, California, take a tour and sample their experimental small-batch beers on tap—you might just discover your new favorite!
New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO)
New Belgium is one of the most popular and well-known American craft breweries. Best known for their Fat Tire Amber Ale, New Belgium produces a variety of year-round and seasonal craft beers. They’re also a leader in sustainability and social responsibility. If you find yourself in Fort Collins, Colorado, take a free tour of their gorgeous, state-of-the-art brewery, which features a liquid center tasting room and miniature railroad! New Belgium’s lively and whimsical brand personality shines through in their marketing and events. This is a brewery that doesn’t take itself too seriously and knows how to have fun.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Milton, DE)
Dogfish Head is one of the most innovative craft breweries, using unique ingredients and techniques to create beers that push the boundaries of traditional styles. Their Ancient Ales series incorporates ingredients from historic recipes, like Midas Touch, made with barley, honey, saffron and white Muscat grapes. Dogfish also produces IPAs, sours, stouts and more. Founder Sam Calagione has helped bring craft beer into the mainstream through TV shows like Brew Masters. If you want to try something truly unique, look for a Dogfish Head beer—you’re sure to discover bold new flavors.
Other Noteworthy Craft Breweries
Some other U.S. craft breweries making a splash include:
- Bell’s Brewery (Kalamazoo, MI): Creators of Hopslam IPA and Two Hearted Ale.
- Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, CA): Known for hoppy ales like Lil Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale and IPA.
- Stone Brewing (Escondido, CA): Bold, hop-forward beers from the West Coast. Try their Arrogant Bastard Ale!
- Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, MI): Makers of the popular All Day IPA and KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout).
- Firestone Walker Brewing Company (Paso Robles, CA): Renowned for their barrel-aged and
The Best Glass for Each Style of Craft Beer
When it comes to craft beer, the glass you choose can enhance the flavor and aroma. Each style of beer has a glass that’s ideally suited to bring out its best qualities. Here are some of the most popular craft beer glasses and the brews they pair with best.
The classic pint glass is a crowd-pleaser. Its all-purpose shape shows off the color of ales, stouts, and lagers. When drinking an IPA, the wide mouth allows the citrusy and floral hop aromas to shine through. Pint glasses are also perfectly casual for session beers meant for long conversations with friends.
For bold, complex beers like imperial stouts, barleywines and quadrupels, a snifter is a must. Its bulbous bottom and tapered top trap aromas and flavors, allowing you to experience the beer’s nuances with each sip. As the beer warms in your hands, new tastes and scents emerge. Snifters are ideal for leisurely sipping and savoring.
With its elegant, curved shape, the tulip glass highlights the aromas and flavors of Belgian ales like dubbels, tripels and saisons. Its narrow top concentrates the volatiles compounds released by the lively yeasts used to ferment these intricate brews. The tulip glass’s flared lip also directs the beer to the tip of your tongue, accentuating the spicy and fruity notes.
For Bavarian wheat beers like hefeweizens and dunkelweizens, a weizen glass is a must. Its long, narrow shape shows off the beer’s pale, hazy color and thick, foamy head. The proportions of the glass trap banana and clove aromas from the yeast, while allowing ample room for a lemon wedge, a traditional garnish that complements the beer’s tart, citrusy flavors.
Whether casual or refined, there’s a perfect glass to enhance your enjoyment of every style of craft beer. So pour yourself a pint, tulip or snifter, take a sip and cheers to great glassware!