Millions of adults all over the world enjoy the taste of an ice cold beer. There are tons of big name beer companies out there that are constantly competing for the biggest name, the best taste and the greatest reputation. For those who are on the lookout for the best craft beers available, you may not have to look at the big brand names to find the best beer for your tastes. The most delicious beer for you may be found in a microbrew.
A microbrew is a beer that is handcrafted and is made by small breweries called microbreweries. A brewery needs to produce no more than 15,000 barrels of beer a year in order to be classified as a microbrewery. Microbreweries tend to focus more on the quality of the product and staying true to traditional forms of brewing beer rather than adjusting the recipe and process for mass production like many big name companies do while brewing their beer.
History of Microbrews
The history behind microbrews goes back extremely far. There is evidence to suggest that the practice goes back as far as 10,000 BC and has stuck around through history ever since. From ancient Egypt to Europe in the Middle Ages to modern times, microbrews have become more and more popular with the process and recipes changing and improving through each era. Through all those years of experimentation, trial, error and discovery we had slowly perfected the process and even today there are new techniques, recipes and styles being brewed up every day.
Beer brewing wasn’t always seen in a great light, however. In 1920, microbrews and brewing in general took a massive hit when prohibition took effect and nearly destroyed the entire world of brewing as we know it. Prohibition was a ban on the sale and production of alcohol in the United States. Many breweries were forced to go out of business because of it and it seemed like it would be the end of breweries and beer altogether.
However, just because a ban was in place didn’t mean people stopped drinking and making beer. Organized crime took great advantage over the situation and made bootleg beer. The underground alcohol business surged, despite the bootleg beer usually being made rather poorly and with cheap ingredients.
After prohibition was lifted in 1933, the underground brewing business plummeted and about half of the closed down breweries and microbreweries came back to life. Despite this, the alcohol business took a great hit from prohibition and would take many years to recover fully. These days many people freely enjoy beer and the business of microbreweries and breweries has flourished.
Classifying a Craft Beer
Microbrewers are a classification of craft brewers. Craft brewers are bigger than microbreweries withj their definition allowing for the annual production of 6 million barrels of beer instead of 15,000. Craft brewers also pride themselves on staying traditional with the base ingredients while still finding many different innovations in style and flavor.
There are many different craft beers available and more are being made every day. Some craft beers include American Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Red Ale, Porter, Stout and much more.
Where to Find Craft Beer Where You Live
Buying craft beers and microbrews doesn’t take much effort either. There are many bars and restaurants that sell these beers and all you need to do is ask the person behind the counter is they carry any craft beers or microbrews. If they don’t carry them, they can probably direct you to places that do sell high quality craft beers and microbrews.
In any case, it’s a good idea to talk with a local bartender or the owner of a bar to get their opinion on good beers to try out before buying some. Everyone has different tastes, but finding out what a professional truly enjoys can be very beneficial.
Another option would be the Internet. There are many websites that can find local stores or bars that carry the specific beer you are looking for. Also, there are several websites that can deliver beer right to your door as long as you live in a state that allows it and are of legal drinking age.
The final option would be to go directly to a craft brewer or microbrewery and order some beer directly from them. Some breweries even offer free samples so you can taste different kinds of beer before you decide to buy it. This can prevent you from needlessly wasting money or beer.
Big name brands can have great beer. If they didn’t they wouldn’t be big name brands. However, if you like a bigger variety, traditional brews and knowing that each batch of beer is made for quality and not quantity, craft beers and microbrews may be just what you’re looking for.