Craft beer. These two words stand as some of the most profound words in our world today as more and more people decide that they are taking a more in-depth look at what they eat and drink. Craft beer is the artisan approach of making beer, and while it tends to be shrouded in images of horn-rimmed glasses, bushy beards, and tattoos, craft beer, as a movement, is more of an answer to the idea that consumers want something more than just the stock libations on the shelf.
In light of the want for more, here are five fairly cool facts about craft beer that will be give you not only more knowledge than you had before, but it may help shine a light on an artisan movement of which you may be missing out:
1. Hops are poisonous to pets – This is important if you happen to be a regular home brewing machine. Aside from just keeping a tidy brew area, you definitely don’t want something to happen to your furry buddy.
2. Medieval Europe depended on beer for their health – Whether it was a known fact by those enjoying the suds or not, beer ended up being a safe alternative to just plain water because it had gone through fermentation, thereby helping kill of potentially harmful matter in the water.
3. “Rule of Thumb” – This particular phrase seems to have origins to beer brewers who used their thumb to test temperatures in their brewing to find the ideal time for the addition of yeast.
4. Beer goes well in the garden – Get it? Beer? Garden? Biergarten? For those choosing a more organic approach to pest removal, beer seems to work by attracting slugs and snails.
5. Craft beer is an American tradition – In many respects, the idea of craft beer & small batch beer production goes all the way back to this country’s founding fathers. Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were no strangers to brewing beer, even maintaining breweries on their plantations. Recall that Benjamin Franklin is also credited with perhaps the most often-quoted anecdote about beer: “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Move over apple pie, and bring on the brew!
Though the craft beer movement in this country, and even the world over, is one that is much maligned as an offshoot of the hipster movement, it may be time to give craft beer brewers their due and realize that what they bring to the table is old world methods and supreme flavor. They have an appreciation for the work it takes to make a good beer, and they understand that by the very nature of what the beer process is, they are working with something that is alive.
It may be time to venture beyond our preconceived notions of what beer is and see what is could be. Cheers!