Ruling the Brews: A Beer Queen’s Guide to Conquering Craft Beer

Ruling the Brews: A Beer Queen’s Guide to Conquering Craft Beer

Craft beer has taken the world by storm, offering beer lovers a diverse range of flavors, aromas, and styles to discover. With so many options available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to delve into the world of craft beer. However, with the right knowledge and a sense of adventure, you can start ruling the brews in no time.

Understanding the Basics of Craft Beer

Before diving into the world of craft beer, it’s important to understand the basics. Craft beer refers to beer produced by small, independent breweries that use traditional brewing techniques to create unique and innovative flavors. Unlike mass-produced beer, craft beer is not brewed for maximum efficiency, but rather for maximum taste and quality.

Choosing the Right Brew

Choosing the right brew can be a daunting task, especially with the countless options available. The best way to approach this is by experimenting with different styles and flavors to identify what you enjoy. Here are some popular styles of craft beer to get you started:

  • IPA (India Pale Ale): Known for its bitterness and hoppy aroma, IPAs offer a range of flavors from citrusy to piney.
  • Stout: Dark and rich with flavors of chocolate and coffee, stouts are perfect for those who enjoy a full-bodied beer.
  • Pale Ale: A light and refreshing beer with a crisp finish, pale ales are an ideal choice for those who prefer milder flavors.
  • Sour: Tart and acidic with fruity undertones, sours offer a unique and refreshing taste that’s perfect for hot summer days.
  • Belgian Ale: Known for their spicy and fruity flavors, Belgian ales are perfect for those who enjoy complex and layered tastes.

The Importance of Glassware

Believe it or not, the glass you drink your beer from can have a significant impact on its taste and aroma. Each style of beer has its own unique glass that is designed to enhance its specific characteristics. Here are some popular types of beer glassware:

  • Pint Glass: A standard glass that’s great for most types of beer.
  • Tulip Glass: Ideal for Belgians and stouts, tulip glasses trap aromas in the bulbous area at the top while allowing sufficient room for air flow to enhance the head and release aromatics.
  • Snifter: Perfect for barrel-aged beers, snifters help to capture and concentrate the aromas, letting the drinker fully commit to the big, boozy flavors.
  • Mug: A versatile classic that can handle many styles, mugs are ideal for German-style lagers with their large handle making them perfect for outdoor drinking and beer halls.

The Art of Tasting

Tasting and evaluating beer is a skill that can be developed and refined over time. Here’s a step-by-step guide to tasting beer like a pro:

  1. Look: Observe the color and clarity of the beer as well as its head and carbonation.
  2. Smell: Take a few deep sniffs to bring out the aroma of the beer, noticing any spices, fruit, or hoppy notes.
  3. Taste: Take a sip, holding it in your mouth for a few seconds. Swirl it around to fully coat your palate. Notice the flavor profiles —is it bitter, sweet, spicy?
  4. Finish: Notice the aftertaste. Did the flavors linger or fade away?

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to drinking craft beer, there are some common mistakes to avoid. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t be afraid to try something new. Don’t stick to safe flavors.
  • Avoid freezing your beer, anything that’s too cold loses flavor and aroma.
  • Don’t drink the beer too quickly, allow that yummy liquid to wrap around your palate.
  • Don’t judge a beer by its label – the best beers aren’t always the ones with the flashiest packaging.


What is the difference between craft beer and regular beer?

Craft beer is often made in smaller batches and uses innovative brewing techniques to create unique flavors. Regular beer, on the other hand, is mass-produced by large breweries and is brewed for maximum efficiency rather than taste.

What is the alcohol content in craft beer?

Alcohol content in craft beer varies between different styles and breweries. While some craft beers can be relatively low in alcohol, others can be more potent, with ABVs of up to 12%.

What’s the difference between an IPA and a Pale Ale?

The main difference between the two is the amount of hops used. IPAs are more often hoppy and bitter, while pale ales are typically milder with less bitterness. Pale ales are usually more refreshing and are less strong than an IPA.

Are craft beers healthier than regular beer?

Craft beer and regular beer have similar calorie counts. However, craft beer is usually made with whole ingredients, making it healthier in terms of ingredients. Craft beer does usually have a higher alcohol content.

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