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Craft Beer Myths: 6 Common Mistakes
Craft Beer Myths: 6 Common Mistakes

Everyone has their own point of view on craft beer, always different from that of the other, everyone has their own preference, their own madness.

We look at style with curiosity, Pils, Bock, Trappist, Weisse, IPA, Lambic … but while tastes change, commonplaces resist: false myths sometimes they look like immovable boulders.

In order not to comply, a post by Dissapore on the false myths of craft beer was needed that would take up the good work done by the American site First We Feast, using real experts, perhaps a little biased (they are producers, publicans and sommeliers).

Someone will seem like the discovery of hot water, others will surprise you or make you angry as happened to me.

1) Beer must be cheap

The prices of craft beers are exaggerated. Okay, but let's face it: we can't expect them to cost like any industrial Pils.

We start from afar. Calculate that opening a micro brewery with an annual production of 300 hectoliters, including machinery and authorizations, costs around 200 thousand euros. True, you could buy used equipment from disused micro breweries, in this case we are good at around 80 thousand euros.

craft beer, pub
craft beer, pub

Then, in Italy there is the nice question of excise taxes on beer: in addition to being disproportionate, you have to pay them at the time of production. Basically, blindly.

They produce beers to drink calmly, beers for meditation and easier beers for Saturday nights. The former require huge efforts on the part of producers, time and ideas are needed to create credible recipes that have a market.

However, it is still difficult to justify a craft beer in a bottle for 15 euros in pizzerias, you are right about this, but it is a mistake to associate it with a simple product that must necessarily cost little, let's put it in mind.

2) The higher the alcohol content the better the beer

Before craft beers managed to amaze to the point of becoming fashionable, even in Italy they rarely touched the 5 ° threshold.

This is because, in the common perception, the beer had to be light, fresh, disengaged. Usually, of the pils type. Perhaps only America has done worse than us, getting used to beers of very low alcohol content.

In the last twenty years, on the other hand, we have seen the alcohol content of beer soar, touching and breaking through the double figures. What does this mean?

Is More Alcohol Equals More Flavor? Or did we fall in love with the more extreme side of beer?

IPA beer
IPA beer

Compared to an IPA, India Pale Ale, that is the easy-to-preserve beer that the British government destined to India (but this would also be a false myth) characterized by an alcohol content from 5, 5 ° to 7 °, according to some experts, Imperial IPAs (ie IPAs with an alcohol content between 7 ° and 9 °) have a finer taste.

In particular, the Imperial Stout (beers created by the Anglo-Saxons to invigorate travelers to Russia, alcohol content 9-10 °) have more marked and memorable flavors than the others.

Not everyone agrees, for other connoisseurs the most aromatic beers are between 4 ° and 6 °: clear examples are the English bitters, the German ones, the Belgian sour beers now very fashionable. They like it, they are rich in aromas without making us slip off the bar stool.

3) Canned beer is not as good as bottled beer

Canned beer is discriminated a priori. The first alcoholic can dates back to 1935, produced by the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company.

An instant success, easy to understand why: transport is simpler, storage costs fall, the risk of broken bottles is zeroed. But we know, the eye wants its part.

This is the reason why the can has always been discriminated against compared to bottles: tall, slender, grimy apes of wine bottles. More snobbish than the clumsy can.

beer baladin pop
beer baladin pop

From 2002 onwards something started to change: in America the first canned crafts appear with comforting sales. In Italy it is the recent Pop of Baladin that definitively bans aluminum apartheid.

In reality, cans are fantastic, they ensure a cool and relaxed drink, attract less ultraviolet rays (light is the enemy of alcohol) than bottles. Which are to be preferred instead for the possibility of a cork stopper and metal cage, excellent in case of aging.

A can better defends beer from its enemies: oxygen (with which beer oxidizes) heat and light. It does a better job than the bottle, to be preferred only if fast drinking times are expected, but possibly dark and thick.

4) The freshness of the beer is overrated

The facts: Anheuser-Busch, in 1996, was the first brewery to stamp the expiration date on bottles. It was a ruckus: could the beer really go bad? In fact, a lot depends on how it is stored, as well as on the type of beer.

expiration date
expiration date

There are many aficionados who greatly appreciate aged beers, especially some which, due to their characteristics, are better suited to aging than others.

The advice is to let the beers with a very high alcohol content age, in order to allow the hops to release all the primary aromas.

5) Hop-rich beers are all bitter

During the preparation of the beer, the cereals (including malt) are ground and macerated, in order to obtain a fine must, the distant ancestor of our drink. During the boiling of the wort, hops are added (for those who own the hopped malt kit: the operation is already done).

Hops are an inflorescence that usually gives the beer its typical bitter taste, as well as a remarkable bouquet of primary and secondary aromas. The resin brings the bitter taste, the essential oils of the flower infuse the aromas.

craft beer
craft beer

Today there are hundreds of varieties of hops used in craft beers, attributing uniqueness and appreciable differences.

Ultimately, it all depends on the variety of hops (there are flavoring hops, bitter hops and ambivalents), and also on when the hops are added. At the beginning of fermentation it adds bitterness while if it is combined in the last 15 minutes of boiling it gives aromas.

The bitterness of the hops should be compared to the sweetness of the malt used. For beers with a low sugar malt residue, hops bring more bitter aromas. In beers rich in malt, hops act as a catalyst, balancing the flavors. English Barley wines are an excellent example.

6) Yeasts make beer sour

We are talking about yeasts, often listed on the label, with a prohibitive name reduced for convenience to "brett".

In beer they are generally seen as carriers of defects related to acidity. Many American breweries use brett to produce S aison and A le special, inspired by Belgian sour beers, Cantillon in the lead (Belgian brand that has developed a cult following).

Cantillon, Brussels
Cantillon, Brussels

In practice, the brett eat the sugars in beer, and the longer they do it, the drier and more acidic the beer becomes (but the acidity does not depend only on the brett, but also on lactic bacteria and a whole host of other microorganisms).

Also in this case the moment in which the yeast comes into contact with the beer is important. If inoculated at the beginning of the first fermentation, it only adds a slightly sour character.

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