Exploring the Enchanting World of “Beer” Culture

Beer is a drink that helps you relax. During the summer, it’s common for everyone to have some beer in their home refrigerator. As the beer industry continues to grow, more and more people are opting for craft beer. How much do you know about craft beer? Today, I will introduce you to the culture of craft beer.

Craft beer originated in Europe and gained popularity in the United States. In recent years, it has also experienced rapid development in large and medium-sized cities in our country. What exactly is craft beer? There are various definitions both domestically and internationally, leading to some variations. Some say that craft beer is a beverage that makes you want another sip, with its aroma and taste captivating your senses; others define it as beer made without the use of adjuncts like rice or corn, brewed through traditional methods; some argue that craft beer refers to small-batch brews produced by independent breweries; while others simply believe that as long as it smells good and tastes good, regardless of origin, it can be considered craft beer.

The definition of craft beer:

1. The definition provided by the American Craft Brewing Association:

(1) Small: Annual production is less than 6 million barrels (702,000 tons), and the beer produced is primarily intended for commercial purposes.

(2) Independent: Non-craft breweries or company organizations cannot hold more than 25% ownership.

(3) Traditional: The flavor of most beers brewed should come from traditional or innovative raw materials and fermentation processes.

2. General definition of craft beer:

Beer brewed solely from four raw ingredients – malt, hops, yeast, and water – is considered craft beer. Brewers can use innovative raw materials to enhance the flavors based on these four ingredients.

The difference between craft beer and industrial beer:

When discussing craft beer, we must also address the concept of industrial beer. In any food and beverage production enterprise, craft beer equipment must be industrialized and produced on a large scale to reduce costs. However, in the quest for mass production, the taste of the final product is often compromised. Breweries strive to create flavors that are at least acceptable to a wide range of people. So what kind of beer can appeal to as many people as possible? The answer is light, watery beer, which explains why domestic beers have a diluted taste. By making beer taste like water, production costs can be further reduced. As a result, many industrial beers incorporate ingredients such as rice, corn, and even starch, making the beer more water-like. This not only reduces costs but also caters to a larger audience. Brands like Budweiser, Heineken, Carlsberg, as well as domestic beers like Snowflake, Qingdao, and Harbin, fall into the category of industrial beer.

The difference between craft beer and industrial beer lies in the ingredients used. Industrial beer tends to include cheap adjuncts (such as rice and corn), resulting in a mild malt flavor and a lack of the distinctive hop character. Craft beer equipment, however, emphasizes the quality of the malt and hops, selecting different varieties based on the desired style, resulting in a diverse range of flavors. Craft beer does not utilize additives, high-temperature sterilization, or filtration, ensuring a rich and fresh taste while retaining various probiotics, vitamins, and other beneficial components for human health.

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