Beer. Not just any kind either. Craft beer. With an estimated 1.2 million home brewers in America, the art of evolving beer in your back yard has been around since the ancient Egyptians figured cereal wasn’t cutting it. From a double-chocolate stout to a hibiscus saison, the evolution of beer has transformed itself into an infinite spectrum. Drinkers around the globe continue investing time and creativity into discovering the next best brew in their own garage.
Brewing beer starts with a water, cereal grains, hops, and yeast. After smashing grains, boiling the mush, and adding the hops, you cool down the result, ferment with yeast, and then you age. Simple? No way…innovating a craft brew is an art that requires a science to discover styles or flavors so satisfy our palates. Wondering how we end up with banana bread stouts or vanilla porters? If you can ferment something, anything, just add it to the process. Coconut, cherry, oatmeal, honey, chamomile, pumpkin, jalapeno, pecans chocolate, peaches, blueberries, brewers add pretty much anything you’d consider adding into a trail mix. When a brewer carefully handpicks every single ingredient and understands the science required to synchronize those ingredients, those ingredients become the consumable work of art that is craft beer.
If you walk into a draught house and make decisions based on the coolness of a tap handle, you’ve probably been limiting yourself to Blanche de Bruxelles which is a fantastic beer so it’s okay. Although, the types of beer out there are easy to remember and come in handy when facing the beer snobs(which shouldn’t be a crime). Lagers(bottom yeast, smooth, fruity) and Ales(top yeast, sharp, robust) are the roots to the wide variety that keeps on changing. You can branch out Lagers to infamous American classics like Budweiser, Coors light or PBR. Lagers also turn into to Shiner (which is a Bock) and Stella Artois (which is a Pilsner). Ales are responsible for Stouts(Guinness), IPA’s(Mosaic) and Barleywine(Sierra Nevada). Lagers are usually easier to drink while Ales have a stronger body, and usually a higher ABV%. The library is pretty endless so remembering small details about the brewing process can help in choosing the right beer for you.
If you haven’t visited a brewery, check one out in your hometown. Odds are there’s a co-op somewhere pouring. If you happen to live in Texas, head down to Austin and visit Bangers! Largest tap wall in the city, great sausage, and a wonderful location. Afterwards visit Adelbert’s brewery and try some of the best beer in the nation. Take the risk, drink craft beer, spread the word, and don’t forget to watch the calories.
Jasmine Palacios is a performer/writer born in Dallas, TX. She studied at the Austin School of film, Institution Theater and Coldtowne Conservatory. With upcoming projects in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas, she’s based herself in Austin, TX, pursuing all that is entertainment. Some of her biggest influences include Jim Carrey, Black Sabbath, and Paul Thomas Anderson!