7 Things Every Craft Beer Enthusiast Learns
You learn lot about beer once you start looking a bit further than whatever brew is being broadcasted at you from the TV, screamed at you from a billboard or branded across your favourite sports-team’s chests.
Being a beer geek is a wonderful hobby, and it’s only be embedding yourself in the culture, exploring the history, savouring the myriad styles and learning about all the process that you can become a true beer veteran.
Here’s a handful of things that I’ve learned on my craft beer journey.
1. You’ll need a bigger fridge.
Look, we’re all about quality over quantity, truth to material and all that, but once you get into this you’ll quickly find yourself in quite deep. So scrap that header, a second fridge that’s dedicated to beer is better than a bigger fridge. Something that the your family knows is off limits to them. If you have a cellar – good for you, this will help a lot. If not then you’re going to have to reappropriate a cupboard for storing beers.
2. You’ll accumulate plenty of glassware.
A large part of nerding out on beer is about collecting all of the peripheral accessories. Because any beer-nerd worth his brew will know that a stout should not be poured into a pint glass. Always serve a craft beer in the appropriate vessel. So along with a special place for storing your beers you’ll need a dedicated cupboard for all the pints, half-pints, tulips, stanges, snifters and flutes.
3. Bad beer is a real thing
The biggest problem with the craft beer boom is that there are so many people jumping on the bandwagon for all the wrong reasons. Inevitably these brews will come your way and you’ll have to endure them. Look, they’re not as bad as, say, an alco-pop, so learn your lesson and then move along. Life’s too short for bad beer.
4. Your palate will change
As your journey takes you to weirder and more wonderful beers your palate will develop into a wonderful tool that’s able to help you to fully enjoy craft beer. Those intense flavours that you were bombarded by in the beginning will become the norm and can now be properly categorized. Also, this maturation of your palate will help you with the abovementioned bad beer that you’ll no doubt sip, as you’ll learn to taste off-flavours, blemishes, improper handling, off beer, dirty tap lines and other flaws.
6. You start to spend waaaaaaay too much on beer
Remember when R100 got you a 12-pack of man-size tins? Ho-ho, now you’ll have to throw in another twenty just to taste a half-pint of that limited edition specialty brew. Most of it will only be a few rands more than commercial stuff, which is fine, but you’ll have to drive further than your local Tops to get hold of it. Don’t ever balk at the price. Remember, craft beer costs more because of what goes into it. As brewers learn this they can then experiment with more expensive ingredients and more adventurous brews. Beer-pairing dinner – yeah, why not! It could be worse. You could be into wine. Or scotch. Or Kite-boarding.
7. Every day is a school day
Just when you think you’ve tasted it all, or read all the literature, or know all of the processes, something new comes along, or something old is rediscovered, and blows you away. It’s a fulfilling journey, and it all starts with beer.