The evolution of American Craft with @beerindigo

Evening fellas & felladies

How is life treating y’all? It’s Friday so surely that’s aiding towards decent moods for the majority of you. No? Well let’s try and help…

…tonight, we have the second instalment of our series with @beerindigo where we talk all things craft and we think it’s as good as having a nice, crisp glass of the amber nectar in your very palm…

…although, we would say that as tonight is Peddler Market in Sheffield (a street-food market with plenty of ale options) which is just around the corner from the ‘…Supply Co.’ and we are, to a man, taking advantage!

Shane aka @beerindigo sent his first feature live a couple of weeks back, which was a sort-of conversation between him and Ben to enlighten B, a stoic lager drinker’ on the craft beer movement. Since the post, I’ve seen Ben holding at least one pint of craft ale AND he wasn’t just holding it for me or @clobbercalm.sean (before you get clever) SO powerful stuff these posts!

Tonight Shane gets a little more specific as he talks about US-based craft and how the styles have evolved over time. It’s a really interesting topic and Shane caters for both the beer-“novice” and beer-“expert” in his write-up.

So, it’s time to sit back, relax and crack open a “craft” one as we delve deep into the mind of Shane aka @beerindigo on the subject of USA craft beer.

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LET’S LEARN THE EVOLUTION OF USA CRAFT EH?

There was a time when styles of beer in the US where influenced by imports. At some point these traditional styles from around the world seemed to fade off in popularity as light lager began to dominate the scene. The craft beer trend has brought back many styles from throughout the world, which is a really great thing. For many years the craft beer trend was all about making beer as hoppy as possible.

The West Coast IPA (India Pale Ale) was on an extreme climb in popularity for many years, packed with as many IBUs (International Bittering Units) as possible. Popular modern IPAs now are being heavily fruited, heavily dry hopped or even soured. Sour beer has become hugely successful recently in the US although countries, such as Belgium, have been making sour beer for over a hundred years. Some people believe that all early beer may have been sour, before the science of yeast, hops and bacteria had been understood.

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Now an up and coming style is heavily fruited sour beer. So packed full of fruit it must be kept cold to keep the fruit from spoiling and has a smoothie consistency. Heavily fruited IPAs are packed with fruit in this same way. IPAs have created this new style of beer that is no longer focused on bitterness but on juiciness. The hops are selected more from the fruit flavors they can produce and less on the IBUs. When hops are added to the boil during the production of beer, they typically bitter the beer. Later hop additions and whirlpool additions (after the heat is off) create more fruity aromas and flavors. Then the multiple dry hoppings of these beers creates explosions of flavors and aromas. These beers need to be enjoyed as fresh as possible before the flavors from the hops begin to fade, leaving the malty grain flavor or the hops can turn herbal in flavor.

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Yeast selection in most of these beers is low floculating and creates a haze in the beer. When combined with hop particles left behind during the dry hopping, these beers can resemble orange juice. Fruited versions resemble pure fruit juice in appearance and aroma. This style IPA (without fruit) has been referred to as New England style IPA or North Eastern IPA (NEIPA) but some will say that other locations such as Oregon started the style.

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These bold new styles make up a very small part of the US beer market as a whole, but they are very popular with beer nerds. It is fun to see and try all the new styles of beer that are evolving from more traditional beers. Many of these styles are still being figured out since there is no guidebook for new styles of beer. And other countries besides just the US are experimenting with these styles with great success. There seems to be a rise in classic Belgium style beers here as well, which is awesome considering Belgium makes some of the best beers in the world!

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Thanks again Shane, for this and the series (so far and to come) man. As a massive fan of craft beer I thoroughly enjoy hearing the history/evolution behind it all and you tell it in such an “easy to swallow” way that I imagine I’m not the only one? Cheers matey and look forward to the next one which, for all you reading, will be on the subject of aging & storing beers.

Anyways, not being rude but we’ve got a date with the night so we’re going to leave this blog right here, in arms reach for y’all AND hope it helps make your Friday OR EVEN gets you reaching for a pint of American Craft but MOST PROBABLY I reckon it’ll have done both ✌️

Peace. Drink responsibly.

Cal @clobbercalm.cal

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