How well do you know your craft beer?
Every now and then, we let ourselves indulge in our gratifying, oh-so-special ‘beercasions’ (some more than others of course). For those of us who have had our fair share of brew, our tastebuds are acquainted with the different bearings of the beverage. We are familiar with those “damn…” moments after taking a sip of the surprising juniper-like hops, as well as those “meh” moments after drinking something that reminds of your early freshmen years. And sometimes, these accumulated ‘moments’ allow us to distinguish ourselves as self-proclaimed ‘beerspertise’. So it’s about time we look back and assess, well, the caliber of our ‘beerspertise’. Here’s five types of craft beer to kick-start your long overdue assessment.
1. Indian Pale Ale
Indian Pale Ale, or IPA for short, is a hoppy-style beer brewed from pale malt. You probably already know this from your eighth grade history class, but during the 17th century, the British empire tried to expand their territory to the east, specifically to India. Since beers were (and are) a mandate for the Western civilization, the Brits needed to find themselves some beer. What you probably didn’t learn in your history class (at least I hope you didn’t), is that the Brits had trouble brewing in the hot Indian climate. What they needed was a beer that could survive the 6-month trip from Britain. And in the 1780s, their prayers were answered when a London brewer named Hodgson by sending a heavily hopped beer called October ale. Unlike other beers at the time, the ale aged like wine, and improved immensely over time. So after the 6-month journey from Britain, the ale would be in its best drinking condition. Today, IPAs are standard in the beer drinking culture and are commonly paired with meals.
Full Moon Brewworks’ IPA: The Chalawan Pale Ale
Pilsner a.k.a pilsener, pilsen, or simply pils, is a type of pale lager known for its extremely blond tint and upfront bitterness aroma. Like IPAs, pils are a common choice for drinkers, since they’re easy to find and drink. Originated in Pilsen, Czech Republic, pils are over 70 years of age, arguably the one of the most successful beer style in the world. The beer has inspired over two-thirds of the beer population today. Its old recipe makes the lager a hit among hipster beer drinkers. The delicacy of the lager also distinguishes itself from your average beer. Brewing a pilsner requires only the finest materials. Before brewing a pils, Bavarian brewers must remove some of the natural carbonate hardness out of the water in order to ensure softness of the water. Brewers must also use malted barley that is dried gently to ensure the beer’s golden brown tone. Not just any grain would make the cut. The makings of a pils requires the the palest malt available, or the pils malt itself.
Full Moon Brewworks’ IPA Pilsner: Bohemian Lager
Saison, or “season” in French, is a pale ale that originated from the French-speaking region of Belgium. The beer is highly carbonated, and are a lighter alternative to help quench the thirst. Traditionally, saisons are brewed in French farmhouses during the winter to be relished during the hot summer months. Saisons tend to be semi-dry, with a teasing hint of sweetness, and are generally found in a cloudy golden hue. Before the ale’s recent revival in the recent years, saisons were close to being endangered. However, lucky for those who have yet to be blessed with an opportunity to taste of the French ale, saisons have picked up in popularity over the years and are now found in most serious craft beer breweries.
Porters are an English-style dark malt that derived from its popularity among London street and river porters. Traditionally, porters were a blend of three well-hopped ales, and are one of the first hops to be brewed based on customer requests. Porters are made mainly of brown malt, (hence the dark color), and are probably one of the darkest craft beers out there. Its strong and robust essence makes porters a popular choice among male drinkers. However, don’t confuse them with stouts. Similarly to porters, stouts are dark malt beers derived from the attempts to create a stronger, creamier, “stout” versions of porters. Therefore, stouts tend to be stronger in flavor in comparison to porters.
Witbier a.k.a. wheat beer is a Belgian-style ale known for its fruity tart and citrusy finish. Contrary to porters, witbiers are light, fluffy, and easy to drink, making the ale popular among female drinkers. Due to the high levels of wheat, the ale is extremely pale and opaque, often referred to as “white beers”. Witbiers are commonly spiced with herbs, such as coriander and orange peels. The yeasty texture and herbal hints makes witbiers a winner for the summer.
Now that you have a deeper understanding about your favorite hops, it’s time to go claim back your ‘beerspertise’ title. Visit Full Moon Brewworks for a wide selection of Thai craft beer that will surely satisfy your thirst.