Everyone has their specific preferred alcohol of choice. Some people like to drink wine, some drink coolers, some drink hard liquor (kudos to those guys) and some prefer beer. I never used to be the type of girl who likes beer, and I would make a face whenever I tasted the generic fizzy carbonation of a big name beer, but that is when my boyfriend started drinking craft beer.
Craft beer comes from breweries that used to be referred to as micro-breweries, but some of them aren’t so small anymore: Quebec’s McAuslan Brewery sells more than $20 million worth of beer a year, for example. Ontario Craft Brewer’s cutoff to be considered a craft brewery is producing 400,000 hecalitres of beer a year. These beers have become so popular recently with the growing shift of people buying locally owned, and you can find at least one craft brewery in almost every town. So why should you choose to drink craft beer over big name beers?
01. Taste Opportunities
Craft breweries all have their own unique beer “recipe”. They produce beer with different flavours, IPAs, and seasons that you should drink it in. Breweries across the country are producing dozens of excellent beers that range from traditional to inventive for every flavor preference. Some beer selections include North American Lager, Amber Lager, Honey/Maple, Wheat Beer, Cream Ales, Pale Ales, Stout, Fruit Beer and Strong Beer. There are so many different variations of beers to chose from that you will never get bored. But before trying them, you should have an idea of what type of beer you prefer. The Huffington Post reported on different beer selections and their characteristics to give you a guide of what characteristics are common of certain beer types.
02. Always Something Different
With craft beer you can drink a different beer at every occasion. Actually, that’s the best part. Hardly any craft beer enthusiast drinks the same beer every time they drink. Part of the fun is trying different craft beers from different breweries, regions and countries. Of course, everyone has their favourites, but there are so many beers and so little time. Try as many as you can! When my boyfriend and I go anywhere new, the first thing we do is try a new beer from the area. It’s a great game/tradition and is always something new.
03. Meet the Maker
One of the coolest benefits of drinking craft beer is that you can visit a local craft brewery where your favorite craft beer is made and actually meet the people that make the beer. Many of the craft breweries also attend various festivals and gatherings to show off their product as well, so it is a nice way to meet the hard working people who create the product you love so much. The Bay of Quinte area is hosting a festival like this on March 12th called Quinte Craft.
04. Support Local
The most important reason to drink craft beer is that you are often supporting a local company when you are drinking. Many craft breweries are started by individuals and families and they put a lot of effort and time into creating a product that people will love. Craft brewers put their heart, soul and lots of amazing ingredients into every beer they make, whereas large beer companies mass produce their products and are often more focused on marketing and advertising than the beauty of creating the product itself.
I understand that beer may not be for everybody, and it sure wasn’t for me when I started out either, but even if wine, hard liquor or ciders are your thing, there are so many local producers of these products that it is worth seeking out the craft makers over the generic brands. The difference between a mass produced, brand name alcohol and a locally produced, individual alcohol is outstanding. You will never turn back.
If you have been intrigued, Ontario Craft Brewers offers a lot of good information about breweries and list of Ontario locations. The Canadian Brewing Awards is also a great place to look for notable Canadian craft breweries.
Have a favourite craft beer you would like to share? Let me know!
Happy drinking my friends.
Until next time,