There are many types of beer in the market and you might think that they are all the same. There’s Industrial beer, which is mass produce and the most common type of beers that you can see in the market. They are more commercialized ones, and then there is Craft Beer. If you don’t know anything about beer, you may wonder, what’s the difference between Craft Beer and Regular beer. All beers have the same ingredients: grains, hops, yeast and water. The only difference for regular beer and craft beer is how they are made.
Regular Beer is mass-produced by big-breweries. They are more commercialized and produced in big factories, and they are widely distributed in the national and international market. To cut the production costs, these factories add other ingredients which can alter the taste of beer. To cut the costs, they use corn or rice (grains) instead of Hops. Regular beers usually have a pale yellow color, more water, the head doesn’t last long, and they have a monotonous/ flat flavor. They sometimes contain additives & flavorings and are made with cheaper ingredients compared to craft beer.
Craft Beer is made in Craft Breweries- which only produce a limited amount of barrels per year. A craft brewery should only produce a maximum of 15,000 barrels per year, to be considered as a craft brewery. Craft Beer is made with traditional ingredients, and undergoes the traditional beer making process. There is not machinery involved in making craft beer. What’s special about “Craft Beer” is the beer making process and the “art” that goes into it- it is manufactured carefully with a combination of the best ingredients, that is why there are different craft brews with different tastes and flavors, each telling a story. Craft beer – has different combinations of flavors, and each beer is really unique, so there is definitely a variety- which is also ideal for food pairings. Craft Beer typically has more Alcohol by Volume (ABV), but not so much as compared to regular beer. Craft Beer is also called “Artisanal Beer” because it is made the traditional way using traditional ingredients.
Craft beer is becoming popular nowadays because of the variety and uniqueness it gives to the beer drinkers. Some would say that the quality is better, the taste is more defined and full bodied. There are a lot of microbreweries emerging right now because craft beer is gaining its popularity, and there is a lot of variety to choose from.
Craft beer is known to be stronger than regular beer as the commercialization of regular beer makes it such that it is typically enjoyed ice cold in large amounts while craft beer focuses on the flavors and nuances of each brew.
Some people would argue that craft beer is a better drink for its taste, variety and accessories. Craft Beer has been specifically brewed with flavors in mind so it is difficult to find two craft beers that taste exactly the same because the special way they prepare beer cause for more variety as opposed to the mass production of regular beer. Craft beers also vary by season so some flavors are more special due to the limited time in which they are offered. Craft beer also boast better accessories. A vacuum growler is one of the best containers for beer but it would be wasted in containing your average beer. However, craft beer work best paired with them because they keep the beer fresh without compromising the taste.
The biggest argument that favors craft beer is its taste. Craft beer enthusiasts often start to say regular beer tastes like water after consuming craft beer. The alcohol content of craft beers also tends to be more potent compared to regular beer. In fact, one craft beer can be equivalent to as high as four regular beers. Regular beer often has alcohol content that ranges from 3-5% while craft beers rarely go below 7% alcohol content. Some people reason that the personal touch associated with craft beers makes it more special. Some craft beers are even brewed with a particular dish in mind! Its personal touch allows for more personalization to the point that brewers can brew beer with a specific dish it is to be paired with in mind, just like wine.
It can even be potentially cheaper. With the higher alcohol content of craft beers, people drinking craft beers tend to drink less compared to people who drink regular beer, essentially saving money on the drinks they did not buy.
Healthwise, craft beers do have more calories than regular beer but the higher alcohol level often mean that people drink fewer amount, which effectively results to the same calorie intake when drinking regular beer.
Research have also showed craft beers to be healthier than red wine. Heart disease and type 2 diabetes have been shown to decrease with the consumption of craft beer in moderation. (See research here).
However, most consumers still go for the regular beer, simply because it is what they know and what they are comfortable with. When it comes to pricing, there is actually not a big price gap. While a 6-pack regular beer costs around $6, an average craft beer costs $8 per 6-pack. Perhaps the limited supply of craft beers is also one of the reason people prefer to buy regular beer.
Another reason people prefer regular beer is the consistency in taste, which can be hard to achieve with craft beer. Regular beer also has the advantage of being readily available everywhere, even in convenience stores so it gets easier to buy for people who prefer to stay at home and drink. While craft beers have been becoming preferred by other people, it still does not offer the same accessibility as a regular beer and sometimes people just get lazy and cheap and they just want to get drunk. Sometimes, people are not drinking beer for the taste but rather drinking it to forget their problems. While we do not exactly encourage this type of behavior, the fact exists that for some people, drinking beer is not about the taste but rather just the simple act of drinking, even if it tastes like water.