The ABCs of Craft Beer
A short list of popular craft beer names and terms that start with the letters A, B, or C.
Alchemist Brewery (The)
Small craft brewer in the state of Vermont that produces Heady Topper, one of the highest rated Double IPAs. The brewery just released their second canned IPA, following Heady Topper. Focal Banger is a fruity IPA brewed with a combination of Mosaic and Citra hops.
Popular San Diego craft brewer that brews a world-class Imperial Stout flavored with coffee, called Speedway Stout.
Popular hop used for flavoring and aroma in IPAs, Pale Ales, Wheat Beers and Saisons. Produces flavors of tangerine, citrus, and grapefruit. Several popular craft brewed beers feature Amarillo hops, including Founders Rye PA Ale.
American Ale Yeast
The most popular yeast for American Pale Ales and IPAs brewed by craft brewers and home-brewers. Wyeast 1056 and White Labs WLP001 are two of the most popular American Ale Yeasts available. Theses yeasts produce clean flavors and low esters allowing hop characteristics to shine through.
New hop release in late 2013, which was previously categorized as an experimental hop. Azacca hops are dual purpose hops, with high alpha acid content, that can be used for both bittering and aroma/flavor in hop beers. Azacca produces a wide variety of favorable aromas and flavors, including tangerine, pineapple, stone fruit, and tropical fruit.
Barrel-Aged craft beers have stormed the market over the past several years, with brewers releasing a wide range of styles aged in bourbon, rye whiskey, gin, and wine barrels. Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stouts and Barrel-Aged Sour Beers are the two most popular styles using barrel aging, but IPAs, Porters, Saisons, Barleywines, and Belgian Ales are catching up in popularity.
The country where several popular and unique styles of beer originate from, including Sour Lambics, Saisons, Dubbels, Tripels, Quadrupels, and Witbiers. Belgian sourced yeast is extremely popular in the American craft brewing scene for styling beers after Belgian favorites.
A lightly roasted Belgian malt popular in a wide variety of Belgian ales and dark ales. Biscuit malt adds a biscuity cracker-like flavor to beers.
Popular craft brewer from Scotland which really stormed the scene in 2013 when the founders launched their BrewDogs TV series on the Esquire Network. In addition to their popularity, BrewDog produces a wide range of excellent and unique craft beers. They also started opening several BrewDog themed bars in the UK.
Cannabis sativa (marijuana) and Humulus lupulus (hops) come from a similar plant structure. Both can have similar taste and smells. Both come from the same plant genera, Cannabinaceae. Both have major terpenoid components, hops (alpha acids), marijuana (thc). So, will we see marijuana beer in states were it has recently become legal – possibly?
Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Columbus Hops
The four horsemen of Pacific Northwest hops, which produce classic grapefruit and pine notes. These hops are used heavily in IPAs, Pale Ales, and many other American ale styles, and were used to establish the West Coast Style of IPAs. Though newer varieties such as Citra, Simcoe, and Mosaic are starting to be used more heavily in American IPAs.
A very popular hop in IPAs and Pale Ales, released to the brewing world in 2008. Citra hops produce wonderful aromas and flavors of tropical fruit, passion fruit, and citrus.
The most popular specialty malt, which adds body, flavor, and color to craft beer. Very popular in many types of ales and lagers. Crystal malts come in a range of of colors, based on how long they are stewed (in water) and roasted for. Flavors can range form light caramel sweetness in the low range crystal malts, to mild roasty and dark fruit flavors in the higher range darker crystal malts. ESBs, Brown Ales, IPAs, Porters, Stouts, Vienna Lagers, Oktoberfests, Bocks, and more, can have varying types and levels of Crystal Malts in them. Sometimes referred to as Caramel Malts.