Craft beer has taken the world by storm, and it’s easy to see why—with only four simple ingredients, brewers all over the world have continuously enhanced the product, finding new and clever ways to sell the wonderful brew we have all known to come and love. While many are familiar with the “typical” craft beers like pale ales, ambers, porters, and stouts, there are a few beers that have snuck their way onto the beer scene, and it seems like they’re here to stay.
Sour Enough to Make You Pucker
One style that can’t be missed is the sour ale. These beers have come into circulation the last few years, and it’s safe to say it is not for the faint of heart. These craft beers are an acquired taste, using a strain of wild yeast called Brettanomyces that help produce a sour flavour. While some beers are simply a bit crisp and tart, some can be extremely sour. Similar to IPAs, they have recently amassed a “sour-beer” following. Sour beers can go under many names, such as Berliner Weisse, Lambic, gose, or wild ale.
IPA That’s as Black as Your Soul
IPAs are always popular, but there’s a lesser-known IPA in the craft beer world—the Black IPA. As you might guess, the beer pours a dark colour, reminiscent of a porter or a stout. These grains are malted longer, giving the beer its signature black colour. While it may look like a stout, it certainly smells like an IPA. Black IPAs are clean, slightly roasted in flavour, but with a huge hoppy finish. If you appreciate both stouts and IPAs, this beer is certainly for you.
Delightfully Smooth Cream Ales
While these are not very strange, they are often not commonly seen on typical menus, as well. Many people think of cream ales as darker beers, like milk stouts. However, cream ales are different in that they use a warm fermentation like most ales, but they use lager yeast, and a cold lagering. The effect is a light, smooth beer with a creamy mouthfeel that somehow tastes just like your favourite dessert.
The wonderful thing about the craft beer world is the number of experiments going on at any one time. Centuries ago, fermenters only really knew of the primary four ingredients—grain, yeast, hops, and water. Today, brewers know which type of hop is best suited for an IPA, and which kind of water should be used for a lager. With the addition of fruit rinds and even chocolate or coffee, beer has taken on its’ own kingdom in this world.