Craft Beer

Recently, there has been a growing popularity for craft beers all over the world. While the beer scene in Malaysia is not making waves as big as it is in other parts of the world, there is undoubtedly a steadying increase in demand for craft beers, especially in city centres. In all this craft beer craze, however, it is actually difficult to properly define what a craft beer is, as beer is a very subjective beverage that each person experiences differently.

What's Craft Beer

Generally speaking, craft beer is any beer that is made by a brewer or a group of brewers that is small, independent and implements traditional brewing methods. Essentially, craft beer is simply beer that is not brewed by a big, "mega-brewery" corporation, such as Carlsberg or Heineken, the rather popular brands found here in Malaysia. With that in mind, many of these craft beers sold today are actually mass produced as well, as the term has been loosely defined and today, the industry has grown to enormous popularity due to its traditional brewing methods and emphasis on flavour.

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Craft Beer Types

There are many different types or styles of beer available commercially, such as the ever popular lagers, pilsners and the slightly less alcoholic radlers. Craft beers, however, come in many more different styles of beers, including ales, pale ales, stouts, sours and even India Pale Ales or IPAs.

This is because many independent craft brewers are more experimental, and prefer to not limit beer crafting to just a few styles, allowing for more creative beers and unique tastes which for consumers are all the better!

This is why many craft beers taste very different compared to commercially available beers, as using unique ingredients other than primarily barley and hops, such as tea and pumpkin, infuses new and exciting flavours into the beer during the brewing process. There is even a beer called Sink The Bismarck found in Scotland that has an alcohol by volume content of 41%, which is higher than your average whisky!

Belgian Beer

In Malaysia, there is a rather wide selection of craft beers that beer lovers can choose from. Ranging from the mild pale ales to the much stronger both in flavour and alcoholic content Belgian craft beers, there is a craft beer suitable for everyone. Perhaps one of the most popular Belgian beers to be sold is by Duvel, a 148-year old company that produces and bottles a variety of different beer styles.

The Duvel Belgian Golden Ale is arguably the best-seller of the company. In the style of a Belgian strong pale ale and with an alcohol by volume content of 8.5%, it is definitely a strong beer that is considered by many to be a world-class beer. Its unique three-tiered bottle shape paired with even more unique flavours with hints of citrus and spice makes it an ideal beer to be drank at all occasions, and is certainly one that will be appreciated by guests. The Duvel Golden Ale is made with a variety of only the highest quality hops, and combined with a higher concentration of CO2, its creamy texture and medium body is perfect to be paired with any meal, especially seafood and fillets of white meat such as chicken.

Australian Beer

Another beer that is gaining immense popularity here in Malaysia is the Australian craft beer, Hawkers IPA. The India Pale Ale style or IPA is a style of beer that has garnered much attention in the beer world in recent years due to its historic roots from India, where Englishmen brewed beer in India in the 1800s.

Although many IPAs have unusually high alcoholic content, Hawkers IPA is a session beer that has generally low alcohol by volume, usually below 5%. Made by Hawkers Brewery in Australia in the style of the American IPA, this wonderfully balanced beer has a clear copper colour and smooth texture, a perfect thirst-quencher on a hot day. An interesting alternative to standard craft beers is the Hitachino Bourbon Barrel Aged Espresso Stout. As you can probably guess from its name, this beer is aged in a barrel and has been infused with coffee flavours during its brewing process.

Undeniably, craft beers are a growing movement among Malaysians and this trend is only rising in popularity. While classic beers such as Carlsberg and Tiger remain one of the biggest companies out there, it is obvious that craft beers, with its unique flavours and exciting presentations, are here to stay.

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