There’s never been a better time to get into craft beer, or to expand your knowledge and enjoyment of this drinks industry niche.
Literally thousands of artisanal producers have erupted nationally and globally in the past decade, and even the big name brands are getting in on the act.
If you’re serious about craft beer, you might feel that the only way to get the best experience is to drink it at a bar or brewery taproom. However, with the right approach, you can revel in tasty brews in your own home too!
Go big for better value
The main downside of buying craft beer is that because the production volumes are lower, prices for customers are invariably higher.
You can still get better value if instead of buying beer in bottles or cans, you choose a crowler or growler from your favorite brewery.
These receptacles provide either 32oz or 64oz of whichever beer most appeals to you, and as well as saving money, you’ll be able to host a large number of beer-loving guests without running out.
Choose a craft beer subscription service
Another issue with craft beer, which can be a barrier to your enjoyment, is that there is just so much choice. How are you supposed to know which beer is the next big thing if you don’t have easy access to a variety of products from up and coming producers?
The answer comes in the form of a craft beer subscription service, of which there are many. You’ll be able to get a box of diverse, delicious beers delivered to your doorstep each month, and so you’ll never have to spend hours scouring the shelves and struggling to choose brews yourself.
The best services will allow you to be flexible in terms of how you configure your box; for example, if you prefer lighter beers and aren’t a fan of stouts and porters, this is an option to select at checkout.
Brew your own beer
Beer can be very satisfying in its own right, but you’ll probably get even more pleasure from every sip if you know that it’s the product of your own hard work.
This is where home brewing kits come into play, and there are all sorts of products available today, ranging from super-simple setups that give you all you need to make a basic ale, to more in-depth and expensive bundles that could eventually allow you to start your very own craft brewery brand.
It’s worth starting at the more affordable end of the scale if this is your first time brewing beer. Also be aware that it can take days or weeks for the brewing process to complete, so this isn’t a case of being able to have instant access to beer as soon as the kit arrives.
If you share a house or apartment, you should also talk to the other members of the household before you go all-in on home brewing, especially if space is tight. You don’t want to create disruption with your nascent craft beer obsession!
Don’t overthink it
Last but not least, you should avoid becoming too much of a craft beer snob, as otherwise you’ll end up narrowing your beverage preferences, rather than expanding them.
There is no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ type of beer to buy. If you enjoy low strength pales, or you enjoy huge-hitting, hoppy double IPAs, that’s great. The point is that there is craft beer out there to suit all tastes, and you should reflect this by not being prescriptive about how it should be consumed.