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Craft Beer Times | Craft Beer: A Comprehensive Guide to Savor the Finest Ales and Lagers

Craft Beer: A Comprehensive Guide to Savor the Finest Ales and Lagers

Craft Beer: A Comprehensive Guide to Savor the Finest Ales and Lagers

Craft Beer: A Comprehensive Guide to Enjoying the Finest Ales and Lagers

The Art of Craft Beer: Definition and Duluth’s Advantage

Craft beer, defined as beer produced using traditional methods by small breweries, has found a thriving home in Duluth, thanks to its exceptional brewing water and vibrant craft beer scene. This article aims to enhance your beer-drinking experience by exploring the intricacies of craft beer storage, tasting, and terminology.

Craft Beer’s Mortal Enemies: Preserving Flavor and Freshness

To maintain the optimal flavor of craft beer, it’s crucial to shield it from its four primary enemies:


Excessive light can impart skunky or musty flavors. Opt for canned beers or store bottled beers in darkness and cold.


Exposure to air causes oxidation, resulting in cardboard or papery notes. Seal growlers tightly and consume within two days.


Storage temperatures above 35 degrees Fahrenheit accelerate aging, dulling flavors and enhancing grainy notes. Keep beer refrigerated or chilled.


Optimal freshness for most craft beers is achieved within two months of purchase. High-gravity beers designed for aging may be an exception.

Cans: The Unsung Heroes of Beer Preservation

Despite preconceived notions, canned beer offers unparalleled freshness and stability. Aluminum cans with interior coatings prevent metal contact and act as efficient temperature conductors, ensuring optimal flavor retention.

Craft Beer Tasting: Unveiling the Symphony of Flavors

Pour your craft beer into a clean glass, creating a one-inch head. Engage your senses:


Inhale deeply to capture the vibrant aromas of citrus, tropical fruits (hoppy beers) or toffee, caramel, and bread (malty beers).


Admire the captivating hues of gold, amber, light brown, or reddish-black, stimulating your taste buds.


Savor the complex flavors that unfold with each sip, ranging from floral and fruity to bitter and malty.

Craft Beer Verbiage: Deciphering the Brewing Lexicon

To delve deeper into the world of craft beer, it’s helpful to understand its vocabulary:

Ale vs. Lager:

Ales, warm-fermented beers, offer bold flavors (e.g., IPAs, stouts). Lagers, cold-fermented, emphasize smoothness and cleanliness (e.g., American macros, pilseners).

Hoppy vs. Malty:

Hoppy beers showcase hop-driven bitterness and fruity notes, while malty beers highlight sweet and bready flavors.

Brewpub vs. Microbrewery:

Brewpubs are breweries attached to restaurants, offering a range of beers for on-site consumption and takeaway in growlers or crowlers. Microbreweries produce beer for distribution, often featuring taprooms for tastings, tours, and community events.


Dustin is a writer about craft beer and a professional brewer in the city of Chicago. He has written for several magazines and has over a decade of experience in the beer industry. He is currently working on a book about the history of beer in Chicago.