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What Makes a Good Craft Beer?

August 11, 2022

What Makes a Good Craft Beer?

If you, like all of us here, are the type of person that adores a great beer, then you likely want to know how to pick out a great craft beer.

There’s been a surge in the craft beer movement over recent years, with independent breweries taking great care over every single aspect of the process - from ingredient selection to final carbonation.

Within this world, there is a seemingly infinite list of choices between different types of beer. Therefore, how can you choose between them? Well, in this article, we’re going to run through what makes craft beer what it is before breaking down some essential notes about how to make sure a craft beer is right for you.

And don't forget we offer a range of amazing craft beer hampers especially for those lovers of great tasting beers!

What is a craft beer?

As we mentioned above, craft beers are usually made by small companies that pour their hearts and souls into brewing. This means that, unlike mass-produced beers, craft beers have much more refined flavors and generally shoot a little higher than a typical can from the supermarket.

There are many different types of craft beer, from IPAs to fruited sours, and from stone fruit porters to easy-drinking lagers. In a nutshell, there are craft beers available to suit all tastes and budgets.

Brewdog Craft Beer

How to choose a craft beer

Choosing a craft beer is quite a personal thing. Along this list, we mention a few great ideas for seeking out a craft beer from a pre-ordained list of breweries, but you should always consider your personal tastes, too.

Remember this: when drinking anything at all, as long as you enjoy what’s in the glass, very little else matters.

A lot of the advice in this list does involve taking a close look at the can or bottle that a certain beer is in. That’s great advice: looking at the tasting notes and flavors on a can or bottle will allow you to learn a whole host of information about the beer inside.

Before you know it, you’ll have favourite hops and breweries that you’d wear a sandwich board for!

Craft beer

Seek out independent brewers

Seeking out smaller, indie brewers can be a great way to find unique approaches. While you might be tempted to opt for well-known brewers, these do not always offer the best beers. Instead, seek out independent brewers that use locally sourced ingredients. The main difference between the two is simple: passion.

A small brewery is passionate about the beer they’re making, and they’re typically doing what they do for the love of it. A commercial brewing company usually brews for profit, first and foremost. Profit generally isn’t a way to make exceptional beer.

If you are lucky enough to live near a small brewery, why not pop in and give them a visit? Take a tour of their facilities, meet the makers and even enjoy some complimentary samples. There are breweries in a number of UK cities, all across the country. There are many in London, so you could perhaps visit two or three in a day!

Craft beer

Look for innovative experiments

One of the best things about craft beers is that there are so many different flavor combinations to try. Local breweries use traditional brewing methods but put their own spin on their beverages by experimenting with less common flavor pairings and styles.

Trying something unique is always a gamble, but you could come away with a new favorite beer!

This innovation is a great way to gauge passion - only a brewer passionate about what they’re making will be excited by the prospect of new and innovative techniques and ingredients.


Check out breweries’ backstories 

Generally, craft breweries come with a unique back story that helps to set them apart from their competitors. This is particularly true when it comes to artisan brewers - Northern Monk (a Leeds-based brewery) tells the tale of their founding thanks to a £5,000 gift from a grandparent on every can.

The more unique the story, the more likely you will experience a unique and special brew. People with unique lives have sampled lots of different flavours. This often means that they can bring these unique flavours and ideas to their work, resulting in delightful beer for you.

Try as many as you can 

There are hundreds of craft beers available at the very least, so if you want to find a great one, you are going to have to try as many as you can! Generally, you can tell within the first few sips what your overall opinion of a beer will be. Trust your gut, and move on if you don’t like something. With that said, though, you must also give each beer a fair try.

Pay attention to the undertones of each beer, as many craft varieties will carry a distinct nutty or fruity taste. This can come from additives, such as a fruited sour that boasts a potent mango flavour (because there’s mango in it), or a subtle flavour, such as a pleasant acidity from IPA-focussed hops, like Citra or Mosaic.

Don’t choose the most expensive option on offer

While craft beers are typically more expensive than other types of beer, you don’t need to break the bank to enjoy a great craft beer. The thing that you must bear in mind is that cost and flavour don’t go hand in hand. If you really adore the cheapest beer in a supermarket, then that’s your drink! If you really adore a £6 per pint beer, then that’s your drink!

What we’re getting at is simple - don’t be fooled by marketing, pretty labels, or interesting bottles. The beer inside is what’s important, so give a fair few a fair go, and you’ll come out with some interesting new taste experiences.

So - are you ready to try some spectacular craft beer? At The Awesome Hamper Company, we have an extensive range of gift hampers, sharing the brightest breweries out there with you. Pick up a tasty treat today, we’re confident you’ll love it!

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