It was brewed in caves then homes and taverns and, later, in monasteries. It was made in small, ‘single-batch’ quantities in what was mostly a very ‘hands-on’ and labour intensive process. Then along came The Industrial Revolution, mechanisation, international trade and refrigeration which took beer into a whole new world of possibilities.
Where once beer was local or regional and made with ingredients native to the area, now it could not only be mass produced but it could be exported and become an international brand. This has become known as ‘mainstream beer’ and is represented by some of the world’s most familiar and popular brands. They are marked by their wide availability and consistent quality.
The emergence of craft
Craft beer – what used to be referred to as ‘micro-brewed’ or ’boutique’ beer – took its modern roots in the United States around thirty years ago as a new breed of keen brewers rediscovered lost styles and interesting, flavoursome brews. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan and Scandinavia and pockets of Europe are today leading the charge, providing alternatives to the traditional Euro-style lagers.
The quality choice
Craft beer is about embracing the original principles of brewing beer, making beer in smaller and sometimes single batches using only malt, water, hops and yeast in generally small, family-owned operations. Cheaper forms of sugar are not added, nor are other additives employed in various procedures to preserve, stabilise and streamline the brewing process.
Australian craft beer pioneers
In Australia, craft beer is well represented by some familiar brands including Matilda Bay who began brewing back in 1984, Little Creatures, James Squire, Grand Ridge and Mountain Goat. Joining this crew of crafty brewers is a growing band of small, local and national outfits supplying a wider range of flavours, colours and aromas of beer that has ever been available before. With the likes of Stone & Wood and Burleigh Brewing Co crafty beer is in great hands in Australia. If you are visiting South East Queensland these two breweries should be on your list to visit