Craft beer is the name and the drink on everyone’s lips at the moment. But what is craft beer and why is it so popular? Newquay BID decided to visit three of our member businesses to find out what this relatively recent addition to the brewing industry is all about.
One of the first things we wanted to know was, what differentiates Craft Beer from other beer? Pip from Bear Bar and Café suggested that a good definition of craft beer is that it is made in a traditional way, using high quality ingredients, and produced by a small brewery. Paul from 55 Yards made the point that, while exact definitions are often argued about, the term is generally reserved for the smaller brewers. The in-house craft beer expert at No.5 Brewhouse, Klara Dolezalova, confirmed this with her definition that craft beer is made only using ingredients that enhance the flavour of the beer, and is produced in small batches by people with a genuine passion, who really care about great beer. According to Klara, processes are used that put flavour above costs and the beers made reflect the brewer and their personality.
So, what makes craft beer special? Bear Bar and Café say that their favourite aspect of craft beer is that the small breweries and brewers are always innovating and exploring different flavours, providing a really wide choice for the customers of beers where quality and taste are paramount. 55 Yards says that new and exciting craft beer companies are revolutionising the beer we drink, with enticing names such as ‘Fang’, ‘Penryn Pride’, ‘Chasing Kevin’, ‘Antipodean IPA’ and the delightfully named ‘I Played Trumpet On That Tune’. No.5 Brewhouse suggests that with the quality ingredients and care taken to brew craft beers, you end up with a drink packed full of flavour.
Key ingredients in craft beers are malt, hops, yeast and water, with the beers having a very large range of distinctive tastes as brewers often experiment with other ingredients during the fermenting process, including fruit, herbs, spices, chocolate and caramel. No.5 Brewhouse currently stock the award-winning Tailgate ‘Peanut Butter Milk Stout’ and Bear Bar and Café offer ‘Hookiebobb’ from Crazy Mountain Brewing Company, which has a deep caramel malt teamed with citrusy hops. In terms of age, according to No.5 Brewhouse it seems that younger drinkers prefer the fruitier flavours while the more mature customers prefer bitter tastes, or heavy and sweet such as a Marshmallow Porter.
Bear Bar and Café also make the point that Cornwall itself has some incredible small breweries which produce some amazing beers and being able to showcase these is really exciting. 55 Yards agrees, explaining that local to Newquay we have Atlantic Brewery, which produces organic, vegan beers, as well as Black Flag that have stunning American-style IPA’s and modern beers. No.5 Brewhouse recommend ‘Fang’ by Black Flag, a Cornish micro-brewery that concentrates on producing small batches of the beers using the best ingredients, including British floor malted barley and Cornish water. Bear Bar and Café recommend trying ‘Jakehead IPA’ by Wylam Brewery and ‘Jaipur’ by Thornbridge Brewery. 55 Yards is currently enjoying ‘Elderflower Blonde’ from Atlantic Brewery and says the ‘Passionfruit Berliner Weisse’ from Harbour Brewery is very popular with customers. In total, 55 Yards stock over 70 ales, ciders and lagers, including sour beers, pale ales, porters, stouts, fruity beers, Belgian style beers, gluten-free and vegan beers. All the businesses we spoke to were very proud of the opportunity to stock beers made from small batch breweries based in Cornwall, including Wooden Hand, Driftwood Spars, Blue Anchor, Keltek, Firebrand, Padstow Brewing Co., Bude Brewery and Harbour Brewery.
So, pop into one of the Newquay’s many bars, pubs and restaurants that serve craft beer for a drink that is definitely out of the ordinary, brewed with care and attention and has an authentic taste made with quality ingredients. There’s so many to choose from that you are bound to find at least one you love.