It seems like everyone and his or her brother has an opinion on craft beer. With the number of new voices popping up online, spending silly amounts of time pontificating on the nuances of the craft, I am really surprised by the still relatively few of us bloggers and critics who take the extra time (and enjoyable time, I might add) brewing beer ourselves.
It is my own opinion that taking the time to brew a few batches of ale really opens one’s eyes to a nuanced skill and art that this community purports to be obsessed with. From working with one hop variety or grain versus another, to playing with ratios of these ingredients, and switching up yeast strains, what was once a superficial understanding of brewing emerges into a true knowledge of the art.
Now, I don’t want to suggest that I am a brewing authority, or the end all to the distilling of flavors and the craft of beer from the few batches I have under my belt, but I do believe it has provided me an insight I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
As well, nor do I want to suggest one know how to “do” to review. It’s true that an individual can dissect everything from automobiles to art without the skills to repair or create either, and still describe with insight and accuracy. Personally though, I will give more weight to the experienced over the educated in many arenas, including fermentable intoxicants.
Interest in home brewing? Want to know how different aspects of brewing effect flavor? Check out these books from Amazon, hand selected by Pope Crisco: