What is craft beer? We talk about it today, trying to understand what it is, how craft beer differs from industrial beer, what its characteristics should be, and why as of today it is increasingly appreciated in Italy, a territory that historically has a long-standing tradition of wine rather than brasserie.
Let’s proceed in order and get right to the heart of the matter.
Law 154/2016 on craft beer
The very concept of craft beer in recent years is increasingly known and used by most people, although often, even today, the locution is used incorrectly.
From this point of view, to fully understand what craft beer is, it is important to know that Italy in 2016, with the Law July 28, 2016, no. 154 | Chapter V on Provisions on Craft Beer Production (Art. 35/36), stipulated that:
Craft beer is defined as beer produced by small, independent breweries and not subjected to pasteurization and microfiltration processes during production. For the purposes of this subsection, an independent small brewery is defined as a brewery that is legally and economically independent of any other brewery, that uses facilities that are physically separate from those of any other brewery, that does not operate under a license to use the intangible property rights of others, and whose annual production does not exceed 200,000 hectoliters, including in this quantity the quantities of beer produced for third parties.
Simplifying, it is possible to say that craft beer is defined as that which complies with 3 basic principles:
- It is not pasteurized or microfiltered.
- It is brewed by an independent brewery.
- The brewery has an annual production of less than 200,000 hectoliters.
This definition, therefore, sets a dividing line between two different ways of conceiving beer, clearly distinguishing it from industrial production. To fall into this category, the beer therefore must be 100 percent natural and made with wholesome, quality ingredients. These principles, however, leave room for the creativity of master brewers in introducing ingredients typical of the area in which the beer is brewed.
Craft and industrial beer
The first and fundamental distinction between craft beer and industrial beer is therefore based on the stages of production. In fact, as is well known, industrial beer undergoes two processes that are not applied to craft beer. These are, as mentioned, pasteurization and filtration. What are these processes for?
Pasteurization is nothing more than a thermal process that, using steam, brings the beer to a temperature of 60° for about 20 to 30 minutes. Together with the microfiltration process, it helps to rid the beverage of the presence of possible microorganisms. At the same time, however, the processes we have discussed remove yeasts that give character to the beer’s flavor.
With pasteurization and filtration of beer, it is possible to achieve a leveling of product aromas. In industrial beer production, this factor is of great importance, since it allows variations to be eliminated and makes it possible to obtain a uniform product that is recognizable to consumers. Added to this is a practical factor, which is the deadline. Pasteurized products, in fact, have a longer expiration date, which is a very important element to take into consideration when discussing the storage and consumption of the product in question.
Craft beer is not subjected to chemical processes: it is undamaged and unpasteurized.
What does this imply? Simply that it should be kept at low temperatures and should be consumed quickly, precisely because it is preservative-free.
Craft beer retains the fragrance, aroma and original taste variations that make it a unique and unmistakable product. Unlike large-scale production, in fact, craft breweries focus not only on the high quality of the ingredients used, but especially on the possibility of “playing” with local ingredients, typical of the territory and area where the beer is brewed.
The craft beers of SA.I.DA.
Good. Now that you know what a craft beer is all you have to do is taste one.
If you want to buy from the comfort of your home and in just a few minutes, you can do so on our site by accessing our new category dedicated entirely to the Craft Beers a nal Italian Beers . We have selected for you the best craft beers to date on the market, a wide range of beers that are the result of the experience of master brewers who preserve and master the ancient art of brewing.
In addition, to make sure that our products arrive at their destination in perfect condition, we have chosen next-generation, 100% recyclable packaging made of high-strength cardboard.
Some of the most famous and well-known Italian breweries featured on SA.I.DA. include:
- Canale Microbrewery : born in Lercara Friddi, in the heart of the Sicilian hinterland.
- Dolmen Brewery : is based in Sardinia and encapsulates the very ancient traditions and history of its territory in its beers.
- Yeast and Nuovole : In Avella, beers are born from the expert blends of malts, yeasts and hops and the passion for beer of the company’s master brewers.
- Chinaschi : From the close connection with the Sicilian territory, from the scent of wheat, citrus, bread and floral scents, Trapani’s craft beers are born.
Want to learn more about craft beers for sale on SA.I.DA? Also read our article dedicated to the topic by clicking here .
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