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Getting Acquainted With Craft Beer

Nothing soothes the soul like a chilled fizzy mug of beer after a long day. But when it comes to brews, there are so many options that getting acquainted with the world of craft beer can be a challenge. But with a little help, you’ll be sipping in no time.

The modern craft beer movement began in 1965 when Fritz Maytag bought a majority stake in the Anchor Brewing Company, saving the San Francisco brewery founded in 1896 from bankruptcy. He reworked everything, introducing new equipment and making improvements to the production process—including brewing the beer at warmer temperatures and in open fermenters to enhance flavor and aroma.

Today, the craft beer industry is booming. It’s defined as a brew made in small batches by independent breweries, and brewed with quality ingredients. Craft breweries are often more creative than their industrial counterparts, and they tend to be very active in their communities through philanthropy, product donations, volunteerism, etc.

There is also a growing interest in the health benefits of beer. The intake of craft beer (6-7 mL/day for 4 weeks) fortified with XH improves cognitive functions in old mice by reducing proinflammatory cytokines and proapoptotic markers (Rancan et al., 2017). In addition, the polyphenolic compounds of beer can positively influence gut microbiota (Canani et al., 2011).

However, the definition of craft beer can be elusive. For example, if you ask five different people what defines a craft beer, you’ll likely get a variety of answers. One common answer is two million barrels per year. This is a convenient number that was chosen by the Brewers Association to align with a federal tax break for small breweries.

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