Not just for hipsters – craft beer is growing
From hop-forward IPAs to chunky porters, the UK still can’t get enough of craft beer. The market is worth well over £400m and has now expanded from its hipster origins to include older, more affluent consumers. With one in three consumers willing to pay extra for craft beer this is one category you definitely shouldn’t be ignoring.
Here are four exciting craft beers from around the world that will make your offer stand out from the crowd.
Started in the basement of the Cock Tavern on Mare Street, London, Howling Hops began as an experiment in brewing. A few years and over 100 different beers later, and their tiny underground brew cave just wasn’t big enough to keep up with demand.
Their shiny new brewery and tank bar is a couple of miles east of the original cellar, in an old brick warehouse in Hackney Wick.
In the last decade New Zealand has experienced a craft explosion. Tuatara has led the way with a series of classic true-to-style beers brewed at their secret headquarters on the Kapiti Coast. Today those classic beers are augmented by a huge range of specials that give the world’s great beer styles a truly kiwi twist.
Their singular Sauvinova is a single-hop pale ale, brewed with Nelson Sauvin hops which gives it the distinctive tropical gooseberry notes that made its Sauvignon Blanc namesake famous.
BrewDog is a modern brewing phenomenon. In seven years, the company has gone from a two-man-band selling microbrews out of the back of a van in Aberdeenshire, to a global brand with bars stretching from Stockholm to Sao Paolo.
That sort of growth and expansion would have been the death knell for many brands, as corporate common sense replaces the anarchic spirit the business was based on. Not so for BrewDog. Driven by a passion for attention-grabbing, flavour-packed beer, and backed by the sassiest marketing in the category, BrewDog has managed to become that rarest of beasts: a business that is both critically acclaimed and commercially very successful.
Since 1983 Scottish brewer Harviestoun has been experimenting, juxtaposing, playing with world-famous whisky casks and exploring the many possibilities of brewing. It all started in a shed, where founder Ken Brooker would invite friends over to sample his creations in return for their tasting notes. The original mash tun had originally been used to make jam; and the boiler was an old wool dyer!
Since then the brewery has continued to grow and in 1997 their flagship Bitter & Twisted was made. Although in today's world a light, hoppy beer might not sound very ‘out there', at the time it was a truly pioneering pint. It remains an ever-present reminder that Harviestoun aren’t afraid to buck the trend in search of flavoursome, balanced and drinkable brews.