Craft Beer Week celebrates the new creative styles of beer
The movement of craft brewing has grown steadily over the last few years and Congress even declared an annual Craft Beer Week starting in 2006. Our Andrew Sorensen explains why craft beer is so popular, and how you can get in on the fun.
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UTICA, N.Y.-- This week is congressionally dedicated to beer. But not just your run of the mill domestic beer, this is Craft Beer Week.
"Really what it means is supporting local products, supporting craft beer. It's all about educating people," FX Matt Brewing Company spokesperson Meghan Frasier said.
What makes a craft beer different? It's part purity and part creativity.
"It doesn't use any adjuncts, which would be corn or things of that sort," Frasier explained.
To a beer traditionalist, adjuncts, like corn or rice, water down the hops and malts.
Local Craft Beer Week events celebrate the 2,000 small, independent and traditional brewers in the country.
"It's really interesting to see all these people that are coming up with these different beer styles," she said.
The FX Matt Brewery in Utica shows off creative crafts with exotic beers like a Chocolate Orange Porter and their new Blueberry Blonde Ale.
But where people are really getting into craft brewing is at home.
The materials for brewing at home are becoming more and more available. All you really need are a couple of specialized modified buckets, the ingredients and a lot of bottles.
It takes more steps to become a recognized brewer, but the established brewers welcome the competition.
"It's something to see the capabilities of some of these smaller breweries," Frasier admits. "Which keeps us on our toes, which is why we're coming out with a lot of new products."
And of course, with better beer, and more varieties to choose from, the competition of 2,000 different breweries is good for the rest of us, too.
You can find a list of Craft Beer Week events in your area at the
Brewer's Association website.