What is the difference between real ale and the average pint of beer?
Real ale is a beer that has fermented in the vessel from which it is served and the carbonation is entirely natural, not forced.
Most real ale is served from a cask via a hand pump in the pub. A well kept pint of real ale – and this is a skill – will have all of the flavours that the brewer intended, unlike other beers which lose something through filtration, carbonation or, worst of all, pasteurisation.
And now there is craft ale – what is that?
Ah, now there’s a question! The Americans define a craft brewer as one that produces less than six million barrels of beer a year – that equates to some 1,700 million pints – more than produced in total in Wales each year!
‘Craft keg’ is a term used to describe the full-flavoured beers served under pressure from kegs rather than casks.
However, many brewers use the term ‘craft’ to describe a modern style of beer, be it in cask, keg or bottle.
You seem to see it available in more pubs now, why is that?
Craft beer is becoming more and more widely available. Cardiff is becoming a Welsh hub for craft beer bars.
My view is that people are being more adventurous with what they’re drinking and more discerning. They’re also willing to pay more for an unusual beer and to seek out these beers.
I view it as a small but growing and important part of the beer market.
This is an excerpt from a fantastic BBC article on the growth of Craft Beers in Wales. See here for full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-34073285