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A Beginner’s Guide to Craft Beer

Craft beer has become increasingly popular in recent years, and Boise is no exception. With numerous breweries and taprooms throughout the city, it can be overwhelming for a beginner to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this beginner’s guide to craft beer in Boise, to help you navigate the world of delicious, locally-made brews. 

What is Craft Beer? 

Craft beer is a term used to describe beer made by small, independent brewers using traditional brewing methods and quality ingredients. Unlike mass-produced beers, craft beers are often brewed in smaller batches and are known for their unique flavors and styles. If you’re a fan of bold flavors and unique ingredients, then craft beer is for you. 

Understand the Terminology 

Before delving into the different types of craft beer, it’s important to understand some key terminology. Here are a few terms you’re likely to encounter: 

· ABV: Alcohol by Volume, which measures the percentage of alcohol in a beer. 

· IBU: International Bitterness Units, which measure the bitterness of a beer. 

· Hops: A flower used to flavor and balance beer. 

· Malt: A grain used in beer brewing that provides sweetness and color. 

· Yeast: A microorganism used to ferment beer and create alcohol. 

Two friends with drinks at The Funky Taco

Explore Different Styles 

There are countless styles of craft beer, each with its own unique flavor and characteristics. Some popular styles include: 

· Pale Ale: A light-colored, hop-forward beer that’s crisp and refreshing. 

· IPA: India Pale Ale, a hoppy beer with a bitter finish that’s become extremely popular in recent years. 

· Stout: A dark, full-bodied beer with a roasted flavor and creamy head. 

· Wheat Beer: A light, refreshing beer made with wheat instead of barley. 

· Pilsner: A light-colored lager with a crisp, clean taste and a dry finish. 

· Porter: A dark, malty beer with a chocolatey flavor and hints of coffee. 

· Sour: A tart, acidic beer that’s made by intentionally adding bacteria to the brewing process. 

Attend Tastings 

One of the best ways to discover new craft beers is by attending tastings at local breweries and taprooms. Many breweries offer flights, which allow you to sample a variety of beers in smaller portions. Take note of the styles you enjoy, and don’t be afraid to ask the bartender or brewer for recommendations based on your preferences. 

Consider Food Pairings 

Craft beer can be a great complement to food, much like wine. Lighter beers like pale ales and wheat beers pair well with salads, seafood, and grilled chicken, while darker beers like stouts and porters pair well with hearty dishes like steak and chocolate desserts. 

Join a beer club or group 

If you’re really serious about learning more about craft beer, consider joining a beer club or group. These groups often offer tastings, educational events, and brewery tours that can help you expand your knowledge and connect with other beer enthusiasts. Boise has several beer clubs and groups, including the Boise Beer Buddies and the Boise Brews Cruise. 

Craft beer can be a complex and intimidating world to navigate, but with a little knowledge and experimentation, you can discover new flavors and styles that you’ll love. So grab a pint, raise a glass, and cheers to the wonderful world of craft beer in Boise!

There’s only one way to become a craft beer master – get out in Boise and try some local pints! For all things Boise beer, check out our Boise Beer Guide.