Mainstream Versus Craft Beer

Dan Wright


Mainstream versus Craft Beer.

With the rise of popularity in the craft beer world in recent years, I've taken a look at some of the reasons we are slowly moving towards a more expensive premium product, rather than your bog-standard mainstream lagers. What is it about craft beer, that gets us excited and willing to spend more money?

Craft beers offer a whole lot more than just an alcoholic drink to get drunk on, they offer a journey, a trendy atmosphere, a glimpse into the life of a hipster. A sense of journeying into the unknown. Personally, I love trying something new, something I haven’t had before. It’s not always a joy, as some just don’t marry up with my personal preference. But when you get THAT beer, that one beer that just takes you by surprise, the flavours, the smell, the beauty! Who doesn’t love discovering something special, something you weren’t expecting. This is why we beer lovers do it, isn’t it?

Should the branding effect the quality of the beer. Realistically, No It shouldn’t. It shouldn’t matter whether you’re drinking from a jazzy can with some trendy artwork on it, it shouldn’t matter that they are walking you through the romantic history of the drink. But I am a visual person. And yes I believe the branding does make a drink taste better! I not only like to drink a brew which I enjoy, but I want the full experience. I want to see something appealing, I want to be taken on a flavour journey. I want to know the story and I want to immerse myself in the drink. Plus I want to look cool in the process!

I have nothing against mainstream lager, after all…. I have spent many years drinking them. These are where we all started in our beer drinking careers. I’d say we’ve all had enough over the years to consider ourselves professionals. But how did these drinks (which quite simply don’t taste as nice) end up being so popular and so mass produced. What is it going to take for a smaller breweries like Harbour Brewing, Burning Sky, Buxton Brewery and Yeastie Boys to reach the same level? Do we even want them to reach the same level, or do we want to keep them for our little secret. I’ve mentioned these because I’ve had absolute wonders from them recently, so check them out!

For me, no mainstream lager out there gets a higher rating than a 6, maybe 7 out of 10 at a push. Depending on how many you’ve had. Mainstream sales are down and the big boys are starting to look at what they can do to stay on top. Personally I think they’re fighting a losing battle.

The craft beer world is rapidly growing in popularity, they often offer more taste, a better flavour, more variety and often a higher alcohol content - characteristics you don’t often find in mass produced beers. They are a conversation starter; they catch the eye. The branding is often so creative and interesting, that it adds another level to the drink which you don’t get from Carlsberg, Stella, Fosters, Budweiser etc. etc. Blah blah blah

Craft Beer is the way forward. Big Beer Blog know what they are talking about (sometimes). We are ranking beers from best to worst, take a look for yourself and let us know what you think.