What is Craft Beer?

Date: 08 May 2017

The rugby season is over and the weather is turning for the better, which means summer is here and Hopfest 2017 isn’t too far away.

Each week we’ll be bringing you fresh content around the event that will build the anticipation and excitement for what we hope will be the best Hopfest yet.

What is Craft Beer?

As well as the many cask ales, ciders, gins and proseccos that Hopfest will feature, there’ll also be a mix of craft beers to sample. Craft beer has become very popular in recent times, but what’s it all about?

The Brewer’s Association in Boulder, Colorado defines ‘craft beer’ as beer made by a brewer that is small, independent, and traditional. Here’s a few facts for you to ponder.

  • Craft brewers are small brewers.
  • The hallmark of craft beer and craft brewers is innovation. Craft brewers interpret historic styles with unique twists and develop new styles that have no precedent.
  • Craft beer is generally made with traditional ingredients like malted barley; interesting and sometimes non-traditional ingredients are often added for distinctiveness.
  • Craft brewers tend to be very involved in their communities through philanthropy, product donations, volunteerism and sponsorship of events.
  • Craft brewers have distinctive, individualistic approaches to connecting with their customers.
  • Craft brewers maintain integrity by what they brew and their general independence, free from a substantial interest by a non-craft brewer.

But how is it different to a real ale?

Real ale is a beer that has fermented in the vessel from which it is served and the carbonation is entirely natural, not forced.

Craft beer’ is full-flavoured beer 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. Ultimately, if it tastes good then who cares?!

What craft beers will be available at Hopfest?

We’re still adding more beers to the list, but currently we have the following craft beers available at Hopfest.

Wychwood Kingstar – ABV 4.8%

An escape from the average, brewed with fine English pale malted barley, and dry hopped with noble hop Styrian Goldings.

Revisionist Craft Lager – ABV 4.0%

Crafted with Lager Malt and a hop blend of German Hallertau Magnum & Tradition, Slovenian Styrian and dry hopped with British Admial & Boadicea varieties to deliver a refreshing easy drinking beer with a subtle citrus orange marmalade flavour.

Marston’s Pearl Jet Stout – ABV 4.1%

It’s a nod to classic English Oyster Stouts often complimented by (but not containing) shellfish. Hints of chocolate, coffee and sweet treacle flavours and yet quite smooth and clean-tasting.

Shipyard Rye Pale – ABV 4.3%

Inspired by certain American brewers, the inclusion of rye crystal malt adds a distinctive spicy and nutty malt flavour to a pale ale packed full of fruity hop character, from a cocktail of five different American hop varieties.

Shipyard American Pale Ale – ABV 4.5%

An easy drinking American style pale ale bursting with fruity citrus hop aroma and flavour. Dry hopped with a quartet of four American hop varieties – Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial.


Find out more about Hopfest 2017 by clicking here. Tickets will go on sale via Skiddle soon.


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