Crafty Brews

Getting crafty with beer is my element. I love seeing all the out of the box creations people create with beer. Why throw away the remains of that six pack you bought when you can recycle it into something rad?!  I have seen tons of great crafts for sale on Etsy and at breweries. Here are some great gifts for the holidays and ideas to get your creative juices flowing!

BEER SOAP: 

A bubbly way to get clean! There are tons of breweries that offer beer soap on their websites or at their breweries. You can purchase handmade beer soap from etsy as well. Savage Soaps in downtown Frederick sells a Beersud soap year round. They use Brewer’s Alley’s Nut Brown Ale to make spicy smelling soap.

DOG TREATS:

Beer may be bad for dogs but the spent grain from the brewing process is not! While visiting Dogfish Head brewery in Rehoboth Beach, I picked up some doggie treats in the gift shop for my Boston Terrier. He loved them! They make dog treats using the spent grain, apples, cinnamon, bananas, and oats. Such a cool way to recycle beer for mans best friend. Pick some up on Dogfish Head’s website.

BEER CRAFTS:

An eco-friendly way to express yourself. The possibilities are endless. Personally, I have decorated picture frames and mirrors with recycled bottle caps. My friend saves all his six packs and has a beer wall in his apartment. My brother has a beer shelf in his kitchen filled with bottles with cool labels and such. It is a fun, personal way to create something and gift it to a friend! I have seen wind chimes, coasters, jewelry, and candle holders on etsy! Check out the handmade beer crafts selection here!

Beer Labels

The design of a beer label is the first thing to grab your attention. People will buy beer just based on the overall package design. While the beer inside might not meet the same design quality, I’ll still give them credit for their sharp, clean designs!

21st Amendment Beers

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Uinta Beer

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Laughing Dog Beer

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Sierra Nevada beer

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Elysian Beer

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Cask Conditioned Beer

Cask conditioned may or may not be a term you are familiar with in the beer world. 

The process is very similar to the regular brewing process. Cask conditioned is really another way to package and serve beer. Here are a few of the main differences:

  • Instead of aging in a fermentor, the young beer is matured in a cask.
  • Beer matured in a cask produces unfiltered beer.
  • The matured beer is kept in the cask and ready to serve.

The process of dispensing the cask conditioned beer is the main difference. The cask beer is kept at cellar temperature (between 50 °F to 55 °F). The beer is served at cellar temperature making the beer less cold than regular dispensed beer (typically being in the mid-30’s °F). The beer is served directly from the cask. There is no use of carbon dioxide or other chemicals; the beer is hand-pumped out of the cask.

So what does this mean for the flavor of the beer? The beer is more delicately carbonated due to the pulling method. Cask beer is also unique because of the aging process. The cask tends to create a unique, bitter flavor. Any regular beers like stouts, IPA’s, and lagers can be aged in casks. The aging, temperature and pulling technique will change the flavor of a beer.

For example, if Flying Dog Brewery cask conditioned their In Wheat Heat Hefeweizen, it would taste very different from the normally brewed batch. 

Brewer’s Alley is a local restaurant/brewery that serves cask conditioned beer. They tend to take their own beers and cask condition them so costumers can taste the difference. The cask changes weekly. The brewery is constantly cask conditioning different beers. Stop by and see what’s on cask this week!