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So there you are, relaxing at the bar with your pals on a Friday night after work, when your discerning hipster friend starts complaining about the lack of craft beers in Hong Kong. You nod along as if you know what he is talking about but really you are thinking: what the heck is the deal with artisanal beer and why won’t people stop banging on about it? Fear not, the founders of Moonzen Brewery are here to educate you on all things hops!
What Is Craft Beer?
There is no single definition of craft beer, and it can mean slightly different things to different people. A quick definition from the Brewers Association in the US is: “small, independent and traditional.”
Various definitions of craft beer may include a variety of criteria, such as:
- Craft beer is produced in small volumes and is not brewed by one of the big “mega-brewery” corporations.
- Craft beer emphasizes the integrity and quality of ingredients, flavour and brewing technique.
- Craft beer is creative; it progresses and evolves with the flavours and inspiration of its time and context.
- Craft beer is brewed and distributed locally.
Moonzen Brewery’s Definition
Craft beer is made by small, local breweries that employ traditional brewing methods, emphasize flavor and quality, have limited volume, take pride in the creative process of brewing, and are connected with their communities and customers. Moreover, the ingredients used are 100% natural, and contain zero colourings, artificial flavours or preservatives, or harmful chemicals.
Ultimately though, good craft beer is not just about more flavour, creativity, or beer brewed on a small scale. It’s also about having an educated and mindful way of brewing and drinking. With Moozen, we want to raise awareness of conscious consumption and encourage drinkers to ask: “Where does your beer come from? What is it made of? How was it made? Are the people who made it paid a fair wage? What steps does the company that made it take to reduce waste?”
We also want to let Hong Kongers know that amazing alternatives to commercial beers exist, and they are brewed right here in Hong Kong! We want to celebrate Hong Kong’s local culture and change the prevailing mentality that only imported beers are good.
Why is Craft Beer Healthy?
Unpasteurized, unfiltered craft beer with live yeast and a high level of grain and hops contain a lot of super-nutrients, including:
- The entire gamut of essential – and many of the non-essential – amino acids.
- Protein-building blocks.
- Vital minerals including phosphorus, iodine, magnesium, calcium and potassium.
- A load of fibre.
- Ferulic acid, a potent antioxidant shown to protect skin from sun damage.
- Dietary silicon, a key ingredient for increasing bone mineral density. Beers containing high levels of malted barley and hops are richest in silicon.
Of course, everything in moderation. At Moonzen Brewery, we promote an educated and mindful way of brewing and drinking. As such, we are not advocating people to drink more, but to drink better!
Craft Beer Vs Commercial Beer?
Another way to define craft beer is to compare it to commercial beers, in order to see what craft beer is NOT. In a nutshell, what should you look for in a good craft beer? Look for unpasteurized, unfiltered/cloudy beer, made with all grain ingredients, and locally brewed in small quantities to ensure quality and freshness. In the below graphic, we compare craft beer and commercial beer in every realm: