Tuesday, May 16, 2017

WEEK 104--the MUTATION of craft to MACRO-CRAFT

这期的英文是没按照报纸专栏中文版本,而是有点随心而写。
Yes--this is old old news already by the time it show up here.

五月第一个星期,很多不同城市啤迷都在议论美国酿坊wicked weed被国际大厂啤酒巨无霸AbinBev(曾烧大钱打广告讥讽craft啤迷只是装模作样一群)收购事件。
大厂啤酒国际大公司收购craft品牌不是第一次发生,啤迷反应基本离不开"失望""不屑""嘲讽"这些字眼。当然,也有表示"理解""赞成""是件好事"的人。对一般人来说,这只是一桩交易,有必要各种情绪反应?
啤酒一直有不同的两个世界,一个是只注重卖三几个单调产品,以追求市场占有率盈利最大化为目标的MACRO BEER 
另一个是craft beer --小量酿造,注重不同类别风格口味的美味世界。
But it's still worth a shot to at least try to let people know that there's indeed a world split into 3 :-MACRO BEER, craft beer----and the mutation which is MACRO-CRAFT 

在出现千变万化不同类型风格口味啤酒选择craft之前,啤酒世界只有大家都熟悉的大厂啤酒(MACRO BEER),那是基本没口味类别选择的世界,长期那样淡出鸟来情况下,有人开始试着酿造自己想喝啤酒,于是craft慢慢从自酿自供变成现在的百花齐放。
两个理念迥然不同的啤酒世界之间是界限分明的。如果把MACRO比喻为有钱有势,生产成本利润都有明确指标的豪门企业,craft就像刚出来创业的普通人,有的只是想把啤酒变得更有趣美味想法,对抢占市场低成本高利润这些生意概念不会放在第一位。说白一点,MACRO就是市场至上,利润为尊的生意人,craft则像是有点理想化的创作人。
In Asia--beer is obviously not a daily necessities--people would buy more other types of beverages than alcoholic ones--and if we zero in on craft beer segment--it's even much smaller.
With low awareness about craft beer--where generally people would only associate BEER as the whole and only truth they could think of when asked about beer--let's try and point out the differences:-
MACRO--multi national corporation giants--only focusing on a few famous brands-usually simple lager or pilsner and keep producing in mega volume--easy access is the key--flooding market is the aim- cutting down/out market competition is the means.
craft beer--thousands of small breweries--all sorts of beer styles/ varieties--flavour profile is the key--producing "what we could/ what we want" is the motto--fighting to be number 1 best selling beer in the market is NOT encourage by any means(though aiming to get rated as number 1 could/would be ;)
MACRO-CRAFT--the mutant born out of the marriage of MACRO and "once a craft" breweries--in other words--the MACRO-CRAFT are those craft breweries which for one reason or another decided to hold the hands of MACRO giants through a sell out deal.
了解craft文化的啤迷几乎都从喝MACRO BEER开始,因为那样,更能体会craft酿坊致力提供不同类别风格口味啤酒享受的努力,对只以三几个畅销品牌单调无趣啤酒抢市场的MACRO没好感。
换个角度看,可以说因为MACRO长期“市场专制”导致craft的出现,一定程度上,挑战“市场垄断”,“既定规则”的叛逆意味很浓。
MACROcraft既是完全不同理念,不同经营手法,不是一条路上的人,怎么会走到一起?答案很简单,卖掉的craft要钱,MACRO要市场。

so why would MACRO buy into a craft? and why would craft sell?
the reasons:-
MACRO needs to grow market share--and the only way to enter the craft market is by buying up existing craft breweries- what's better than using craft to fight craft?
craft sold out for MONEY( it could be for betterment of future growth-reaching out to more drinkers-retirement or maybe simply being naive--you name it- but end of the day it's MONEY- period)
跟不久前卖给同一家MACRO的上海拳击猫(BOXING CAT)一样,wicked weed卖的理由是因为可以凭借国际大公司的财力和分销网更好的发展。对出钱收购的MACRO来说,近年美国市场销售额下滑意味着必须做点什么制衡已经抢占啤酒市场十多巴仙的craft,既然自家品牌啤酒肯定不能跟那么多类别风格啤酒抗衡,那就来个以craftcraft,有什么有效过隔岸观火,利用原本同理念的酿坊打击自己打不过的敌人?
表面看起来,卖给MACRO的酿坊可以造更多啤酒,至今没有供应链的地区也可以连接上,酿坊可以更好发展,更多人可喝到优质啤酒,怎么看都是双赢,有什么好说三道四的?
实际上,被大厂收购的craft例子中,啤酒质素不见提升,相反的因为收购後为了业绩盈利而省时省力导致啤酒质素下滑的例子不少,这也是啤迷反应消极的主由。

By choosing to hold the hands of ABInBev - WW has chosen to become a CATEGORY of products under the wings of MACRO BEER -and by doing so -- contrary to what WW might think - they have also chosen to leave the craft community- yes, its only beer and friendship might stay - but the one thing WW might not realized when deciding to take the money and support from AbinBev is that the craft community is a wicked bunch - people in this community has got common belief that craft should remain craft - associating with MACRO is NOT. 

或许这样比喻,喝被大厂收购的MACRO-CRAFT有点像是去挂名米其林星级的连锁餐厅吃东西,可是,我们都知道,在本店以外吃到的,绝对不是星级食物,吃的只是宣传效果。
MACRO收购craft一定程度上也带来情绪挫折,像球迷拥护球会球星那种,打个比喻,如果梅西转会皇家马德里,或者说C罗转会去巴塞罗那,对一般人来说就是普通的球星转会买卖而已,可是,对皇马或巴塞球迷来说,这根本是天塌下来的大事,如果最能象征球会的核心人物转到死敌怀中,那种情绪反转只有迷才能理解。
There are some who slam geeks for being a bunch of "cry babies" who cannot see others getting a handsome pay off for years of hard work to build up that craft brewery/brand name--No Doubt--it's the absolute rights of the owners to decide what to do next with their own business/brand/brewery--that part is clear--there's no doubt they can decide to sell out to whoever they like.

Craft当然是生意,任何生意都有买卖可能,这是正常现象,只是,craft是有点特别的生意,有一定文化因素存在,没有MACRO那种各种手段砸钱抢占销售管道做法,也有反大企业垄断市场的"叛逆"心理因素,如果说一家craft酿坊最终目的是要成为百亿生意,那并没有错,啤迷唯一会觉得有问题的只是,酿坊是按照自身路线一步步前进,又或是说,一旦出现大厂收购这个捷径时候就改道了?
任何酿坊都可以决定抄小路走捷径,那是酿坊品牌主人的决定,那之后,啤迷也会决定那家酿坊的定位,不再会是craft,而是带讽刺意味的新名词-MACRO CRAFT

Also--there's no shame at all if a craft brewery declare openly that their aim is to be the number 1 best selling beer by volume in the craft market--or say to be a 100 million dollar business--there's nothing wrong to aim for that since craft beer is after all still business.
BUT--the moment a craft brewery took the short-cut of taking money from MACRO giants--that's where all the "complications" starts.

WHY CAN'T craft brewery merge/side with MACRO? is MACRO that evil? while a deal of MACRO buying into craft is generally perceived as nothing more than business--it is a big deal in many aspects (culturally-emotionally-and in the longer run market competition wise) to craft community and beer geeks, imagine these scenario:-
-ask yourself if it feels right to buy Messi if you are a Real Madrid fan? or buy C.Ronaldo if you a BARCA fan?

-if you love hand made/gourmet coffee--would you like Nescafe/Starbucks to own your favourite beans company to "make better coffee" more accessible to drinkers?

-if you love food--and you just heard McDonalds bought your favourite gourmet burger shop--so as to help grow the gourmet burger market?

It's true craft beer is a business hence every breweries/brewers can't run away from the harsh test of business competition/pressures of making a business sustainable/profitable--BUT--what makes craft business a little special is the unspoken community spirits--the craft culture--most geeks understand the common languages of craft--tying up close with MACRO giant's money/power is NOT one of them.
it is clear MACRO-CRAFT is aiming at newbies- people who would try craft beer for the first time--the ignorant, the "beer is just BEER- who cares who owns what" crowd.

By acquiring craft and making good use of them to fight the fight MACRO could not enter with their own beers--it is a "smart move" since they are capitalizing on the IGNORANCE of most drinkers who either don't know what are the differences between craft and MACRO--or just simply don't give a fxxk of who owns what.
In a small way--saying beer is only BEER or "i just drink--it's too complicated to understand craft beer" or " do i need to know who owns what to decide which beer to drink?" is a little similar to we earth people upon hearing about Global Warming or when maybe London- New York or Bangkok might completely disappear from the horizon--it's something which many would brush aside as "none of my concern- too complicated to understand--too distance from my daily routine".

to say the need to protect craft community from the clutches of MACRO is almost like trying to save planet earth is a little far fetch- but if we take a closer look at what JEAN of CANTILLON posted on FB both on 2nd APRIL & 10th MAY about rejecting 1 time craft turned MACRO-CRAFT Birra Del Bogo and how giants killed off competition and hence the closing down of lambic breweries in and around Brussels some 40 years ago--then maybe it's not that far fetch....( here's screen-shot of both posting--for more detail please check Cantillon FB)




Monday, May 1, 2017

WEEK 103--some basic ideas of CRAFT---PART 3

still on the back to basics series:-
1)Why Drink Craft?
the answer is simple--palate enjoyment
it's the same reason why people tend to seek out something delicious to eat--if you would demand food to be tasty--why not beer?
1) 为什么要喝Craft Beer
答案很简单,味蕾享受。
跟为什么喜欢好吃食物一样,如果对吃有要求,喝啤酒怎么就没要求?酿得好的啤酒可以带来很多意料之外的不同层次美味享受。
2) we can find fruits/chocolate/coffee(and more)in a beer--why not just eat/drink those instead of finding the taste in beer?
It's simply NOT the same.
just like food item such as cheese/kimchi or soy sauce needing  to go through "FERMENTATION" process--that somewhat "magical" fermenting process will make the food items becoming uniquely delicious in a beer form.
2) 如果美味是因为有水果味,巧克力味,咖啡味之类的,那直接吃水果巧克力喝咖啡不就解决了?
不一样的。                  
有道过程叫发酵,个中变化会带来奇妙作用,就像芝士泡菜豆酱等食物需要发酵变美食原理一样,发酵过程让酿酒食材变成另外一种境界的液体美食,也有酿好後放入其他酒类木桶熟成作法,让风味层次更添变化。
3) Beer is full of gas/carbonation--it makes one feel unpleasantly bloated
Yes--carbonation is part of beer--and if all you know is MACRO BEER then it's a huge part of it--we all been ingrained as to how a perfectly served pint must have a rather thick head.
BUT--in the world of craft beer--carbonation is NOT the same for every beer--depending on the style of beer--some would have very less or no carbonation when served--though some would have almost Champagne-ish carbonation to create those little bubbles in a beer....
Does carbonation makes you feel bloated? perhaps that french fries/potato wedges or chicken wings that went along with the beer would be responsible rather than just your pint.
3) 啤酒有气泡,喝了肚子涨感觉很饱
不完全对。                                       
一般人观念中,啤酒完全就是气泡饮料,不过,在Craft Beer的世界,不是所有啤酒都有着相同数量气泡,有些类型啤酒完全没泡或只有少量气泡,也有些啤酒特意加强气泡让啤酒带来类似香槟细致口感。
这是为什么Craft的世界很好玩,颠覆了大家一贯以为很了解的所谓“啤酒泡”认知,更提供了各种各样适合不同人口味的啤酒类别选择。
4)Beer is alcoholic beverages-how to best enjoy it without getting shit-faced?
The solution is simple--first you need to know what's your limit/alcohol tolerance level--if you are not sure--drink a few times and you would find out.
Always remember these 2 key factors:-
NEVER drink with empty stomach
AVOID drinking when you are too tired physically/mentally
4)啤酒有酒精,会让人醉倒,怎么喝才能最大程度享受?
任何酒精饮料都有导致醉倒可能性是不用质疑的事实。
每个人酒精承受度不一样也是事实,喝多几次就能找到自己承受力度。
Craft文化不鼓励牛饮斗酒,不希望饮客醉倒,而是要像欣赏美食甜点那样浅尝细味,最重要记得一定不可空腹或太疲倦状态喝酒,那只会是没事找事,醉倒之余也浪费酒
Drinking craft beer can be like savouring nice food/dessert--it's never about gulping/binking--take your time--find out more about the flavours you like in a beer- just relax and enjoy.
5)So any craft beer must be all nice and tasty?
Well--if one were to compare with MACRO beer --craft beer would be much tastier with much more flavours/layer to discover.
BUT--the fact is NOT ALL craft beer is great--there's different level of brews out there--it's kinda like there's so many Chicken Rice or Burger stall out there--but NOT ALL are of the same deliciousness--it's the same with craft beer.
The only way is to find out yourself--drink more-read some-talk to people-observe--and you will slowly find out which are the better ones.
5) Craft Beer是不是随便选都肯定好喝?
这样说吧,如果跟一般大厂啤酒相比,Craft会比大厂啤酒有层次,好喝。
如果已喝上一段时间,就会发现,不是所有冠上Craft名义的就一定好喝,因为会有一些人把自认已经很有水准的难喝啤酒拿到市场上卖,情况就像卖云吞面或海南鸡饭一样,总有学艺不精的。
解决方法,自己多点发掘好酒,训练味蕾,提高鉴赏力就比较容易辨识好酒或劣作。
6)What to do when met with "awful beer"?
there's a few scenario here pertaining to "awful beer":-
BEER GONE BAD
if the beer taste awful due to "handling issues" such as long exposure under strong sunlight or already infected during bottling/canning process--the only way is to pour down the drain.
6) 碰上难喝啤酒怎么办?
如果是:-
A因为储存不当变质或酿造过程或装瓶/灌出问题例如感染,那就直接倒掉。
NOT WHAT I EXPECTED
if a beer taste "awful" because it's of a flavour you don't like( a beer tasting like coffee which is not your daily drink)--OR say you like coffee quite a lot and expecting your beer to taste more coffee like-thicker---but initial sips seems disappointing....
then it's not really a bad beer issue--but more of a getting used to new flavour issue--or that the beer has yet to warm up....
there's a few ways one could try to turn that strange tasting beer into something drinkable:-
A) try wait for a while longer to let that beer warm up to see if it would become something more drinkable?
B) try blending the beer with some other styles of beer( you could mix 1 with another 1 or another 2- it's your call) to see if that beer would changed into something more likable?
C) If you really don't like what you drinking--and if your friend/s don't mind/ or that stranger sitting next to you at the bar don't mind--just let go of it--let others try if they like it.
B) 觉得不对味比如不喜欢咖啡却喝到带咖啡味啤酒,又或说喜欢咖啡可是好像不浓郁,可以试着让味蕾慢慢适应,实在不行,可以试着1)等久一点,让啤酒回温再喝看是不是有变圆润顺滑好喝, 2)混其他类型啤酒看会不会变好喝,3)请别人喝。
BEYOND CURRENT APPRECIATION LEVEL
If a beer is tasting awful because it's way beyond your palate appreciation level--then it's a totally different issue--it's a case where you maybe drinking 1 of the best brew in the world--but due to lack of understanding of the taste profile a beer could bring- the current level of your palate would not be able to appreciate what's coming-hence the immediate rejection/reaction.
There's been some real stories going round about how a geek would find his/her Trappist beer or Lambic missing from the fridge only to know that it was opened and drain poured by some family members who thought the beer were"tasting funny/ maybe gone bad"!!!
So --if you met a beer which you are not sure but thought it's tasting "awful"--you might want to ask this question "is it really a bad brew or is it something my palate could not handle as yet?" 
C)超出现有味蕾认知范围--意思是,因为没想到啤酒会有这些味道,味蕾反应不过来,下意识抗拒。这是正常现象,很多新朋友都面对过,在现阶段觉得难喝的啤酒,可能过一段时间味蕾训练和鉴赏力提升了,就懂得其中奥妙。
7) just give me THE BEST beer
In consumerism- it's common to hear that sentence " just give me THE BEST" though at times those who fork out handsome cash don't really know what he/she bought into?
In the world of craft beer--what is the best beer would be a question NO ONE can give definite answer to--in a beer world full of varieties of styles--who can tell the world what is the best?
Yes--there's a list of world best beer/top beers if you follow Rate Beer or Beer Advocate--but are those list the definitive definition of THE BEST?
Nope-it's not the case--those list you can choose to think it's the best beer list--or you can just look at it and say  " i think this particular beer is more deserving to be on the list but it's not"
7) 只选择喝最好的啤酒不就好了?
虽然网上两大独立评酒网站RATEBEERBEER ADVOCATE每年都有排行榜,不过,懂得啤酒的人都知道,就算排名第一的啤酒也未必就是最好的,不同类别风格啤酒那么多,口味选择又是个人喜好因素决定,很难确定A的最爱一定也是BCDEFG最爱。更何况,有些盛名在外欧美啤酒,因为产量少,有时候有钱也未必买得到。
虽然很难确定什么是最好,不过,喝上一定时间,味蕾鉴赏力达到一定水平,就能知道上佳,中上,平庸和劣作之间差异。
In the world of craft--varieties is key--tasting and finding out more flavours you like in a beer is the key reason why geeks are so into it--there's probably no THE BEST--but there's certainly awesome brew--solid brew-average brew and awful brew--you will know how to differentiate when you drink up to a certain level :)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

WEEK 102--some basic ideas of CRAFT---part 2

It is true majority of "BEER drinkers" don't know/ never heard of craft beer---here's part 2 of the basic ideas series:-
CRAFT BEER让啤酒的世界很精彩,只可惜知道,听过,懂得欣赏的人太少,本期再来聊些基本概念:-
1) So MANY choices--where to start? how to drink?
There is no fixed method of how one should start craft drinking.
One of the easier way to start is perhaps by picking beer flavour which is similar to taste profile you like in food/fruits or dessert--that way you can minimize chances of drinking something "unpleasant" right from the start--which might caused some to have the wrong idea about craft and make a hasty conclusion that craft beer is just gimmicky-unpleasant-awful...
1) 那么多不同类别啤酒选择 怎么喝?
没有固定方程式说一定要怎么开始喝。
比较保守方式是,开始阶段可避开平时食物中不喜欢的味道,先挑合适自己口味啤酒,找到对味啤酒後,再逐步延伸探索其他不熟悉类型风格。
比如说可以从最浅白易喝风格开始,低度PilsnerPale Ale--然后再试IPAPorterStouts等类型,不过,要是想随心所欲的看到什么试什么开始,也未尝不可,自由发挥是Craft文化精神之一。
重点,喝上一段时间後,别再只是根据平时食物喜欢味道挑着喝,是时候离开“舒适区”,多点尝试不同类别口味,包括自己不熟悉或自觉可能“不是那杯茶”的类型,多些训练味蕾,提高鉴赏力。
Once you decided on the flavour profile---the next step is to either follow the "safer" path of starting from lighter, lower abv beers--and then slowly moving onto "heavier" ones----or you could just go with whichever you fancy--regardless of the "lighter to heavier" order.
The Key point? it's all about tasting--finding a flavour or two or three that you like initially and take it from there. BUT--do not stay too long in a certain comfort zone--meaning if you like IPA--don't just keep drinking IPAs for ages--one should try other styles too--even those you think you won't like or can't accept due to certain misconception/precast ideas---just try them out--try a few good ones for a particular styles--and you will be surprised how different taste profile would give so much pleasure you never thought possible from these "perceived not my cup of beer/mead"
2)MACRO BEER most familiar with are mostly around 5%--there's a lot of above 6%--even above 10-20% abv craft beer--with ABV that high--wouldn't it full of strong alcohol smell? awful to drink?
Whether or not a beer is full of alcohol smell has got NO direct link with how low of how high ABV it has got.
The deciding factor is about how well a beer is brewed.
In truth--a beer with only 5% abv can smell and taste so awful if badly brewed--and a beer with over 20% abv can be so tasty one can hardly taste or smell the alcohol influence.
2) 一般大厂啤酒都是5度左右,Craft类型中超过6度到1020多度啤酒不少,酒精那么高会不会难闻难喝?
首先,一支啤酒是不是酒精味很明显或杀口感很重跟酒精度高低没有直接关系,意思是说,不是说20多度就一定难喝,5度就一定易喝。
听起来奇怪?这样说吧,一支啤酒是不是喝起来香润顺爽主要取决于酿酒师功力,一支很均衡佳酿就算20多度,喝起来很可能一点都感受不到酒精味,香醇美味易喝。相反的,酿得差的啤酒,就算只有56度,会是酒精味刺鼻,难闻难喝得很。
3)How to avoid "stumbling into" a badly brewed beer?
Part of the fun of craft drinking is about discovering nice brew-awesome brew--it is the journey most(if not all) geeks goes through--stumbling upon some bad beers is part of the game--though with better judgement one can lessen that chances--but it's all good--drinking a few bad ones along the way would only serve as stepping stones to finding a lot more better ones...
3) 怎么避免喝到难喝啤酒?
Craft的乐趣是多尝试不同品牌不同类别风格啤酒,喝自己没喝过的,有时难免会喝到不是那么好或难喝的,这是无可避免,每位啤迷都经历过,也可能会再遇上。喝到难喝啤酒固然气人,某个程度上也是味蕾训练,更是喝到一支佳酿时幸福感洋溢的动力来源.
4) Is there some form of Guide or References--to avoid bad beers all together?
There are lots of information about beer on wwwsocial media--and among those sea of information--RateBeer, Beer Advocate & Untappd are widely used for references/guide --it is no denying that by checking on ratings/others opinion--one could lessen the chances of bumping into a bad brew--BUT--do remember--it's still other people's opinion--you would have to drink it yourself to find out if you really like it or other wise.
The choice is yours--let others decide for you--or decide yourself.
4) 有什么管道可以了解多些啤酒资讯,减低喝到难喝啤酒几率?
关于啤酒的资讯很多,除了可以看书,网络和手机程式也有一些适用的,包括很多人用来查看个别啤酒评价,类别风格,酒精度,风味特色等基本资讯的RateBeer, Beer AdvocateUntappd等,通过这些资讯,特别是个别啤酒评价,有时候可以减低喝到难喝啤酒几率,只是,要注意不能一直只是完全根据网上评价决定喝不喝某支啤酒,毕竟那都是别人意见,还是要自己喝过才能决定心中评价。
      5) Is there a Sommelier for beer which one can ask for recommendations?
There's something similar to that in the world of craft beer--one can take up the courses/examinations to become a Cicerone.
However--it is NOT a common scenario where craft beer places would have in-house Cicerone to recommend beers to customers like a restaurant would with wine serving sommelier.
In ASIA--most craft beer places would have someone to recommend choices to newbies when asked--and they are usually either owners/staff or regulars/geeks.
5) 啤酒有没有像葡萄酒那样,就听认证侍酒师(Sommelier)介绍喝算了?
Craft 的世界有类似侍酒师那样的国际认证考核资格,不过因为Craft在亚洲是起步中,没有像欧美餐厅聘请葡萄酒侍酒师的普及化,现阶段来说,喝啤酒靠的是店长店员或啤迷朋友介绍推荐

6) So Beer also got International Courses & Examination?
That's right--besides Cicerone there's another International body running BJCP courses for those intended in becoming international beer judges. And obviously there are beer related courses run by universities in and around US/EUROPE.
6) 啤酒也有国际认证考试?
是的,Craft的世界不同类别啤酒繁多,就像葡萄酒有侍酒师,啤酒也有国际认证课程Cicerone考核不同级别啤酒师。另外,各种啤酒国际比赛的出现,有另一个啤酒裁判认证课程(BJCP)让有心人报读考核成为国际认可的啤酒考官。
7) is Beer that COMPLICATED?
there's 2 side to a coin--it might seem complicated to some with all those various beer styles--different serving temperatures--different serving glasses--not to mentioned all those technical terms involved if one were to brew or intending to take up exams.
7) 啤酒有那么复杂?
要说复杂可以,也可以一点都不复杂,喝啤酒最主要出发点和最终目标很明确,就是为了味蕾享受,就像欣赏美食甜点品茶喝咖啡那样,可以浅尝细味,任何跟你说喝啤酒只是为了买醉喝爆的,都不懂得啤酒真谛。
BUT--beer can be very simple really--at least 1 thing is clear--the reason why geeks go nuts about craft beer is simple--in search of Palate Enjoyment.
Anyone who tells you BEER is only something to gulp/to get wasted--they obviously don't bloody know what Beer is. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

WEEK 101--REBOOT from ZERO--some basic ideas of craft beer PART 1

When the newspaper column idea was mooted back in April 2014--it was basically with one aim--try to introduce craft beer to people who don't have any idea about craft beer --in the most simple form/ language possible.
在亚洲,Craft Beer对绝大多数人是陌生名词,到底所谓的Craft跟大家“认识”的啤酒有什么不同?以下是一些基本概念。

The column started with weekly writing--then turning to bi-weekly since 2015 and have now breached the 100 articles mark--perhaps it's good to reboot--to try and talk to some more newbies who have zero idea about craft beer with this and subsequent REBOOT from ZERO articles....
1) WHAT IS Craft Beer?
the key word--CHOICES.
Craft Beer is full of varieties/different styles/flavours --it's what shattered the BEER IS BORING perception in spectacular fashion.
If you think of food--what everyone know as BEER(MACRO BEER) is like a bowl of plain noodles---Craft Beer is where you will find all kinds of varieties/flavours.
1) 什么是Craft Beer 
口味选择变化多端,打破啤酒只是单调无趣没选择死板印象的很多很多不同类别啤酒。
如果用吃来比喻,大家认识的大厂啤酒是阳春面,Craft Beer世界有各种各样不同口味面食等你发掘。
2) WHAT's so special about Craft Beer?
Think of all the flacours you can find in daily food items--the basic of sweet/sour/bitter/spicy/umami---those you can find in fruits/ dessert/spices/beverages and so on---you can find all the flavours in a beer form--and in real taste--not those artificial fake chemical flavours.
2) Craft有什么厉害?
可以这样说,日常食物\甜点\水果\香料\零食中能品尝到的味道,都能在啤酒中找到,更重要的,不是人工香精那种"假味道",优质Craft Beer都是真材实料酿造的。
3) Where can I find Craft Beer?
Generally-craft in Asia is still developing or in very early stage of development:-
in Malaysia--it's mainly and almost only in Klang Valley--there's 3 bars + 1 bottle shop around town--and words that there's 1 more bar likely opening up north in Penang soon.

down south in Singapore--there's quite some bars/bottle shops worth going to--at least 6-7-and if you home brew--this is 1 city you can get your brewing materials from.
up north in Thailand--personally my fav city for beers--mainly because Mikkeller Bangkok is there, there's also a strong "Thai brew" movement going on--meaning you can sit in a bar and not just drink imported beers but drink "technically outlawed" beers(with some legal ones) from the Thai Geeks who brew.
3) 哪里喝得到?
吉隆坡有3家专卖吧1家瓶子店,据说檳城很快会有1家专卖吧。
新加坡有至少六,七家值得去的专卖吧瓶子店。
曼谷有亚洲最佳专卖吧"米吧"和不少过7家其他专卖吧瓶子店可去。
日本应该是全亚洲最多选择,东京大阪等地都有本地酿品和众多欧美进口啤酒。
韩国近两年也热络起来,首尔釜山等地都有本地酿坊,进口啤酒类别品牌开始多起来。
香港台湾都有自己本土酿坊和入口啤酒选择,专卖吧瓶子店不少。
近年热闹起来的中国市场,很多城市都有酿吧,也有入口啤酒专卖吧瓶子店,不过,滥竽充数和水货现象让市场比较龙蛇混杂,酒的储存管理,保鲜期以致输酒管保养等都是必须注意的事。
Japan--Tokyo probably has got the widest selection in ASIA as far as varieties is concern--you have choices of local Jap brew and imported variants not only in and around Tokyo but many other areas of Japan too.
Korea--the craft movement been gaining momentum--with local and imported craft choices developing steadily over the last 2 years.
HK and Taiwan--both cities been moving kinda fast since the last 3 years--more imported variants can be found--there's bars and bottle shop--as well local breweries of which some are slowly gaining international attention.
China--the craft market potential is huge--however the market is still on very early developing stage--there's plenty of imported beers--but the one thing anyone drinking in China needs to be aware of is--quite a lot of imported beers are via grey importing--and that could also mean the beer could be well and truly dead before it gets on your glass/belly due to various handling issues. 
4) Can I find craft beer at Supermarket or Convenient Store?
In Asia--it's not too common to be able to find craft beer like how one can easily find MACRO BEER in a supermarket or convenient store--the reason being craft beer is NOT something you just display and it will sell on it's own like how MACRO do...
4) 超市或便利店找得到?
在亚洲,Craft文化还在起步中,随意在超市或便利店找到Craft Beer的几率不高,也因为Craft的独特性(种类繁多,需要一定知识才能有效推介),一般超市便利店没卖。
如果找到卖Craft的超市便利店,不用太高兴,除了可能货量不够多元化,也必须注意是不是储存得当,一些类别啤酒更要注意保鲜期。
Craft Beer--due to varieties/different styles/taste profile--would need someone who is a bit more "knowledgeable" to explain to customers what is what--hence not many supermarket-convenient store owners would stock craft beer...
Anyway--even if you could find craft beer in a supermarket or convenient store in ASIA--don't get too excited--it's best to check the drink by date--or is there any storage/handling issues?
5) WHAT you mean-" drink by date"? or storage/handling issues?
The best part about craft beer is varieties of choices
Hence--there are beers which would taste the best or better--when it's consumed fresh or the ealier from 'drink by date" the better--for examples any pale ale/IPA which emphasis on hops freshness--or say any porter/stouts which emphasis on freshness of spices or beans used.
5) 什么保鲜期?什么储存得当?
Craft Beer 好玩的就是不同类别风格繁多,打个比喻就像一条鱼可煮,煎,炸,焖,蒸,炒,腌制或做生鱼片,啤酒也可以玩出很多不同口味。
那么多不同类别啤酒,有强调趁啤酒花气息新鲜时候喝的Pale Ale/IPA,又或是咖啡豆/香料气息比较强时候喝的Porter/Stout等。这就是啤酒的"尝鲜期",时限内尽快喝的版本会比过期的好喝。
同样重要的是储存过程,任何不当行为比如被阳光直接照射,存放在高温闷热房间,又或是强烈灯光直射下都会让啤酒变质变坏。
On the other hand--a beer will taste awful--no matter how fresh it might be--if the handling side gone wrong--A bottle or can of perfectly fine brew can go very wrong if it's infected during bottling or canning process--or say exposed under direct sunlight-or light struck- or stored in a hot and humid environment.
6) Beer on tap would always better than bottles/can version?
NOPE--it depends on what type of beer.
But most importantly--drinking from tap-system DO NOT always guarantee the freshness or quality of beer--tap system needs cleaning consistently--a perfectly tasting beer would go bad if the tap-line is dirty/infected.
A tap-line which is not clean--is something like if you have some left over Chili on a bowl --you know what will happen if you pour some soup into..... 
6) 都说Draft Beer比较新鲜好喝,上啤酒泵版本比瓶子罐装好喝吗?
没有绝对 ,要看啤酒类型而定。
一般认为,上了啤酒泵版本比较新鲜所以比较好喝,其实要看一些因素决定,除了不同啤酒类别风格,最关键的是,酒吧输酒管是不是有定期经常清理,就像吃饭那样,如果用装了麻辣酱没洗的碟子去装饭,饭自然会有麻辣味。
同样的,如果输酒管没清理得宜,肮脏管子很大可能会让啤酒变质变臭,会变成大问题,
7) Beer ONLY taste best when drank FRESH?
Again--the answer is NOPE--it depends on what style of beer
There are beers which no doubt would taste best when drank fresher--but there's also quite a lot which is best to let it age and drank after a period of time/few years/many years after....
The reason being --some beers can have secondary fermentation inside bottles and would aged beautifully as compared to drinking fresh which can be deemed as 'waste of beer".
7) 啤酒一定要新鲜才好喝?
不完全是。
看什么类型风格啤酒而定。
一些啤酒比如Pale Ale, IPA, 甚至是一些Porter, Stouts强调趁新鲜喝,不过也有不少强调陈放一段时间或好多年後才喝。
因为酿造方式和用料的不同,一些啤酒比如Stouts,比如Lambic,甚至是特定的IPA会在陈放後酒体味道更成熟圆润,太早喝反而不能完全领略酿品风味,浪费酒。