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
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.
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.
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...
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.
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。
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？
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".
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。