The Short History of Craft Beer

Around 6000 years ago ancient Sumerians living in the Fertile Crescent recorded the first known instance of purposeful beer brewing. It is said that the ancient thirst for beer may have inspired the growth of cereals in the early days of agriculture.

With the coming of refrigeration Craft Beers began to die out until the Americans discovered their love of brewing in the mid 1970’s. The craft brewers in the States set out recreating forgotten British styles - including IPA.

IPA grew consistently through craft beers second biggest growth period during the 2000’s and surpassed pale ale as the most popular craft beer style in 2011. Since then it is safe to say that IPA has left all other styles in the dust.

A beer that was invented in Britain for the Indian market, was revived by Americans, and now copied by brewers worldwide including being brewed here in New Zealand.

There is an incredibly large number of craft beer styles including IPA crafted in New Zealand and throughout the world in a multitude of ways. Like wine with it’s different grapes varieties and processes creating different wine styles, the same can be said for craft beer with the different hops/cereals varieties and processes creating different craft beer styles.

A pint of ale has been around since medieval times but was also a major source of nutrition and hydration and at the time consumed by all ages. Ales are brewed by through fermentation in a warmer tank for shorter periods of time. This process can often produce a more fruity flavour and scent profile while the length of time malted barley is roasted for will largely determine the colouring and strength of flavour.

Pale Ale
Pale ales are brewed predominantly using pale barley malts. The style gives this beer its light golden colouring. Pale ale’s name and uniquely light colouring was originally caused due to the substitution of coke (a processed form of coal) used for roasting the barley which produced a far less scorched barely and a paler beer than the traditional dark roasting wood kilns.

Hazy Beer
This ale is hazy because it is not filtered like other beers, are often double dry-hopped, infused with twice the hops later in the brewing process which adds to the haze and fruity aroma.

Amber Ale
Amber ales originated in America and the term was originally a broad label describing most beers that were neither pale ales or dark beers, but amber ale adapted into a unique style of its own. Amber ale has a more pronounced caramel toffee flavour caused by adding additional malts to the mix.

India Pale Ale (IPA)
Modern IPAs have a strong, hoppy and bitter taste and contain higher levels of hops which work to give this style of beer more of a citrus and floral flavour profile. These characteristics appear to make IPAs incredibly refreshing.

Brown Ales
Modern day brown ales are all about the rich, nutty, caramel flavours created by adding a variety of darker specialty malts.

Porters & Stouts
Porters and stouts have been a proud British beer staple dating back as far as 1677. The term ‘stout’ refers to stronger porter blends. Favoured for its seductively creamy head, and the perfect balance between bitterness and sweet hints of coffee on the nose and palate.

Wheat Ales
Beer can also be brewed by substituting barley with wheat which was a common brewing technique dating as far back as the origins of beer itself. The higher protein content of wheat beer gives this ale style a light and cloudy appearance with a thick and long lasting head. With little to no hops required, wheat ales don’t require any maturation unlike lagers.

Sour Beer
Sour beers are brewed to intentionally hold a tart, sour or mildly acidic taste. This sour characteristic comes from wild yeasts and bacteria making its way into the mixture often during barrel storage or open air cooling. Fruit is often added during the aging process to create distinct flavour tones.

This style of beer is brewed using a similar process as with ale but using a chilled temperature tank for longer periods of time with a specialty lager yeast This process is believed to have originated around the 15th century.

Pale Lagers (Pilsner)
The pilsner style resulted after techniques developed making pale ales in Britain were brought to Germany and adapted for lager in the 19th century. Pilsners or pale lagers typically tend to be more hoppy scented and carry a dryer finish.
New Zealand Craft Beer lovers have fostered the growth of over 150 independent brewers. These dedicated brewers are producing a vast range of beer styles. The best of these and a constantly changing selection are at The Brewers Room in

Our selection of 24 craft beers are waiting for you at The Brewers Room in Ponsonby Central. To welcome you on this discovery journey we have a 25% discount voucher so you can come and try a Brewers Room Tasting Box with 8 tasting Glasses of different craft beer. Our Brew Crew will guide you through this tasting experience

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THE BREWERS ROOM, Ponsonby Central, T: 09 302 0937,