Many people go to bars and order corporate beer that can be considered watered-down and overpriced. However, some people do not realize there is an alternative to domestic beers in the form of microbreweries.
The Cal State Fullerton Craft Beer Advocacy and Home Brew Club favors the alternative.
People may argue that local craft beers taste better than corporate beers due to them being unaware of craft beers or are misinformed about what craft beer actually is.
“What do you think is a craft beer? Typically people say something like Blue Moon. They are owned by Coors. That’s not craft. That’s corporate kind of hiding as craft,” said Brennan Wallace, the club’s faculty advisor.
According to the Brewers Association, to be considered a craft beer, it must be small, independent and original. The beer must also have an annual production of six million barrels or less. Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery can be owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer.
The club started in fall 2012 by Wallace and Skyler Irish. They would drink craft beer at breweries together and figured other students enjoy craft beer too. The pair invited fans of craft beer and went through the club registration process.
“Craft beer is something I find very interesting from the way it’s made; the different ingredients that are brewed with each batch and how it has become somewhat a way of life for our generation,” said club member Manny De Anda. “Once I realized we had a club on campus I wanted to join and continue learning and spreading the word about great craft beer and homebrewing.”
The club meets biweekly at local craft breweries, such as Bottle Logic in Anaheim, The Bruery in Placentia and HopScotch in Fullerton. Members vote online in the club’s Facebook group on where they want to have the meetings.
“A typical meeting consists of everyone ordering a different beer,” said Joseph De Anda, another club member. “We drink it, we analyze it. You kind of give your input on it like what you’re tasting, what you’re smelling, the style, what brewery makes it and what other beers they make.”
The club has been able to explore breweries on group tours and see how craft beer is made.
The Bruery in Placentia has worked with the club to give members experiences that are restricted for other patrons.
“They’ve given us tours of their barrel room in the past which is kind of a closed-off thing. They don’t let the general public in there,” Wallace said. “They also let us have a meeting in their meeting room.”
A few of the club’s members are homebrewers. Irish was one, but Joseph De Anda is the club’s lone homebrewer now. He works at Bottle Logic, a new craft brewery in Anaheim.
He said the main ingredients of beer are water, grain, hops and yeast. Certain beers contain different wheats.The process of brewing beer at home can take up to six hours, he said.
Although the club is one of the smaller ones on campus, Wallace prefers it that way.
“We had 15 people at the first club meeting which is enough for us,” Wallace said. “Anything bigger than that, and it’s too hard to talk at a brewery or get tables.”
Wallace would like to keep the club small, but he is open to new members.
De Anda said the club was created to educate CSUF students about craft beer and help people realize that making craft beer is an art.