Most craft beer drinkers would agree that we love complexity in our beers. The intense flavors, subtle nuances and depth of character provide nearly endless enjoyment and a symposium for opinions, preferences and loyalties.
So let us take a look at some of the emerging grains that have been playing a bigger role in our beers as brewers look to diversify and differentiate themselves in the ever-expanding world of craft beer.
The Addition of the Adjunct Grains
Most of us associate the word ‘adjunct’ with the beers from big brewers, but don’t be alarmed. ‘Adjunct’ means “an addendum” or “a complement to,” and that’s what the “specialty grains” in craft beer do. These grains are used as a complement to barley, to enhance an experience, broaden a flavor or swell mouthfeel. The grains I am referring to are oatmeal, rye and wheat.
Whether you enjoy the big mouthfeel of an oatmeal stout, the crisp edge of a “rye-P.A.,” or the refreshing, light drinkability of a wheat beer, much of the depth and personality of your beer is due to adjuncts. Surprisingly, these grains have been utilized in beers for hundreds of years, and are now re-emerging in new ways.