Even though beer is the oldest fermented drink in the world and we’ve been drinking it for many years there are a surprising number of us who still don’t know how to do it properly.
You may not think it but there is actually an art to beer drinking.
When you’re down the pub after work on a Friday, sinking a few cold ones, you probably don’t take the time to savour and taste it.
Understanding how to taste beer properly is just the same as learning how to enjoy a good wine or scotch – and we’re going to teach you right now.
Mistakes you’re making with beer
Some mistakes in life are big and others, like incorrectly drinking beer, are HUGE!
Here are five mistakes you have probably been making with your pint since you were old enough to drink it.
Now is the time to stop.
1. Frosting your glass
This is most definitely the biggest myth in beer drinking; the joy of a frosted beer glass. Contrary to what your local sports bar is telling you, your frosty glass is most definitely not enhancing your drinking experience.
In fact, by frosting your glass you’re causing the beer to foam, killing its carbonation and the aromas. Instead of popping your glass into the freezer, use it at room temperature after giving it a quick rinse under the tap to make sure it’s nice and clean and won’t interfere with any flavours.
2. Drinking beer ice cold
As much as your mates like to brag about having “cold beers”, this isn’t how you get the maximum taste. In fact, most beers are meant to be served just above room temperature and many experts recommend leaving them in the fridge for just 10 minutes before drinking to allow all the aromas and flavours to be exposed.
3. Leaving it in sunlight
Ever heard of the word “skunking”? If not, you’re about to. Beer is not supposed to be in sunlight before it’s opened. Walk into a hot shop and pick up any bottle of beer from a sun-exposed shelf. Open it and smell it…smells off right? It’s been skunked.
Beer should always be stored in a cool, dry place and out of sunlight in order to keep its taste and flavour just right.
4. Keeping it too long
We’re all guilty of having that one beer in the fridge which has been there for months. Whether you’re saving it for a special occasion or for a cheeky drink next Monday, you might find it will taste off or different to a normal brew.
This is because the taste and flavour of many beers age quickly and therefore should never be kept for long periods of time. Drink it or throw it out!
5. Overthinking it
Being a beer-lover isn’t the same as being a “foodie”. There is no reason to go all technical on your mates and start talking about “single variety hop beers” or “IBUs”. For one, few people will care and for two there’s something to be said for enjoying a beer how your grandad used to – just as it is.
Drinking beer the right way
Now that we’ve established how you SHOULDN’T be drinking your beer, it’s time to review a few tips on how to do it properly – and just in time to receive one your tasty beer hampers!
- Always drink your beer in a mug or glass made from natural materials
- Pour beer into the centre of your glass from a height of 2-3cms. Wait for the foam to settle and then top off the glass ¾ of its height
- Drink it in small sips to appreciate the flavour
- Always drink beer just above room temperature
- Beer can be served with all dishes but goes particularly well with fatty meat, smoked food and high fat cheeses
- Only store your beer bottles standing up and not laying down on their sides
Now that you’re aware of how to drink your beer and store it, there’s no reason you can’t go out this weekend and enjoy yourself in style.
Whether you’ve decided to pop to your local pub, get the beers in at home or take advantage of a few beer hampers, there’s nothing stopping you from having a good time with your favourite drink.
If you have a friend who is in love with beer but needs a few tips, teach him how to drink this fabulous drink too and send him a beer hamper to get him on his way!