Whether you want to crack open a cold one with the boys or enjoy your own company while sipping on your beer of choice, it is essential to know that your beer-drinking experience can move up a notch with the right knowledge and know-how of the types of beers and how to consume them to ensure the best taste each time. Here is a quick guide to making your next drink of beer the best one you have ever had.
Choose your Favorite Brew
It is important to know which brew is your preference. Today, the market has been introduced with many unique brews and blends, but you need not fall into these intricacies and choose which brew fits the most to your liking out of the two main types of brews; Ale and Lager. Contrary to popular belief, the difference between these two does not stem from their color, flavor, or alcohol strength but from their fermentation process.
- Lager: It is a newer form of beer that is fermented for a longer time, as compared to Ales, at a low temperature, and it relies on bottom-fermenting yeasts instead of top-fermenting yeasts, which creates a lighter and clearer appearance.
- Ale: This is the oldest generalized beer category with sub-categories like pales or brown ales. The fermentation process of Ale is done in warm-temperature for a relatively short period. And the brewers introduce top-fermenting yeasts during the brewing process. The final product is a dark, boozy beverage.
Choose the Right Glass
Once you have decided which brew suits your flavor palette, you must choose the right glass to consume it from. Yes, different types of beer glasses exist, and it is important to select the right one according to your choice of beer. Since several types of beers have been created as either variations or combinations of Ale and Lager, several different beer glasses are designed for specific types of beers, enhancing each beer’s strengths and qualities.
Learning the anatomy of a beer glass can help us choose the glass that is just right for our particular brew. The first point of contact between you and your sip of beer will be the rim of the glass, which must be smooth and crack-free. The Flare of the glass determines the intensity of the beer’s aroma and the quantity of beer consumed in one sip. Some glasses form a Bulb just below the rim so that the beers can have a greater propensity to foam up when poured, allowing their aroma to stay intact. The bowl rests at the bottom of the drinking portion of footed glassware and allows the drinker to warm the beer as they hold it. The curve of the glass also plays a role in the quality of the beer-drinking experience. A Concave curve concentrates the foam, helping reduce carbonation in each sip while preserving aromas and flavors, and is useful for highly carbonated beers. In contrast, a convex curve aids in trapping, retaining, and concentrating aromas in the bowl.
With this knowledge, you can now choose which of the following types of beer glasses would enhance your next drink of beer:
- Pint Glasses: These are the standard beer glasses in a bar, commonly the 16-oz. American pint glass or the 20-oz. imperial pint glass. The rim is slightly rimmed from the base; the imperial is a straight cylinder without a small bulb just below the rim. Pint glasses are all-purpose but are most suitable for anything on the lighter side of pilsners and lagers or English ales.
- Stemmed Beer Glasses: These include all types of stemmed glassware, namely snifters, tulips, thistles, goblets, and flutes. The convex shape and deep bowl help retain flavor in the base of the glass, and the wide opening at top allows the drinker to get a good whiff of the beer. These glasses are often used to serve imperial India pale ales and stouts.
- Pilsner and Weizen Glasses: These two beer glass styles are both tall, narrow at the base, and have a wider circumference around the rim. Pilsner glasses have a more pronounced flare, with the conical shape helping maintain the foam and pushing the aromas towards your nose, and are used for pilsners of all kinds. Weizen glasses are designed to show off the color and head of a wheat beer and tend to have a thin midsection.
- Beer Mugs: These are your classic pub mug, recognizable by the durable, thick, insulated glass and signature handle, which helps prevent your hands from warming the beer too quickly. This quintessential beer glass gets the job done just right and is the go-to glass of most beer drinkers.
- Beer Sampler Glasses: If you want to try a sample of a new intriguing brew without committing to a full glass which you might not end up liking, you can choose a flight of 4 oz taster glasses and sample beers instead. Beer sampler glasses allow you to get an accurate first impression of any beer, designed to enhance its flavor profile.
Choose the Right Container
Not only is the glass from which you consume your beer important, but the container from which the beer is being poured out holds just as much importance and often affects the taste of the beer. There are mainly three containers that hold beers before they are poured into a glass, and here’s how each amount to inducing a different flavor within the beer:
- Draft: A beer on draft usually has the freshest taste as it is served straight from a keg or cask and is often getting used quickly and replaced.
- Bottle: While Bottled beers add to the aesthetic appeal of the drink, they allow sunlight to seep through the glass bottle and are also not packaged with carbon dioxide, making it lose its freshness.
- Canned beer has a fresher taste than bottled ones due to no seepage of light through the can and is packaged with carbon dioxide, which helps to preserve that freshness.
The steps you can take to improve the taste of your beer of choice are not just limited to the ones mentioned above in this guide. Proper storage, away from sunlight, is essential to ensure freshness, but make sure not to leave your drink in the fridge for too long, as this shall also be detrimental to the flavor. For those who truly want to take your beer’s flavor profile to the next level, try adding easily available ingredients like citrus fruits (lemons, limes, oranges) or salt, which shall bring out the beer’s crispness and create an appealing fusion of flavors. If you struggle with consuming beer due to its sour and bitter natural taste, try mixing in soda or apple juice to create what’s known as Shandy, making beer taste sweeter and more easily drinkable.
So, the next time you want to enjoy your drink of beer to its ultimate potential and your ultimate preference, whether it’s with your loved ones over dinner, with your best buddies over your favorite sports team’s next match, or simply by yourself after a long tiring day of work, come back to this guide to make sure you are guaranteed the best beer of your life, every single time.