How to Drink Beer
It’s not rare for people to ask me “Dann, how should I drink this beer”? Sometimes its because people see me pouring my beer into a glass, when the rest of the room is drinking from the bottle. Other times its because I don’t want to drink a beer because it has been shaken up too much, or it just doesn’t look good to me. But often it’s because I’m the only brewer in the room.
I know what you’re thinking – Paquette’s trying to fill our minds with his beer snobbery. Fair enough. But is it snobbery to turn down an ugly thing when it could be a beauty? I think not! Beer is beautiful, and needs the final step to make it so: a good pour.
As a brewer I know my job – make good beer. To me that means taste good, smell good and look good. To me how a beer looks is almost as important as anything that was done in the brewery. Why? Because it’s the final stage. It’s what convinces you to actually put it in your face, which is the whole point.
So here we go with my top beer pouring and drinking tips:
- Find a glass with a stem. That way the beer stays colder longer and you can look at the beer while you’re drinking it. Get one that you can easily reach the bottom of with a sponge or shammy.
- Don’t mix your glasses. Milk for instance should never enter your beer glasses. Don’t wash up your glasses after you wash your plates.
- Clean, really clean your glass and rinse with hot water. Get a shammy to dry it off. In a clean glass, the most pedestrian beer can be rendered a foamy, heady delight, trust me! Work it out and your enjoyment will be many fold. Use HOT water and dishwasher-machine liquid for a “Brussels-bright” glass. Careful of this soap though, wear gloves or it’ll dry your skin out something shocking!
- Pour with GUSTO! Make it grand. Jim Koch pours his beer right down the middle! So should we.
- Pour half, wait for the head to set and then pour the rest – you’ll be able to create a very impressive and lively looking head, much like giving yourself a fine bubble-bath beard in your tub (we encourage this also).
- NO beer tastes good out of a plastic cup! And IKEA glasses are cheeeeeap. Go nuts.
- A second chance: if at first you don’t succeed: re-pour! Chuck it into a different glass and you’ll soon be having some frothy fun.
- Beer & Food: beer goes great with all foods but great pairings are rarely obvious. Look to compliment the food’s flavour rather than mimic it. And have fun! Experiment.
- Forget the mundane: you’ve made it this far, don’t ruin your experience by simultaneously shopping for insurance on the internet.
- Drink a bottle in one sitting: re-capping beer is a bad idea! I’ve heard people argue otherwise, but if you can’t finish a beer bottle yourself employ friends and relatives to drink it before its flavour fades into the ether.
- Don’t review – take notes: Nobody and I mean nobody is the great beer god in the sky. Great beer is a moving target. The worst beer in the world can be the best beer a few weeks later when a new batch comes out. Or even when you’re finally in the mood for it. At the end of the day: Good beer = Fun beer. So now and then, cut yourself some slack and just drink it whilst talking about it or doodling your ideas instead of numbers. Your favorite experiences will stick with you and you’ll have them forever.
- Beer is for fun and if the suggestions above won’t enhance your fun then carry on as you were.
- Specifically in the case of Jack D’Or: try to partially re-suspend the yeast at the base of the bottle. I find it gives the beer a more balanced character with the intended bitter punch and a glowing peachy colour.
Drinking a good beer is like reading a book… more people should do it more often.
Cheers from Dann