We know you love ale but we do think that beer can be a tad under appreciated. It’s not that people don’t drink it – after all it’s the third favourite beverage on the planet after water and tea. It’s just some don’t understand the stuff.
We serve you the facts about beer. We answer those questions you’ve always wondered about and throw in a few common queries about your favourite tipple.
Does it matter what glass you drink out of?
Yes. Most importantly dirty glasses make beer go flat quickly and taste off. You can tell if a glass is dirty because it doesn’t retain a head, there’s no foam lines and bubbles stick to the inside of the glass.The perfect head to a beer is the one that refuses to go away and forms a lace-like residue pattern once the glass is empty. And it’s got a name – beer aficionados call it the ‘Brussels Lace’. And different shaped glasses can also change the way the beer hits your tongue and how it smells. If you don’t believe us, try drinking a Belgian dubbel from a tumbler alongside one poured into a tulip!
How do I pour the perfect pint?
Pouring a pint badly doesn’t just leave you with a face full of foam – it affects the taste too! If you want the perfect pint then start by tilting your glass at a 45 degree angle. This allows the beer to travel smoothly down the glass giving you more control over the foam. As the beer reaches the top, slowly straighten the glass out. Once the glass it upright pour the remainder of the beer directly into the centre. Pouring from higher up allows more air into the beer and helps to produce more head. Ideally you’re aiming for a one-to-one and a half inch head.
What does ‘IBU’ mean?
Brewers give you a helpful guide to which beers are bitter and which are not. It’s known as ‘IBU’ and stands for International Bitterness Units. The scale goes from one to a theoretical 100. A lighter, lager-like beer usually has around 5-10 IBUs. A more bitter beer like an India Pale Ale (IPA) is more likely to be 50 or above and some extra-hopped IPAs can reach into the 70s!
Does the temperature of my beer really matter?
Cask beer is normally designed to be served between 11 and 13°C and bottled beers cool at between 4 and 6°C. If it’s too warm the beer can give off an unpleasant taste or smell which takes the edge off your pint. If your pint’s too cold it might look hazy and you’ll lose the fresh, vibrant flavours.
Does bottled beer expire?
The amount of time a beer lasts after bottling really depends on the specific beer type and storage conditions. But there’s the odd occasion where beers actually taste better as they age. This is usually the case with darker, stronger brews like barleywines and imperial stouts which age a bit like fine wine! However, to be safe we don’t recommend trying beer that’s past its best – the quality of most declines over time which affects the body and flavour.
So if you want to impress your mates then just throw a couple of these facts into the conversation down the pub. And if it’s not kudos you’re after they’ll at least help you enjoy a better pint in the future.
Should you want to appreciate your beer more then why not try our beer trainer? This little beauty help you discover different flavours and give you a selection of hops and malts to explore. It even contains a quiz so you can keep your mates entertained with a few more facts! And if you want to get up close and personal with the experts themselves then just book a brewery tour!