Beer is best fresh and unlike wine, should be consumed as soon after it has been brewed as possible.
If you must store beer then store it upright in a cold fridge with a temperature at least less than 7?C (45?F)
Always pour your beer into a glass. This releases the flavour and removes some of the bubbles so that you don’t get bloated.
Ideally the glass you use should be cold, you could store them in the fridge next to the beers.
Thick walled beer mugs are best and should be used whenever possible. If using plastic make sure that you are using it for the first time as plastic can impart flavours from previous drinks into the beer.
A dirty glass will make beer go flat very quickly. You can tell if a glass is dirty by tilting and seeing if the head sticks to the glass. If it does it is clean, if not send it back and ask for a new glass.
Pouring a beer is best done slowly and directly into the glass. Contrary to what many people believe, it is important to have a head on a beer.
Don’t mix beer with other drinks. The best is to enjoy a beer focusing on the subtlties of flavour that each beer presents.
Different foods bring out tastes in beer and like wines, a beer can be chosen to compliment particular food. For example an Irish Guinness is a great follow on from a healthy bite of summer sausage with yellow mustard on it. Here are some other stunning combinations:
– Pilsner Urquell with fresh line fish
– Belgium’s Westmalle Trappist Triple or a Duvel with roast Asparagus cooked in Olive Oil and Salt
– Samuel Smith’s Nutbrown Ale with a crunchy salad
– Reddish Ale with red meat
– Trappist Chimay Grande Reserve with any cheese
– Imperial Stout with a chocolate mousse or chocolate ice cream
– Staropramen Dark from the Czech Republic with Asian Noodles
– In addition Beer can be enjoyed as part of Some other culinery combinations are beef and onion stew which benefits from dark beer and Indian Pale Ale which makes a good chicken marinade.
If you are going to drink a lot of beer then make sure you have eaten beforehand (see our beer drinkers guide for details on what to eat).
When chosing a beer have a look at the brewery. Generally you will find the bulk breweries sacrifice quality for quantity.
Check the alchohol content on the beer especially when you are drinking beers which you are not familair with. A Belgium Verboden Vrugt for example weighs in at a hefty 9%.
Look to see if a beer is brewed according to the “”Reinheitsgebot”” (German Beer Purity Law). The Reinheitsgebot was ordered by Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria in the year 1516. It is the oldest food regulation in the world and still exists today unchanged from the original. It essenially says that beer should be brewed exclusively from barley malt, hops and water.