Whether you love to enjoy a pint of craft beer or like to bring a case of your favorite big brand to the cottage, there's no doubt that this drink is one of the most popular in America.
But are you enjoying it to its fullest?
There are many things we think we know about this delicious brew that we have been wrong about all along.
1. Beer Should Be Served Cold
While the signs for "Ice Cold Beer" are tempting, they're actually doing a disservice to the delicious taste of the brew. Ideally beer should be served at 44 degrees Fahrenheit, with the exception of some types of beer, like a barrel-aged Stout, that should be served slightly chilled. If it is served any colder, you're not really getting much of the taste of the beer itself because your tastebuds have been numbed by the chill.
2. Frosted Beer Mugs Are A Special Treat
Do you love to stick your glass in the freezer so you get the nice frost as your beer hits the cool? Going off the previous point of the beer's serving temperature, frosted glasses are a bad idea since they will numb your tastebuds to the flavor of the drink.
3. All Dark Beers Are Heavy
If you steer away from dark beers because you believe they are heavier, you have been misguided.
“People naturally assume they are heavier,” says Hallie Beaune, a rep for Allagash Brewing Company and author of The Naked Pint: An Unadulterated Guide to Craft Beer. “I think it’s that connection to Guinness, which promotes itself as creamy and almost like a meal, that’s the feeling they give in their commercials. For a lot of people that’s the first dark beer they’ve had so they assume they’re all similar when, really, dark beers are just dark because of the roast level of the malt that’s used in the beer.”
4. Drinking Beer From a Bottle Is The Best Way To Enjoy It
While it may look classier than drinking from a can, a bottle is still not the best way to enjoy a brew.
“Drinking beer from the bottle is another no-no, mostly because what you taste comes from your olfactory senses from your nose, so if you take a sip of something from that kind of bottle your nose isn’t participating at all,” says Beaune. “It’s too small for you to get a whiff of the beer. Just like if you were drinking red wine out of a wine bottle, you wouldn’t really be able to evaluate that wine.”
Instead drink your beer from a glass, so that you can get the full effect on all of your senses while you enjoy it.
5. "Skunky" Is Just A Term For Beer That Has Gone Bad
You may have heard this term used to describe beer that doesn't taste good, but how does it get this way?
“Light can hurt beer—they call it lightstruck,” says Beaune. “The light interacts with the hops in beer (the four ingredients in beer are malt, water, hops and yeast), and it can actually have this chemical reaction that creates a smell that’s the same as a skunk gives off, which is why you hear about skunky beer.”
Ideally beer should be kept in a cool dark place to prevent it from turning into something that tastes terrible.
6. All Beer Bottles Are The Same
Darker bottles are better than lighter bottles. While lighter bottles may look pretty, the darker ones do a better job at protecting the beer from being exposed to light. So when choosing a beer, head towards those darker bottles because the drink is better preserved.
7. Beer In Cans Mean Cheaper Quality
Decades ago people would complain that they could taste the aluminum from the can in their drink. That is no longer an issue, because a breweries have come up with a new way distribute their beer in cans.
“Most of the cans the craft breweries are using nowadays have a water-based liner so the beer isn’t actually touching the aluminum,” says Beaune. “It can be really good for beer. Cans heat up and cool down very quickly, too, so you obviously want to keep them cold.”