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Beer 101: Temperature, Pour, and Glassware

Beer Glasses
Photo Credit: Alexander Baxevanis / flickr



There are times when saving time and drinking a beer straight out of the bottle just feels right. Some breweries even recommend drinking directly out of the bottle or can (The Alchemist’s illustrious Heady Topper springs to mind). But if you really want to bring out the best in a beer, a good pour is crucial.

Glassware Preparation

Simply put, a beer-ready glass is a clean, sanitized glass. A dirty glass can create a flat beer or a false head that dissipates quickly. It can also make the beer taste “off” and cause bubbles to stick to the side of the glass.

1. Wash the glass in warm, sudsy water.
2. Rinse it in clean water.
3. Let the glass air-dry upside down on a rack.

The Perfect Pour

Contrary to popular belief, beer should not be poured down the side of the glass. To allow the carbonation trapped after fermentation to escape and to create a proper head of foam, follow these instructions:

1. Start with a clean, beer-ready glass. Note: Avoid serving beer in a frozen glass as it dulls flavor and aroma.

2. Remove the bottle cap or can top. Use a good opener so you don’t damage the lip of bottle. Hold the bottle at the top and not the bottom; rough handling can cause the beer to foam or gush.

3. Put your glass on a flat surface. Place the neck of the beer bottle over the glass without it touching.

4. Quickly raise the bottom of the bottle and pour straight down the middle of the glass, releasing the natural carbonation.

5. Once you have a tight collar of foam, lower the angle of the bottle, pour gently and as the foam rises to the top.

6. Enjoy!