For this week, I thought we might take a break from the technical brew process and dive into the glass. Let’s look at some ways to approach beer other than cracking one open and throwing it back.
As I have said before, I am by no means an expert in beer, but I can hopefully give you some tools to better understand beer and ways you can start some conversations. I want to preface all of this with one thing though: respect everyone’s opinions! If you need a refresher, refer to the manifesto!
Ok, let’s do this:
Step 1. Acquire a glass. I feel like glasses get a bad rap. No, they aren’t just for beer snobs. They have a really great purpose. Don’t ever bash someone for putting their beer in a glass. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Sure, there are specific reasons for each glass and some are made for different beers, but let’s look at your standard issues beer glass.
Step 2. Look at your beer. Glass is awesome, because it’s transparent. Beer has some really great color. You learned your colors with your ABCs. It’s not a complicated thing here people. We all love color. So take a peek at the beer, hold it up to the light and enjoy the spectrum of colors your suds can provide.
Step 3. Stick your nose in it. A glass is a wonderful thing. It not only lets us see the beer, but it it adds a whole new olfactory layer to our beer drinking experience. Beer, in order to be beer, must be made with hops. Hops are flowers. Flowers smell nice.
Step 4. Sip, don’t chug. Beer needs to be enjoyed slowly. Flavor profiles really come out when you taste the beer and move it around a bit. Some beers are even meant to be enjoyed as it warms up. And one of my favorite things is when you achieve “the lace”. A really clean, residue-free, beer glass accompanied with slow sips will leave behind some awesome looking rings, reminiscent of the ones you find in trees. Taste each sip, think of the spices and flavors that are present. Fruity, spicy, floral, bready, roasty? Is there a hint of chocolate, or coffee, maybe pumpkin? Is it a sour beer, or smooth and crisp?
There’s a lot to experience in that glass and I wouldn’t want to miss out on a single drop!
Shark Puppet Pub is written by Chris Zaccaria. You can start a drunken argument over his taste in beer on Twitter.