Beer. It’s good, right? The universally beloved beverage comes in so many flavors, styles, colors, and alcohol levels that there’s an option out there for just about anyone, even the most faithful margarita-swillers and whiskey-rocks connoisseurs. From IPAs and lagers to sours and ciders, you can’t go wrong no matter what your bubbly beverage of choice is. You can, however, drink it wrong.
It might surprise you to know that you might be drinking your beers all wrong. There are a few simple and common mistakes people often make in the early stages of enjoying a beer, far before the seventh beer convinces them to make the mistake of texting an ex or putting a new set of golf clubs on their credit card. Next time you have the urge to crack open a cold one, remember that there are a few things to take into consideration to get the most flavor out of your beer.
The temperature makes more of a difference than you'd think
It might surprise you to learn that beer is not meant to be consumed at the ice-cold temperatures Americans tend to prefer. Classic domestic beer Coors even goes so far as to implement a can that changes color to let you know that your beer has reached the proper frosty temperature to consume (via The Canmaker). In European counties, people tend to enjoy their beer most at “cellar temperature,” or a little colder than room temp (via Kings of Brewing). This allows the flavor profile of your beer to shine through much more vibrantly than if you drank it straight out of the refrigerator (via Dead Presidents Pub).
That being said, you shouldn’t be drinking your beer warm. Just about everyone has grabbed a beer from the cooler at a barbecue, set it down, and forgotten about it, only to later discover that it’s still sitting in the exact same spot as it was earlier. It might be a little warm, but beer’s beer, right? Wrong. When you leave a beer out in the sun for too long, it becomes “skunked.” If you’ve ever tasted a skunked beer, you probably promised yourself to avoid it in the future after experiencing the foul smell and taste (via Dead Presidents Pub).
You have to activate the carbonation
More often than not, you probably find yourself cracking open a beer and swilling it directly from its can or bottle. While convenient, this is considered a beer drinker’s no-no. You’ll want to grab a mug or glass if you want to fully appreciate your beverage. This is because the act of pouring the beer activates the carbonation, which allows the hops as well as the more subtle aspects of the flavor profile (think spices and hints of flavor) to shine through. Simply put, more bubbles equals more flavor (via Noble Hops).
Next time you go out for a frosty mug of cold beer, keep these tips in mind. While alcohol consumption should always be done according to your personal preference, you might just discover that your taste in beer is a little different than you thought when you begin to fully experience its flavors.
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