Enjoy your beer when it’s refreshingly cool, not ice cold. You’ll want to savour all the subtleties and aromatics of a fine brew – something you just can’t do when it’s cold enough to numb your palate. If you can set the temperature controls on your fridge, aim for something in the 7-10 degree Celsius range.
Don’t drink it directly from the bottle – you’ll end up with a stomach full of gas. Do choose a good quality beverage container – clear glass, or stoneware. If you serve your beer in clear glass, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy its hue, bead and head. Stoneware, on the other hand, will keep the beer closer to optimum temperature on a warm day, and will also help filter out the sun’s harmful rays if you’re outdoors. Whatever your choice, make sure your drinking vessels are absolutely clean – washed in hot water and detergent (not soap). Just the slightest bit of grease, or dust and dirt, or the finest oily film (or dishwasher sheeting action) will prevent the head of your beer from reaching its full potential.
Speaking of the head on a glass of beer – there are a couple of things you can do to help your beer reach its maximum head. Pour it into a dry glass – not a wet one – and pour it properly. Now, if you live in Calgary, this gets a bit tricky. You see, generally speaking, the best way to develop a good head is to pour the beer straight down the middle of the glass, not down the side. But Calgary’s altitude is quite high which sometimes makes us the exception to the rule. At higher altitudes, it’s best to begin your pour down the centre, and if the head is over-developing, switch to a “down the side” pour.
Finally, to the drinking……savour a fine beer slowly – it’s only the ordinary ones that you’ll drink down quickly, paying no attention at all. Ein prosit!