In recent years, the craft beer craze has taken the nation by storm, with thousands of unique breweries concocting delicious and innovative brews to surprise and delight their patrons. All across the United States, beer drinkers rejoice and revel with ice-cold pale ales, porters, stouts and lagers in hand, but all is not well in this veritable utopia of malt and hops. Why? Because a vast majority of us are drinking our favorite craft beers the wrong way, squandering our potential to enjoy these delectable drinks to the fullest. Fortunately, your fellow beer lovers at Grey Fox Pottery are here to help. We’ve spent years handcrafting high-quality stoneware mugs and beer steins for breweries across the country, and all of that experience has taught us a great deal about the best ways to prepare, pour and savor our favorite alcoholic drinks. Today, we’ll be discussing six common mistakes you’re probably making when drinking craft beer.
Mistake #1: Pouring Beer the Wrong Way
According to Max Bakker, an experienced beer expert, a glass or stein of beer is at its best when it has a healthy collar of foam at the top. In many cases, even professional servers will make the mistake of keeping all that CO2 inside the bottle to minimize foam. While this pouring strategy gives the drink a clean and attractive look, preventing carbonation from being released into the glass will cause it to build up in your stomach and cause bloating and aching. Moreover, foam in beer plays an important role in preserving the sweetness of the malt and the bitterness of the hops, which is why it’s a good thing to see that sizable collar of foam after a fresh pouring. Ready to learn how to pour your beer the right way? Then take a look at this demonstration from Max.
Mistake #2: Drinking Beer With Basic Pint Glasses
Believe it or not, standard shaker glasses (also known as pint glasses) are one of the worst vessels for your delicious craft beer. Their generic shape forces you to hold them with your palm, quickly and steadily warming up your beer, not to mention the large surface area that inhibits head retention. That’s why enlightened servers and beer lovers alike are forgoing lame shaker glasses in favor of unique designs that are specifically crafted to enhance the beer-drinking experience. For example, pilsner mugs are a fantastic choice when serving lighter beers. The pilsner’s slender size helps to keep the beer bubbly, and its wide top ensures that it retains the foamy head of beer for longer, enhancing the drink’s flavor and aroma. Remember, the quality of your drinking experience depends largely on choosing the right glass or mug for your specific drink, so do your homework to find the right ones. And, above all else, never waste another quality craft beer on a subpar shaker glass again.
Mistake #3: Frosting Your Beer Glass or Mug
Regardless of which beer glass or mug you invest in, it’s imperative to avoid frosting it. According to the Draught Beer Quality Manual, frozen glasses produce ice crystals that cause foaming problems during the pouring process. Worse yet, it’s impossible to enjoy a near-frozen beer because drinking it numbs your taste buds, which is why industry experts always recommend serving beer in containers that are at room temperature or very slightly chilled.
Mistake #4: Ruining Your Beer in Storage
Joe Katchever, the founder and brewmaster of Pearl Street Brewery, asserts that storing beer for extended periods of time in warm environments will shorten its shelf-life. He also states that this issue is especially relevant for non-pasteurized and full-flavored beers, which a majority of craft beers are. Put simply, if you’re just tossing your favorite craft brews into warm storage for weeks on end before popping them open, then it’s time to make a change. Fortunately, rectifying this problem is pretty easy. All you have to do is keep your beer (no matter what type is it) refrigerated at all times. This will slow down the aging process and prevent the development of “off flavors.”
Mistake #5: Failing to Release Your Beer’s Aromas
It’s no secret that smell is a critical part of the tasting process. A beer’s aromatic compounds include its malt, hops and yeast, and all of them synergize to enhance its taste and the overall drinking experience it provides. Unfortunately, many craft beer lovers neglect to release these aromas while drinking, lessening the flavor. Luckily, there are certain stein styles that are specially designed to enhance a beer’s delightful smells. For example, the potbelly stein has a narrow opening, a bulbous bottom and a wider base that encourages beer drinkers to swirl their beverage, releasing its aromas.
Mistake #6: Not Savoring Your Craft Beer
Craft beers are veritable works of art, delicious fusions of unique flavors and aromas that are meant to be savored, and there are plenty of tactics you can use to lengthen your drinking experience and maximize your enjoyment. According to the Brewers Association, pairing your beer with a favorite snack or meal that’s high in protein and carbohydrates (meats, nuts or cheese) is an excellent way to moderate the effects of alcohol while slowing down your rate of consumption. In any case, we encourage you to sip your craft beer instead of chugging it to fully appreciate the combination of tastes and flavors striking your palate. Tossing on a few of your favorite music tracks or inviting a few close friends over couldn’t hurt either.
Contact Grey Fox Pottery Today
If you’re interested in purchasing high-quality beer mugs or handmade steins to support your brewery’s marketing or want more advice on how to find the perfect cups for your craft beers, then be sure to call or message Grey Fox Pottery. We look forward to hearing from you soon.