Beer School: Serving a Beer
POURING A BEER
It is essential that every beer poured off the tap or from a bottle is presented at an exceptionally high standard. We take pride in every pour.
This is how we do it at our venue:
When pouring a beer the glass is on a 45⁰ angle.
The beer tap should be pulled on fully, the taps only work when on the whole way otherwise the beer comes out with too much pressure and creates a lot of head.
When the glass is over half full, turn the tap off and let the beer rest for a few seconds so it settles and you can see how much head has accumulated.
Turn the tap on again and continue to pour the rest of the beer, so that there is about a centimeter of head below the rim of the glass and the head also slightly sits above the rim.
Always, always capture the last drop of beer from the tap as this helps strengthen the head retention.
When serving the beer we make sure we would be happy if someone served it to us – if not, we fix it.
Beer served at near freezing temperatures is a waste of time if you want to actually TASTE the beer – as it will simply numb the taste buds!
The colder the beer gets, the less flavour and aroma it will display. Furthermore, carbon dioxide, when it gets cold, starts to compress and stays in the beer – meaning you’ll get less foam, less aroma and surprise when the gas expands in your stomach as it warms up!
Lighter tasting beers, like lagers and pilsners are served at approximately 2-4⁰C as they are designed to be more refreshing.
Warmer temperatures bring out more flavours so most ales are served at approximately 5-8°C. If you want to warm your beer further to assist in unlocking flavours and aromas cup your hands around the glass until it just right.
FRESH IS BEST
Eggs are for sitting on, beer is not. Age your cheese, your wine, jokes about your friends mum, but don’t age your beer. Don’t put it in your pocket and save it for a rainy day and don’t keep it in the sock drawer where “no-one” will find it. You don’t age bread (also made of barley), you eat it steaming, straight out of the oven. Drink beer fresh, go back, buy some more and drink that fresh too. There are very few beer styles that improve with age, and aging beer is best done in barrels or casks that allow complex flavours to infuse and develop. They’re almost always styles with high alcohol (8%+) and a low dependence on hop aroma, such as barley wines. Beer is tasty, just drink it. Fresh is best.