Americans love beer. We drink almost 200 million barrels of the lovely suds every year. That is more than 66 BILLION 12-ounce beers served annually; 220 cans of beer per person! There's no question how much we love it.
But are we drinking incorrectly?
The "standard" American "pint" glass is neither standard nor is it always a pint. There are no rules as to what a glassware company is allowed to call a pint glass. Sometimes they are 16 ounces and sometimes 20, sometimes even bigger. They were not even designed to serve beer originally. Their original purpose was a shaker to make cocktails. It only came later that beer was served in them. The wide mouth and the straight sides are terrible for beer and maximizing its flavor.
You see, the shape has a negative impact on the beer inside it. For one, the shape could cause the beer to go flat before you finish, so it's not as effervescent as it could be when you are on your last sips. It's also thought by some that the straights sides don't break up the bubbles in the head properly, thereby not releasing to full flavor potential.
The size of the glass is also too large according to some. It also might get too warm as you slowly drink your huge beer. Americans hate warm beer, right!?
Of course, in Germany, they sell huge liters of beer, so maybe it's better to drink a lot of beer very quickly? Well, probably not, especially in America where we love our high-alcohol IPAs and the such. Too many 20-ounce double IPAs with a 12% ABV might end your evening quite quickly.
Large glasses are not our only problem, either.
This is probably the second biggest mistake that we make.
Sure, it makes sense that you would want to pour the brew down the side of the glass, keeping from filling the glass too quickly with foam, but that's wrong! We figure that this method came from bartenders trying to push out a lot of beer in a hurry.
But when you are drinking at home, pouring the beer can be a more deliberate, slower process. Pour straight down the middle. Let the foam form and then wait while it dissipates before pouring more. This produces a better tasting beer with the right amount of head.
Don't "skunk" your beer! Exposing beer in a bottle to sunlight skunks the beer and drastically affects the flavor. This is less true of brown bottles, but green and clear bottles? Don't even bother. Cans, it turns out, are great, they block the light completely!
Don't drink your beer out of a frozen mug. Beer tastes better warm. Or at least a lower temperatures than FREEZING COLD. There are a lot of reasons, but one good one is that the freezing cold numbs your palette. You want to taste your beer, right?
So go forth friends and enjoying those wonderful beers the way they should be enjoyed!