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Craft Beer Guide: Don’t Tilt the Glass!

Even if you majored in beer in college, you still might have a few things to learn.

Illustration by Ryan Snook.

Myth: It’s best to serve beer in a chilled glass.

Truth: The colder the beer is, the harder it is to smell and taste. Craft-beer bars and restaurants store their products at recommended temperatures, and some even serve each according to guidelines ranging from as low as 40 degrees for delicate Pilsners to 55 for stouts and strong Belgian ales.

Myth: You should pour beer along the side of the glass.

Truth: It may have worked at keggers, but avoiding foam by tipping the glass is a no-no. Pour bottles and cans straight on, wait for the suds to subside, and repeat until you have a full glass and at least one inch of frothy head. This method removes excess gas from the beer for a creamier texture and releases aromas.

Myth: Bottles keep beer fresher.

Truth: Actually, cans have less risk of oxidation than capped bottles because they’re airtight. But as long as the bottle isn’t clear or green, it doesn’t matter. Both cans and brown bottles protect beer from the skunking effect of UV rays. Metallic-tasting beer is no longer a problem, thanks to liners that keep brews from contact with aluminum.

Myth: Triple-hopped or triple-fermented beers are three times as good.

Truth: That’s subjective, but what you need to know is that neither practice is particularly special. Most beers are made by adding hops three times during the boil: early for bittering, in the middle for flavoring, and at the end for aroma. Similarly, many beers go through three stages of fermentation.

  • EBarnes

    I think some of the pictures are off for the "Home Run" part - Heavy Seas Small Craft Warning is listed twice but one of the pictures is the Mutiny Fleet?

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