Anyone can drink a beer and enjoy it. It takes a special person to do it at a high-level. High-level you say? Yes. A black belt level. I might not be able to drink 20 beers or know the difference between every hops variety and yeast strain, but I can enjoy it just as much as any Master Cicerone and so can you. Here’s how.
Step 1: Go to store and pick up beer.
Pick one you know you like or one you haven’t tried. Don’t grab the front 6-pack if possible. Get one from the back – it is better protected from light.
Step 2: Store the beer.
If you’re not drinking it immediately put it somewhere out of direct light and that has a stable temperature like a pantry or cabinet not a garage or out on the kitchen counter.
Step 3: Chill the beer.
Put the beer in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours. If it should be served at a warmer temperature, i.e. Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, chill for less time or let the bottle warm back up on the counter to its proper serving temperature. I let most of my beer rest outside of the fridge for a few minutes so I’m drinking around 45-50 degrees instead of 35-40 degrees which you’ll get when you pull them right out. Do some research. Here’s a serving temperature guide from RateBeer.
Step 4: Find a friend.
This step is optional but my favorite. Beer is meant to be shared. It’s in our blood. Humans have gathering around the fire to share drinks, talk and have fun for thousands of years. Fire is optional as well.
Step 5: Select a glass.
Find the proper glass for your beer. You can use your standard false pint glass if you want but please, pour it into a glass unless otherwise noted, e.g. Heady Topper. It’s hard to appreciate something you can’t see and last I tried it’s pretty difficult to see my beer behind a giant label and brown glass. It’s easier to smell a beer from a glass rather than a bottle or can too.
Step 6: Rinse glass under cold water.
Make sure your glass is beer clean then give it a quick rinse under cold water. Dry the outside of the glass with a clean towel. There’s no dire need dry the inside. Beer is 90%+ water anyway. Give it a couple aggressive shakes into the sink to rid the excess water. Just don’t smash your glass on the countertop. I haven’t done that yet but one day I’m sure I will. Check out page 4 of the Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam Syllabus for more information on beer clean glassware.
Hey, have you checked out my study guides for the Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam?
Step 7: Open bottle with your favorite opener.
You must use your favorite opener. This is important. It’s good for morale. I bet there’s a story behind why it’s your favorite too.