A Brief Guide to Enjoying Beer

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.

Glass with Short on Beer etched

A Brief Guide to Enjoying Beer

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.

My favorite opener

My favorite opener

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3 Reasons I Love Beer

I love beer. Obviously, that’s why I have an entire blog dedicated to it. I want to share a few of those reasons with you.

1. Beer creates and enhances friendships

What epic story of yours starts with, “Me and my friend were sitting around the water cooler?” None. They start with, “My buddy and I were a six-pack in and…” or “So I was at this jam-packed bar and I spotted the girl of my dreams.”

Beer is an enabler – an enabler for you to do stupid things yes, but sometimes those stupid things result in a badass scar. Or sometimes it enables you to gain that courage to talk to the girl of your dreams which you end up marrying.

I’ve met some pretty cool people over the past seven months since I’ve started this blog and it wouldn’t have been possible without beer. (hey, make sure to follow me on Twitter!)

2. Beer relaxes you

After that long day of work, 2+ hour commute, you come home to dinner and milk. What? No! You come home to a bottle of your favorite Ale, Porter or IPA. Why? Milk doesn’t take your mind off work, the stresses in your life or screaming kids. Beer does though. Side note – don’t take your mind off your screaming kids for too long in case one of them accidently staples the other one’s fingers together. Continue reading

TWIB – Homebrews, Hefeweizens and Time Travel

This Week in Beer (TWIB) is a feature where I’ll highlight some craft beers I had during this past week mixed with some related (and unrelated) thoughts. Yes, it’s a play on the name of the show This Week in Baseball which I grew up on and loved.

This week in beer was a homebrew and entertainment filled one. Had a friend’s homebrew, tried my newest homebrew for the first time and went to the ballpark.

Boeser Brau’s American Pilsner Homebrew

Even though I’m a homebrewer (yes, a new homebrewer but regardless) I haven’t had many other people’s homebrews outside of my own. He put mine to shame! I absolutely loved everything about this beer. From the golden, yellow color to the crisp Pilsner taste, keep up the great work, Scott!

21st Amendment Bitter American

There’s a new movie theater by me called the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema where they serve you dinner, beer, popcorn, etc. at your seat (pretty cool, right?). So my wife and I went to check it out on Friday and saw Gatsby. We got their carnivore pizza which I’ll rate a 9 out of 10, their chips with queso dip which I’ll give a 6 out of 10 and their popcorn — usual awesome theater popcorn. I also ordered a 21st Amendment Bitter American. I’ve had this before and it’s one of my go-to beers. It’s light, flavorful, low in alcohol at 4.4% and has some badass artwork like all the 21st Amendment cans. The theater itself serves many local beers — Starr Hill, Lost Rhino, Williamsburg Alewerks, DC Brau and more. It also has a bar inside called Glass Half Full Taproom. We poked out heads in and it looks cozy. Full bar with beer reasonably priced.

One more thing! This is in the new One Loudoun development and it looks like a Bar Louie going in soon. I’ve been to the one downtown and I can’t wait for one to be here.

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