#15. Don’t be paranoid about using the right glass. I used to consult a book, the Internet or a faithful magazine before opening a bottle of an unfamiliar style (lambic, saison, bock) to check what glass was best for the style. This eventually died out because I just wanted to drink the damn beer, glassware be damned. Now I pour most beers into my reliable tulip glass, regardless of style for the most part. It concentrates the aromas, looks great and has a stem so the beer isn’t warmed by my hands. No need to make an academic exercise out of choosing your drinking vessel.
#14. But avoid some glasses. The American shaker pint is just awful. Bars love it because it is sturdy and stackable, but it should have no place in your home. The glass gets mauled by your hand with every sip, which will soon create a warm beer. The funnel shape causes a diminished flavour and aroma, never what you want when enjoying a nice beer. It is hard to pour a nice head with them. The British nonic pint glass (the standard pint glass in most Canadian bars) is a little better, but sees increasingly diminished use at my house.
#13. This cannot be stressed enough – always pour your beer into a glass. The only acceptable occasions to drink out of the bottle/can are: macro lagers, house parties or in public (though I have been known to bring plastic cups into parks to drink beer and not just the disposable kind). For all other times that beer needs to be in a glass in order to be fully appreciated, or else it is impossible to fully appreciate the aromas and flavours.
#12. Good head is very important. Excuse the innuendo in this rule, but always aim for a good inch or two of head when you pour a beer out. It slowly releases aromatics and contributes to the mouthfeel of the beer, as well as being visually appealing. Imagine a Belgian ale without mountains of fluffy foam!
#11. Temperature matters, but you don’t need a thermometer. Don’t listen to advertisements – quality beer isn’t meant to be served ice cold. Serving a beer too cold diminishes the sensory qualities of a fine brew. (See the trend in most of these rules?) Take it out of the fridge and let it sit for five minutes (adjust for temperature, especially in summer). Add more time if you’re drinking something with a higher alcohol percentage. If you’re at a bar and the beer is too cold, use your hands to warm up the beer. God gave you them for a reason.