Beer FAQ

Beer Glossary of Terms
If you are looking for a beer term, guide or glossary, take a look at this link for all things to do with beer.

Beer Q & A’s:

Q: What are pilsners, ales, lagers, etc? What does bottom fermented mean? And when you say lagered, what exactly does that involve?
A: “Beer” refers to any fermented beverage made from grain. Lagers and ales are the two families of beer, distinguished by the type of yeast and the temperature of fermentation. Lagers are fermented at cooler temperatures by so-called “bottom fermenting” yeast. Beers in the lager family need to be conditioned—or “lagered”—somewhere cool for a number of weeks before they are ready to drink. Ales are fermented at warmer temperature by top-fermenting yeast strains, and are ready to drink sooner.

There are many distinct styles of beer within the lager and ale families: for example, pilsner is one of the most popular lager styles; and porter and stout are examples of ale styles. And in both families, beers can run the gamut from light to dark-colored, and from weak to strong alcohol.

Q: What is the proper way to pour a beer?
A: If you pour the beer slowly down the side of a tilted glass, a smaller head is formed, and more CO2 remains dissolved in the beer. If you hold the glass upright and pour straight into the glass, more gas is released, and a larger head will form. Real aficionados will insist that different beers have different ideal pours, but you are a mere expert, not an aficionado. Pour an ale so that it has about half an inch of head, lagers with a larger one, and allow a wheat beer to throw a big, pillowy head.
Q: Are dark beers stronger?
A: YOU CAN’T JUDGE A BEER BY ITS COLOR. Dark-colored beers are not always strong, heavy or bitter. And lighter-colored beers are not always light in alcohol or on the palate. The color comes from the roast level of the malt used in the recipe. Some dark beers, like schwarzbiers, are very low in alcohol and bitterness, while some lighter-colored beers, like IPAs, are strong and bitter.

Proper Beer TastingBeer Glass GuideBeer Pairings
The following are steps to proper beer tasting:

  • Look: What colors do you see? How well can you see through the beer?
  • Swirl & Smell: Gently (don’t spill) swirl your beer and then take a good smell. Is it hoppy? Is it sweet? Malty? Yeasty?
  • Sip: To give your beer some oxygen, try to breathe some air in through your mouth as you take your sip (yes, you will slurp a little). Notice the flavor becomes more potent and apparent.
  • Swish & Savor: Try and coat your mouth with the beer. What do you notice first about it? Is it heavy and sweet? Is it thin and malty?
  • Swallow: Did you know that unlike wine, which you can fully taste without swallowing, beer must be consumed to get the full tasting experience? Your bitterness receptors are at the back of your tongue, so you’ll have to drink your beer!
Here, you’ll find which beer glass to use to get the most out of your beer tasting experience.
Below, you will find a craft beer and food pairing guide to help you make the most out of your beer night (or day).

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