Drinking beer out of a can, bottle, plastic cup, or styrofoam cup all reduce the flavor, aroma, and foam character of your chosen beer. Plastic sippy cups are right out. In some cases, minimizing the flavor and aroma might be a good thing, but if you’ve chosen to drink a quality beer that was well-brewed, you’re doing yourself, your beer, and the brewer a disservice if you don’t pay attention to the vessel you’re drinking out of.
When I take our dog for his morning walk around our condo complex, I’ll periodically pass a unit that is littered with beer cans and bottles of the Miller Lite, Bud Ice Light, and Corona variety. The trash is evidence of a college party where the attendees were glaringly lacking in beer drinking education.
To give these partiers a couple of points (they don’t deserve many, but I can give them a couple), if you’re going to disappoint your taste buds and waste your digestive enzyme energy on these types of beers, doing all you can to minimize the flavor and aroma would be a good thing. Just drink the beer as cold as possible (so you can’t taste it) and drink it directly out of the can or bottle (so no aroma is released and the beer has the maximum amount of CO2).
If, on the other hand, you actually LIKE beer, choose a craft-brewed beer and drink it in a manner that actually enhances the flavor, aroma, foam character and overall beauty of the beverage. Don’t disrespect all the brewer’s hard work by not appreciating the final result to its fullest.
For full flavor and aroma appreciation… don’t drink your beer too cold, pour it out of the bottle to release some of the CO2 and aroma, and select a glass that enhances the style and flavor qualities of the beer. I admit, I am a bit spoiled in the glassware department. Being married to a beer guy, we have well over 1,000 glasses available to choose from. In our kitchen cupboards, though, we only keep a few dozen… well, several dozen.
In spite of this, it boggles my mind how often I can select a beer and then go to the cupboard and not be able to find the right glass. I do have a couple of favorite default glasses that serve most beers quite well, but if I can find the correct glass my enjoyment of the beer will be taken up a notch.
To look at a book that illustrates beautifully what I’m talking about, check out Michael Jackson’s Great Beer Guide. Flipping through the pages of this book and seeing all the beautifully poured beers in their proper glass is a sight to behold! I think I’m getting thirsty…