Place a goblet of wine in front of a seasoned wine drinker and what do they do? They stick their nose in the goblet and smell it. Then they put the glass up to the light and swirl the liquid. They sip, swish, and spit it out.
Place a glass of beer in front of a beer drinker (seasoned or not) and what do they do? They sip, swallow, and go “Ahhh”.
What’s the difference? A wine drinker doesn’t trust what they’re drinking, while a beer drinker does. The wine drinker is checking to see if the wine has gone bad, when they’re smelling it. When they swirl the liquid, they are checking to see if there are bits of cork in the glass. Sip, swish, and spitting out doesn’t make sense so I can’t even tell you why they do it. The beer drinker sees a clear amber liquid in a chilled glass and starts drinking.
Being Latino recently attended a Passion 4 Beer event at the New York headquarters for Heineken Beer. Master Pourer (yes, the position exists) Franck Evers taught us all how to pour a draught beer. Evers’ home base is Holland, but he travels the globe teaching people how to pour a beer so it may be consumed at its best.
You want to pour a perfect beer? Listen up. Grab a clean, chilled glass. Hold it under the spout at a 45 degree angle and pour until the beer is ready to fall out. Straighten the glass and pour until the glass is full. Skim the foam, with a wet skimmer, and place the glass in front of your guest. Stand back and wait for their appreciation.
I must confess to being a long time beer drinker and I learned something from Mr. Evers. He said, “Don’t fear the foam”. I always hated the foam. I had to get through it to get to the beer. So Evers poured a beer without foam and one with foam and asked us all to drink them and notice the difference. While the beer without foam wasn’t bad, the one with foam was crisper, and crisper always tells the brain it’s fresher and more flavorful. It may be a mind trick, but it worked. As Evers says, “Don’t drink beer without protection”; in this case, foam. The foam protects the carbonation, because after all, beer is just a clear, carbonated beverage.
So this weekend you could drink something you don’t trust, or you could could just grab a clear amber liquid in a chilled glass and say “Ahhh”.