Serving The Perfect Beer: Temperature, Pour, and Glassware
Everyone enjoys drinking their favorite beer straight from the bottle, but if you are looking for a bit of a different beer experience you need to make sure it is served at the perfect temp, poured just right and into the correct glass. Don’t know where to begin? This article will get you started on the path to making every beer the perfect beer.
By The Beer Community on Mar. 22, 2016
You can enjoy any beer straight from the bottle and be happy. A real beer connoisseur knows that to fully enjoy the flavor profiles of the beer, it is best to keep three things in mind:
Proper Serving Temperature
The Correct Pour
Most Appropriate Beer Glass
“Don’t turn my beer into wine,” you say.
Well, we just want you to have the best beer experience possible and with these three items covered your beer experience will be unparalleled. We are sure that once you try your favorite beer this way there won’t be any turning back.
Don’t believe us? Do your own experiment. Take your favorite beer and drink it straight from the bottle then try serving it according to the serving suggestions below. We think you’ll see a huge difference in how the flavors and aromas in the beer present themselves. The hops will be hoppier and the malts maltier and isn’t that what we all want.
Proper Beer Serving Temperature
When it comes to beer’s temperature, the common belief is “the colder the better.” This is not always sound advice. Beers served too cold can numb the tongue and deaden the taste buds to the delightful flavors within. Letting a beer warm up just a bit can unlock the flavors and enliven the character of a well-crafted beer. The temperature at which you serve different beers is often a matter of personal taste, but if you are seeking guidance, here are some serving suggestions that may bring out the individuality of certain types of beer.
Very Cold: (35-40° F or 2-4℃)
Cold: (40-45° F or 4-7℃)
Cool: (45-50° F or 7-10℃)
- Amber/Red Lagers
- APAs (American Pale Ale)
- IPAs (India Pale Ale)
- Porters (American and English)
Cellar: (50-55° F or 10-13℃)
- Baltic Porters
- Belgian Ales
- English Bitter
- Scotch Ales/Wee Heavies
- Sour/Wild Ales
- Strong Ales
- Trappist Ales
Warm: (55-60° F or 13-16℃)
- Belgian Quadrupels
- Belgian Strong Ales
- Double/Imperial IPAs
- Double/Imperial Stouts
- Old Ales
The Perfect Beer Pour
We thought a visual of how to pour the perfect beer would be best, so check out this great video from Gear Patrol:
Using the Right Glass
There are 3 basic types of beer glasses:
- Big and Large
- Small and Round
- Long and Narrow
Each grouping has a variety of glasses within and are designed with specific characteristics in mind.
Let’s start with the Big and Large. Yes, we know that sounds redundant, but it really is the best way to describe these.
Big and Large Beer Glasses
The Common Pint Glass:
These come in two versions:
- The American pint glass or shaker glass which holds 16 ounces and is completely smooth.
- The English pint glass called Imperial or Nonic glasses which hold 20 ounces. These glasses have a small bulge near the top which makes them a little easier to grip.
These types of glasses are standard pub and restaurant favourites because they’re cheap, easy to clean, and stackable, but really don’t do much as far as enhancing the flavour of your beer.
The Beer Mug or Stein:
You know these huge mugs from Oktoberfest if you have ever been or even seen a picture of the Beer Maids who have to carry these large, heavy mugs, but that is also exactly why people like them. They contain a large amount of beer usually around 1 litre. These mugs are best for beers served very cold, cold and cool because the handle keeps your hand from warming up the beer.
Small and Round Beer Glasses
Tulips, Snifters, Goblets, and Chalices:
Yes, we know these all look fancy and they make you feel like we are turning your precious beer into wine again, but these glasses really are great for beers with strong malt or hop profiles. They will take your beer and make it even more precious. Give it a swirl and as your beer swooshes around, the bowl shape of the glass concentrates the aroma and enhances the flavors. These glasses are best used with Belgian style beers and beers with high ABVs like Barleywines or Russian Imperial Stouts because they are best sipped in small quantities so you can enjoy the beer without keeling over halfway through.
Long and Narrow Beer Glasses
These long, narrow glasses are used for Champagne because their shape enhances the carbonation and when you drink your nose heads right inside as well and the aromatics are directed straight at you. Try these kind of glasses with Champagne-style or heavily carbonated beers as well as lambics and crisp fruit beers.
Made for wheat beers, Weizen glasses start narrow at the bottom which highlights the beers’ color and get rounder at the top. The big top helps retain that large amount of white, fluffy head characteristic of wheat beers.
Similar in size to a Weizen glass, but the narrow part leads into a wide mouth rather than bulbous, round top. Like Weizen glasses, Pilsener glasses are designed to help you take large thirst-quenching gulps. While they work really well with Pilseners, hence the name other light beers are great too like Helles, Vienna or Dortmunders.
Now you are ready to enjoy your beer. Let us know if you taste the difference.
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