There are beer drinkers and then, there are beer enthusiasts. Could you imagine what it would be like to have a world without the cook, the builder or the athlete? The beer enthusiast is the athlete of the beer community and as such, we should know our way around a beer.
The first thing in knowing beer is knowing how to taste it and tell others about it. When you look at a beer, what do you see? It has a certain color to it. Is it clear or cloudy? Does it call your name or does it just sit there, with nothing inviting to it at all?
Most beer drinkers would never notice the subtle nuances of beer that make the distinction between just a beer and a great beer. But as you taste different flavors and get a feel for the variations that make them distinct, youíll get the language of beer and youíll start to use it with expertise. Try to notice the flavors that make them unique. Thatís what you want to tell others when they ask you about a certain beer.
The next thing a beer enthusiast should know is how to store beer. Of course if you are going to be drinking it that evening, then it really doesnít matter because the beer doesnít have time to change. But for longer storage of higher quality beers, you might want to consider a few tips and keep them in mind for the storage of all beer just in case.
Beer should never be stored in heat or even warmth. Iíve seen several cases stored in warm areas with light shining in on them from a window and thatís not good at all. Keep them in the cool basement in the dark. It does depend on the length of storage, but I simply always store my beer the same way so that I donít forget the basics when I am storing higher quality beer for a longer period of time. Plus, always store beer upright.
If youíre having a party and storing the beer on its side for the evening makes more room in the cooler or the refrigerator, fine. It doesnít have time enough to feel the effect. But, longer storage times will do no good for your beer if they are stored on their sides.
There is so much more to know about beer. But, knowing how to taste beer, talk about it and store it is a healthy start. When you know the flavors, pouring and even some bartending tricks is when you have a more well-rounded understanding.