Have you ever been curious about something at a brewery, but didn’t ask a question for fear of sounding dumb? Or maybe at a liquor store looking for clarification, but you don’t want to be seen as one of “those girls” who doesn’t know much about beer? Or even worse – you do ask the question and you find yourself on the receiving end of 20 minutes of someone speaking down at you for an unsolicited amount of time?
I’m here to help! I’ve been collecting a list of “dumb” questions from all of you (though they probably aren’t dumb at all) and will be answering them here on the Beer Feelings blog every few months.
Let’s *hop* right in, shall we?
How do I pour a beer without it foaming over?
Stay tuned for a full blog on the best way to pour a beer… but for now, try rinsing your glass with water before pouring. It will reduce friction on the side of the glass and give you more of the foam control you are looking for.
Are there IPAs that don’t taste like pine trees?
Yes! I, too, used to think that all IPAs tasted like a big glass of evergreen branches, BUT I’m finding my own place in the IPA universe. Look for IPAs that sound like they could be desserts (cake, tarts, parfaits, trifles). The bitterness from the hops rounds out all of the sweetness and creates a happy little grown-up treat.
What are light/wheat-flavored beers that I can ask for at a brewery and how to ask for them?
I wrote a whole blog on different light flavored beers and the differences (read here). An easy way to ask for any of these would be to tell your bartender that you are looking for something “light but not hoppy.” These beers are usually described as crushable, refreshing, and clean if you are looking on a brewery menu or the side of a beer can at the liquor store.
How to ask the beertender “what’s the beer that will get me f-ed up quickly?”
Take a look at the ABV (alcohol by volume) on the brewery menu or on the side of the can. The higher the number, the boozier the beer. With stronger beers at breweries, also check the size of the serving. Many breweries will have smaller pours for stronger brews so one drink won’t knock a customer on their ass.
What the hell does hoppy mean?
Most people are talking about bitterness with some pine tree funk when they say something is “hoppy”. All beers have some level of hops in them, but some hops are louder than others.
Why does the glass shape matter?
Different beer glasses enhance different parts of the beer. For example, tall, skinny glasses let you watch the bubbles that dance up to the top. Glasses with a tapered rim help with foam retention, which helps you smell the beer better. Some shapes are cosmetic where others are flavor enhancers. If you want to learn more about the specifics, check out our Glass Class article.
Glasses are really there to dress up and showcase the beer, kind of like when you go on a date to a fun restaurant. You could show up with a messy bun, but it feels a little more special if you take the time to do your hair and put on a real face.
That’s it for now! Did you think of any other questions? Drop them in the comments as they come up and we will make sure to cover them next time!