Sommeliers advice on how to serve and drink beer

Beer is the new wine. As a culinary academy student you’ve probably heard that sentiment before. With the rise of craft breweries and the many options of artisanal flavors available, the once low-brow brew is now getting high-tier patronage. Beer sommeliers, or cicerones, are experts who can advise a bar patron on the best way to enjoy a pint. They have tips on the basic practices of serving and drinking beers.

Beer Professor and President of Thirst for Knowledge Inc Roger Mittag spoke with Pass the Table, an app specializing in unique culinary experiences, about the proper way to serve a beer.

Mittag insisted on always pouring beer from a bottle or can into a glass to create a 1-2-inch layer of foam. When pouring from a bottle, can or tap, start the glass at a 45 degree angle and slowly straighten. A proper foam layer will create an enticing aroma and seal in carbon dioxide under the head.

Beer Sommelier Sophie Atherton recommends using different glasses for different beers. In her interview with the Daily Telegraph in the U.K., Atherton indicated some beers may benefit from being sipped out of smaller glasses. She suggested British pubs should include a third of a pint serving option. Mittag advised serving lagers and pilsners in tall, narrow glasses and serving porters and stouts in large-mouth glasses.

When it comes to drinking beer, you should take it slow. Certified Beer Cicerone Bill Sysak told Esquire magazine to begin with three small sips. The first sip should be swished around the mouth to cleanse the palette. The second sip should be done with open lips to let in air and prepare your palette. The third is where you truly taste the beer.

The U.K.’s Daily Mirror cited brewer Des McCann when it recommended chewing your beer. You want to move your beer all along your mouth as you imbibe in order for it to fully interact with your taste buds. Both Sysak and McCann believe beer can pair better with food than wine. Sysak said caramelized beers go great with beef and amber ales compliment vegetable dishes. McCann wanted diners to alternate bites of food with sips from their beer to really get the full taste experience.

You can consult experts at your preferred dining establishment to find which beer pairs best with certain foods or you can consult online resources and beer sommeliers apps on your phone to select your dining beverage.

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