How to pour and taste a beer.
Beer should always have some kind of a head on it, by that, I mean the frothy top. If it does not hen it is not the way it is supposed to be served.
To pour a beer correctly from a bottle or a pump you want to start with the glass at a tilt. When the glass it’s about two thirds full start to right the galls slowly so that you get a head on the beer. Do this slowly or you will get nothing but all frothy head, ideally, you want about 3cm to ½ an inch head to your beer. Do not drink straight away; let it settle a little so that you can see it is starting to clear. Then drink it threw the head at first to get the full effect of the beer.
Now if you have the sort of beer that keeps its head till you have finished the drink then you might want a clean glass but a clean glass every time is not necessary. You can drink beer from the bottle and now with some beer, it is the fashion to do so but to get the full effect and prefect the colour you need it in a clear glass.
As to the taste, a beer is like a wine; its flavours are complex and come from the recipe that it is brewed to. Ales have more flavours and lagers are more refined and subtle. You get the flavour from the hops and the malt, some can be sweet, dry, creamy and full bodied as well as very light.
To get an idea from one end of the scale to the other take a bottle of stout, pale ale and a larger. Start with the larger then the pail ale and then the stout. Make a note of each of the characteristics as you would with wine and then try some other beers. Like wine you will soon build put a idea of the different characteristics of different beers and what they are all about.
The other great thing about beer and beer tasting is that unlike wine you do not need to spend a lot of money to get a good repertoire of different beers.
So next time you have a dinner party offer beer instead of wine, make a difference and make time for beer.