There are basically 2 types of beers: Ales and Lagers.
Ales would be beers like the Belgian Abbey Beers, Trappist beers or Wheat beers, Stouts or Porters.
Ales are generally fruity, complex and heavier tasting beers that are best when serving cool. They are made with top fermentation yeasts that rise to the surface when fermenting. This occurs at warmer temperatures in just a matter of days in the brewing process.
Lager beers are for example the pilsners and bock beers.
"Lager" comes from the word "to store", and they are made from bottom fermenting yeasts that ferment at the bottom of liquids at colder temperatures over a longer period of time than ales. Usually four or more weeks.The colder temperature limits the formation of esters and other fermentation by-products, which produces a clear, crisp and clean flavor.
They are best when served colder than ales. (4 to 8 degrees c).
Each type of beer has its own glass. Using the right glass adds to the taste of the beer.
High straight glasses are meant for pilsner, and other types of beer made with bottom fermenting yeasts.
The straight shaped pilsnerglass is big enough to contain a full bottle, depending on the various countries. Other people prefer to have a smaller glass to be able to add some fresh beer to the glass.
The tight rim focuses the aroma, and having a longer glass, with the head of foam, the carbonation stays in the glass longer.
The stemmed pilsner is a more luxurious glass. Thanks to the stem, you cannot heat up the beer with your hand. The conical shape helps maintaining the beer's head, while the narrow design allows the aromas to reach your nose.
In some countries mugs are used: it keeps the hand away from the beer.
Pub style glasses are nice for ales . They have a wider mouth to support the frothy head and will offer a brilliant and traditional beer presentation.
Beers made with top fermenting yeasts usually are served in balloon shaped glasses. Like the belgian trappists. The stem ensures you are not warming up te beer too much. The round shape allows to swirl the beer to release the aroma's. That is positive for stronger and sweeter beers,
Glass offers benefits over a can or a bottle:
It makes it much easier for the beer’s aroma to reach your nose.
Smell plays an important part in the way humans experience our sense of taste.
A clean glass provides a much better view of your beer, its color and appearance.
Beerglasses can only be used for beer.
When beerglasses are used for other drinks, like juices or milk, greasy substances will remain in the glass. The beer afterwards will loose its carbonation. When a beerglass is greasy you can best wash it with hot water and a little bit of soda. Afterwards you can rinse it with cold water.
Storage of Beer
Beer has to be stored in a cool and dry place. That can be both upright or lying down. Only beers on yeast and bottles with a cork have to stand up. Beers generally are drunk young. One exception are the heavier beers with refermentation in the bottle. Those beers get better in time.
Usually we drink directly out of the fridge.Each type of beer has an optimum consumption temperature. It varies between 6 and 16 degrees C. The stronger the beer is, the more the temperature should be close to room temperature. A normal pilsner tastes best at 7 degrees C. but a dark colored trappist can best be consumed at 16 to 18 degrees C.
Serving the beer.
Most beers are served with a generous beer's head of at least 2 cm.
When pouring the beer, you should keep the glass slightly tilted and let the beer enter the glass along the side of the glass. When it is almost full you can put the glass upright, so that a nice beer's head can be formed.
When serving beers with refermentation, you have to pour the beer very slowly in a dry glass, so that the remains of the yeast do not go in the glass. These bottles should therefore never be emptied completely.
The head of foam of beer
Did you know that the foam protects the beer against oxygen? A well made head of foam ensures that the carbonation cannot escape and protects the beer against the oxygen from the air, which can affect the taste of the beer.
What will we drink for dinner?
A glass of water, a glass of wine or a glass of beer? Water quenches your thirst, but does not add to the taste of the food. A glass of wine does. Only in the last few years it is seen that a well chosen glass of beer can also add to the taste of food. Often even better than wine! Where wine has the flavors of sweet and acid, beer has a third dimension: bitter. That makes beer extra interesting to combine with foods, either on the table or in the kitchen.
Beer for food.
Which beer is best combined with specific foods? The most important is that the intensity of the flavor of the beer combines with the intensity of the flavor of the food. A light summer salad, can be combined well with a pilsner or a wheat beer. A bock beer should be served with a heavier dish. For a stew you can better choose a bock beer.
Further it is important to look for flavor components that match well, or you can choose for contrasting flavors.
For fried meats you can choose beers that are made of malt that have undergone a similar caramelising process.
Choose for this a beer with a little more alcohol. For a dessert with chocolate, it is better to choose a cherry flavored beer, or a stout.
Thanks to its fresh taste beer also combines well with "greasy" food.
Thebitters and carbonation kind of rinse the mouth. The bitters in the beer harmonize well with proteins, like in fish. Choose in that case for a blond or wheat beer.
For the rest it is a matter of experimenting. There is plenty of choice of beers to make a feast of every meal! .