How to drink a beer?

How to drink a beer?

Do you know zythology? If beer in Belgium has never been reduced to a lager in front of the Red Devils, it is even less today. There are countless micro-breweries open across the Kingdom! It is an art whose bitterness and aromas are still rediscovered today. Like a good wine, a good beer is rich in flavor but also in emotion. And to enjoy it, it should be tasted in the rules of the art.

Forget for a moment the mug between friends, and stop time. Because this product is much more complex than it seems. An eye, a nose and a mouth… This is enough to start a tasting session. But how to do it?

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The service

One obviously does not imagine drinking an Orval in a champagne flute. The pleasure you can take is often linked to ad hoc glass. Trappist in a wide flared glass, pils in a bock or stout in a cylinder. And yet, like wines, to capture the aromas of beer, it is better to use a glass whose neck is narrower than the bottom. A tulip glass, for example. Perfumes will stay there longer. This glass must be clean and moistened to prevent the beer from foaming too much. The cervix must however represent more or less 15% of the total.

The beer must obviously be at temperature. The lashes and the whites around 6ºc, the strong blondes and the amber ones between 7º and 13ºc, the stouts and scotch ales around 14ºc, the strong brunettes between 12º and 15ºc, while the brunettes between 6 and 8% will be better between 9º and 14ºc.

The eye

Before drinking it, we look at it. Is she blonde, brown, amber, black? What about his excitement? Fine or abundant? Without bubble, beer can be stale. But if the bubble is too big, it may be a sign of CO2 abuse. Is the foam light or compact? Creamy or airy? Is the beer clear, cloudy or cloudy? Does the liquid stick to the walls? Which would indicate the alcohol content. In short, at a glance, you get a wealth of clues before you even taste it.

The nose

Like a wine, a beer smells. Thanks to the foam neck, you can quickly appreciate its aromas. And to bring out the odors, do not hesitate to slightly turn the beer in its glass. What accents can we find? Of course hops, which evoke a more or less strong bitterness, an impression of resin, memories of cut grass or dense foliage. Fruity too, with notes of apples, pears, cherries, melons, blackcurrants and even citrus. Then floral with hints of rose, acacia or white flowers. And of course fragrances of cereals such as wheat that ripens under the sun, malt or roasted seeds.

The mouth

It’s finally time to taste. But beware, beer is not wine. It is imperative to take a sip to have all the flavors. From the first moments, we can evoke a dominant acid, bitter, frank or sweet. Doesn’t malt outperform hops? (what can happen with an American API) How is the final? Long or short? After the nose, we find again in the mouth notes of cereals such as wheat, wheat, barley or sorghum. If a Kriek naturally evokes cherry, a dark beer can evoke red fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries or blackcurrants. White and blonde women, for their part, could have flavors of apples, almonds, white peaches, lemons or bananas, in particular through their fermentation yeasts. These yeasts can also recall the smell of freshly baked bread, especially for beers fermented in the bottle. We can also find notes of caramel in red or brown beers, and obviously coffee and roasting for darker ones like stouts or porters. Finally, floral can also be hidden in a sip, with scents of rose, geranium, white flower, violet, etc.

Pierre Jacobs

Beer and oysters from Florent Ladeyn

For 4 people: 7 gelatin sheets, 33 cl of stout or dark beer, 12 oysters.

  • Soak the gelatin sheets in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes.
  • Heat, without reduction, 10 cl of beer. Then add the gelatin leaves, wrung out one by one, then add the rest of the beer. Mix.
  • Let cool for 30 minutes at room temperature. Open the oysters and remove their first water.
  • Whisk the cooled preparation. Without waiting, pour the emulsion of stout on the oysters and taste.

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