Friends stopping by for a beer? Before you head to the store to stock up, review these beer pointers.
Don't know a pilsner from a lager? Here's a primer:
You can buy both domestic and imported beers in either cans or bottles. Some kinds of beers also come in kegs. Keg beer offers a fresher flavor than bottle or can beer since the keg beer hasn't been pasteurized to kill the yeast.
Storing beer properly is important because it's perishable. Keep bottled beer in a dark, cool place, out of direct sunlight. Canned beer also needs cool surroundings, but is unaffected by light. Keg beer must be kept constantly at about 45 degrees so the yeast won't start working again.
There's a certain technique to pouring beer. Some people like a high foamy head; others, however, prefer a short one. By varying the distance between the can or bottle and the glass as well as the angle of the glass, you can vary the height of the head. Pouring too fast may cause overfoaming. To keep the head, use a glass with a narrower bottom than top. And use a sparkling clean glass; a smudge of grease on a glass will ruin even the frothiest head.
For a change of pace from plain beer, serve a cocktail made from beer. Starting with a chilled tall glass of chilled beer, add one of the following: 3 tablespoons rye whiskey, 3 tablespoons gin or vodka, or 1 tablespoon lime juice. Or, half-fill a chilled tall glass with chilled beer and add one of the following: chilled regular or hot-style tomato juice, chilled orange juice, or chilled ginger ale.