The Beer Basics with Rasta

If you follow me on social media, you may think I have a drinking problem. In actuality, I sell beer in my day job. I get paid to drink beer, and watch people get beat up; that means I’ve seen lots of amazing fights, and beers. Just like combat sports, there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to beer. I could go on for hours about the things I get asked, but these few will keep you looking beer savvy.

1) BEER IS EITHER A LAGER OR AN ALE. Beer, like wine, is separated into two categories. With wine, you have reds and whites. From there, you get offshoots based on grape varietal. Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc…etc . The two categories that make up beer are Ales and Lagers. The difference between the two, in simplest terms, is when you add the yeast. Subsets of ales and lagers, you have Stouts/Porters, Pilsners, Pale Ales/Indian Pale Ales Wits…etc. If you drink Bud, Miller, Coors, or Dos Equis, you drink Lagers/Pilsners. Blue Moon and Shock Top are Wits (Wheat beer). Dark is not a style. Well it is, but, yeah.

2) BEER IN A BOTTLE IS THE SAME AS BEER IN A CAN. Pretty self-explanatory, beer in a can tastes exactly the same as beer in a bottle. If you taste metal, it’s because you have your mouth on metal. Beer in a can is better for the beer. Cans have a guaranteed air seal and light never hits it. Regardless, if you want to experience the full flavor potential of your beer, get the proper glassware for the style. It is also recommended to drink it at the brewery recommended temperature. “Ice Cold” is not always going to give you the full flavor profile, the “Big 3” are consumed ice cold because that’s when they’re at their “best”.

3) BEER DOES NOT “SKUNK” IF YOU BUY IT COLD AND IT WARMS UP. Every beer you have bought has gone through a series of temperature changes. Light and extreme temperature changes will affect beer. Leaving beer in the trunk for 4 weeks in August may affect it, but it won’t make you sick, it’ll just taste different. There are no cultures, or bacteria that can grow in properly stored beer that will make you sick; even with age.

4) TAKE NOTES. There are several apps available to track the beers you’ve consumed. Note what you like and don’t like about the beer, it makes recommendations easier. Saying “I like lagers,” means nothing. Telling me which ones you like or what you like about them helps; pictures also are acceptable.

Most important tip about beer, drink what you like. Similar to everything in life, beer is subjective. So there is no such thing as a bad beer.

I’m thirsty, so I’m gonna go have a drink. I’ll tell you next week what it was.

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