Breaking Beer

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Most people that enjoy its golden or dark nectar have thought for the longest time that beer does not get affected by any external worldly elements except the heart-breaking event of dropping a fully loaded can or bottle.

But an overlooked fact is beer itself too, can break (metaphorically speaking of course), it’s chemical composition/make-up. This can change the colour and the taste.

So many elements play a part in taking away from the goodness of beer. These elements are light, age, heat, agitation, freezing and dirty glasses. These things directly alter the beer-drinking experience exponentially and tend to leave the beer tasting like a shadow of its former self.

Yes light! This can literally change the taste and smell of a beer. When beer is overly exposed to sunlight, it can alter the physical structure of the hop compounds and in essence the character of the beer.

Dark-bottle beer has been known to stand a better chance of being less affected by light, but is still best suited to be placed away from direct light.

Suprisingly, to avid beer drinkers, you would think milk was the only drink that had an expiry date. But beer too has an expiry date.

Even though beer has a shelf-life of six months, in its six month time frame, it can be moved and oxygen can be released from its housing, which will alter the freshness of the beer.

Heat, like age, can directly influence the freshness of beer, leaving it tasting like cardboard (yes that’s a thing). The more a beer is kept in a hot place, the faster it loses its oxidation property, which results in a flat beer.

To combat this, it is encouraged to keep beer in a cool place, ideally in temperatures of 4 Degrees Celsius.

Shaking beer should be avoided at all costs. It can promote oxygen from the beer to rush all the way to the top and lead to the beer being flat quicker.

This is surely something that wouldn’t be celebrated amongst beer drinkers, so handle your beer with an equal amount of TLC.

It’s a well known fact that most beer is enjoyed chilled. That is why it’s called a cold one. But be warned, freezing beer is not a good move. Frozen beer is quick to lose carbon dioxide and can become flat or even worse, pop the bottle or explode the can. Not a good outcome for people looking forward to drinking it.

As with all glassware, a dirty glass directly alters the taste of anything served in it. Besides taste, the presentation is affected as well. A more functional reason to not use dirty glassware when consuming beer is the foam suppression caused by a dirty glass.

This not only changes the taste of the beer but also changes the notes of the beer.

Dirty glass remedies:
Wash (with dishwashing liquid)
Rinse soap suds off completely
Allow to air-dry properly (do not dry with a cloth)

Beer can be broken in the true sense of the word. Due to outside elements, the molecular structure of a beer can be altered and the beer itself can lose its most important component: Its character.

So to enjoy beer the way it was mean’t to be, here is a quick recap of the enemies of beer.

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