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Lucy Saunders
4230 N. Oakland #178
Shorewood WI
53211 USA
@ site name

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Presenting Beer

"A glass of beer comes naturally to the mind when cheese is being discussed..." Ambrose Heath

Storage: Keep beer chilled and protected from UV light (especially important for unpasteurized and unfiltered beers). Lager beers are usually served colder than the top-fermented, yeasty ales and stouts which fully develop their aromas at room temperature.

Lager and light beers 40-45 F
Weiss beers 46-48 F
Dark lager beers 48-50 F
Ales and stouts 50-55 F
Belgian-style ales 56-60 F

Serving: When opening chilled bottled beer, keep a towel ready to wipe up any foam upon uncorking or uncapping the bottle. (Yes, several styles of beer are often corked, then capped!) Pour the beer into a slightly tilted glass with enough force to allow the beer to develop a head of foam. The foam will release the perfume of the beer as it dissolves. (Caution: foam that gushes endlessly is a sign of spoilt beer.)

NOTE: Expand your specialty beer glassware program beyond mugs or steins. Glassware designed specifically for certain styles, such as a classic pub glass for pale ale, a flared pilsner glass for a light lager, or a thistle goblet for Scottish ale, helps convey color and aroma. Clean glassware properly, and do not put glasses in the freezer since melting frost dilutes the beer. Be sure to serve still or sparkling water at a tasting to help cleanse the palate.

Tasting Tips for Beer (based on advice from Charles Finkel and Michael Jackson)

Appearance: Hold the beer up to the light. Look at color, clarity, carbonation, and the "head" or foamy collar at the top of the glass. Bits of foam that cling to the sides of the glass as it is emptied are known as "Belgian lace." Any haze may be due to yeast sediments, or a protein haze from the malt.

Bouquet: What is the "nose" of the beer? Bready, caramel or toasty aromas from malt? Citric or flowery fragrance from hops? Peppery or yeasty aromas? Beer that is served too cold may lack aroma.

Flavor: When first sipping the beer, let it slide over your palate a little slowly, and inhale just a bit. Look for characteristics such as dryness, nutty or caramel taste, sweetness, etc.

Body: Is it creamy? Heavily carbonated and spritzy? Smooth and heavy? Try to identify the mouthfeel. Many people find the slight carbonation in beer counters the creaminess in cheese for a sparkling "mouthfeel." Carbonation and flavor are affected by age. Most beer must be fresh-less than three months old-to taste best, while aging often accentuates and enhances the flavor of cheese.

Aftertaste: Beer often has an aftertaste: a clean and fresh tang of hops, or an espresso-like or toffee taste, a full-grain bready flavor, or pleasantly bitter. Beer that smells musty or tastes like cardboard is stale beer.

Drinkability: The true test of tasting a beer is whether you would enjoy more than just a sip!

BODY: full-bodied, medium-bodied, balanced, strong, flat, thin, soft, sparkling, smooth, complex, silky, crisp, intense

TASTE: flowery, fruity, caramel, molasses, coffee, coppery, nutty, bitter, citric or lemony, dry, spicy, hoppy (varietal such as Cascade), bready

MOUTHFEEL: dry, astringent, grainy, creamy, lively, bubbly, gassy, thick, syrupy

COLORS: gold, amber, straw, copper or however you would describe

CLARITY: opaque, bright, cloudy, even carbonation

how to taste and evaluate cheese
about Wisconsin cheese
introduction to beer and cheese

www.beercook.com, Copyright © 2009-2002, by Lucy Saunders. All rights reserved. Note copyright of authors and recipe contributors in bylines and prefaces. Fee required for reprints in any commercial media.

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