Group of friends cheers with beer
  • | September 27, 2016
So you like beer? Welcome to manhood. Few things in a man’s life are as pleasing as a nice, cold beer after a long day’s work.  Many men like beer but not all of us know a whole lot about it. The rise in craft beer popularity in recent years has ushered in a whole new era of beer drinkers and the choices are more varied than ever before.

There’s a lot to know about cold, delicious beer than just the taste. Here’s a few beer essentials every man needs to know

  1. Train your nose.  Like wine, every beer has a distinct aroma that can help you determine the type, flavor, and country of origin. American beers typically have a fruity, citrus note to their flavor, German beers are a little more on the grassy side.

  2. Clarity is everything.  Unless the beer is intended to be thick and dark, the typical light amber color of beer can clue you in on how well it was prepared. Hold your pint glass up to the light and take a look through. A good beer should appear clear, not cloudy. Cloudy beer means there’s been a problem in the brewing process or the beer is old. This may not apply to all craft beers however.

  3. But not always. Common sense would tell you a deep, dark colored beer will have a strong, bitter taste. Common sense isn’t always right, especially with the variety of craft beers available today. Some dark beers are low in alcohol content and lighter flavored than you might think while some light-colored beers can be stronger and more bitter.

  4. The color comes from malt.  Malt is a dried grain (usually barley when beer is concerned) that has been kilned (toasted) in a process sometimes called “browning.” Think of browning ground beef or grilling steak. The resulting darkening in the color of the meat is the same idea. The darker the malt, the darker the beer.

  5. Most beers fall into two categories.  Ales and Lagers comprise easily 75% of all beers. Ales ferment at a higher temperature while lagers at a lower temperature. Lagers are brewed “low and slow” kind of like good barbecue, and also like barbecue tend to yield deeper, more complex flavors

  6. IPA.  IPA stands for “India Pale Ale” and is an increasingly popular style of craft beer and one you’ve probably encountered if you’re a frequent beer drinker. There are countless flavors and varieties of IPA although generally speaking they tend to be strong in hops and have a higher alcohol content than most other beers.

  7. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.  Or maybe it is. The rise in craft beers have given way to a number of different flavor and pairing possibilities. Consider beer as part of your meal and not just something you drink with it. Cherry, lemon, pepper, chocolate, coffee, etc. These are all flavors to be found in beer and can pair nicely with appetizers, entrees, and even desserts.

Beer is a versatile beverage and like wine, there is a lot to learn and know. The craft beer revolution has given way to a number of different flavors and styles to sample and enjoy. There are literally hundreds of beers on the market and more are showing up every day so get experimenting and enjoy responsibly.

Good luck.