You love to drink beer, but how much do you know about it? The truth is that the more you learn about beer, the more you want to learn. We love to talk about our favorite beverage, so we’re happy to share fun trivia that will help you learn something new and impress your friends. Here are a few beer facts that cover the basics and beyond.
1. The foamy head on a glass of beer is flavorful.
The head on a glass of beer, formed by carbon dioxide, plays an important role in its aroma and taste. When you pour a beer and breathe in deeply, each one of those tiny bubbles contributes to the aroma. And the head also influences the mouthfeel of a beer – what sensation it leaves on your tongue, whether that’s creamy, full-bodied or carbonated. When the head is missing, your beer can taste bland or flat.
2. The foamy head on a glass of beer is also fickle.
When the head on a glass of beer comes into contact with any oils, it dissipates rapidly. Make sure you are pouring into a clean, dry glass, and avoid touching the head on your beer with oils on your skin or even lip balm. The way you pour a beer also affects the density of its head. The general rule of thumb is to hold your glass at a 45° angle, aiming for the middle of the curve of the glass. Then when the glass is half-full, bring the glass to a 90° angle and keep pouring into the middle of the glass.
3. Glassware matters.
The glass you sip your beer out of makes a big difference in how you experience its appearance, smell and flavor. For example, a nucleated glass will bring out all the right notes in an IPA, and a weizen glass will complement the characteristics of your favorite wheat beer.
4. There are only two categories of beer.
This is one of the most fundamental – but often most confused – beer facts. While there are many, many different styles of beer, there are only two major categories that beers are classified into: ales and lagers. The main difference between these two categories is the type of yeast they use. Ales use top-fermenting yeasts and ferment at warmer temperatures, while lagers use bottom-fermenting yeasts in colder conditions.
5. Color isn’t a reflection of alcohol content.
There’s a common misconception that a beer with a lighter color is also light in alcohol content (ABV). Not so! You can drink a dark stout or porter with a 4-5% ABV, while a golden Belgian-style ale or an IPA might soar past 8%. The color of a beer mostly depends on the color of the malt used (for example, if a beer uses malt that’s been toasted to a light caramel color or roasted to a dark, chocolate color).