Nothing beats the taste of your favorite craft beer, especially when drinking from a tap right inside your home. You can experience a delightful journey in your mouth if you pair your glass of craft beer with a meal for the best combination of cuisine and beer.
A lot goes on behind the scenes to prepare an exceptional brew experience for beer lovers.
What you pair with your favorite drink, the quality of your beer flavor, how you pour your beer, the shape of your wine or beer glass, the freshness of your brew, and those keeping you company go a long way in determining your general experience.
If you don’t have time to enjoy your favorite beer at a local brewery or pub, you can bring some home to drink at your own time. Also, if you don’t own a home brewery, you can buy your favorite craft beers to stock in your home bar.
Here’re a few tips to help you improve your brewery experience at home:
Stock your favorite beer at home
Many breweries provide carryout options for your favorite craft beer. This ensures you can bring some cans home. Some options for bringing your beer home safely with its flavor and freshness intact include:
Buy a growler filled with your favorite craft beer from a local brewery or tavern; use the same growler to get refills each time you want to stock your home bar with craft beer.
You can also buy a growler separately for refill when you want.
The history of growlers dates back to the 1800s when people visited local taverns with reusable jugs for beer refills to bring back home. Check your state’s regulations regarding growlers before you get one.
Growlers are popular among craft beer lovers. However, casual drinkers may find them difficult to maintain because they require constant cleaning. The beer has a short shelf life of just a few days and is prone to damage.
Get beer crowlers as an alternative to growlers. Available in cans you can stock at home, crowlers have the following benefits:
- Available in different capacities – 12 to 32 ounces
- Stay fresh for longer
- Don’t spoil if exposed to UV light
- Legal where alcohol is found
- Cans can be recycled
- Easy to ship, hence you can drink it on the go
- Isn’t prone to damage like growlers
Four-pack cans are a perfect alternative to crowlers if you can’t wait for a bartender to fill your crowler. This carryout option allows you to get your favorite craft beer in smaller, four pack cans.
The carryout option is handy if you don’t intend to drink with friends and neither want to finish 32 ounces of beer in a single sitting. Just like crowlers, your beer stays fresh until pop a can open.
It’s also perfect for campground use or in situations where you don’t want to use beer glasses to serve the drink.
Pour your craft beer right
The way you pour your beer affects its flavors and aromas. It also ensures you get the right beer head to round out your drink. Therefore, you must learn how to pour beer properly.
Guinness has a unique method for pouring its beers. Here’s a basic guide to follow:
- Hold and tip your glass at an angle of 45 degrees
- Pour the beer at the middle point of the glass from the start
- Turn the glass upright once it’s half-way filled and pour the beer directly at its mid-point
- Let foam create a half-inch to an inch and a half layer known as the head.
This is a basic guide, but it takes practice to make perfect beer heads. According to the Home Brewers Association, serve your beers at 380 to 550 F to enjoy them properly.
Select the right beer glass
Glasses have different capabilities and purposes. Each type of glass is designed to accentuate your mouth-feel, the taste of different beers and aromatic experience.
For instance, the shape of a glass influences your brew experience. Whereas some shapes leverage the aroma of more aromatic craft beers, others stabilize temperatures. The right glass can accentuate the subtler notes of your favorite beer for a drinking experience like no other.
With up to 12 options of drinking glasses to consider, check out the following for the right choice:
- Shaker pint glasses – go-to classic options for most brews, including drinks at restaurants. They’re easy to wash, stack and grab. They’re versatile for use with any drink and have no effect on your drinking experience.
- Beer mugs – designed for strong, malty tones such as lagers, stouts and porters, the mugs are the sturdiest of all beer glasses.
- Dimple beer mug – the most structurally sound mug for beers. It’s also comfortable to hold and durable, thanks to the dimples on the glass. They can hold anything from 15 to a liter of craft beer due to their comfort grip.
- Goblets and chalices – resembles the tulip and the snifter glass appearance. Goblets look like shorts bowls with thick stems. They help you savor and sip beer with a high ABV.
Etching on well-crafted glasses fosters carbon dioxide release from the inside, ensuring that your brew’s effervescence is consistent. The glass is perfect for drinking Saisons, ales and barleywines.
Although the right glass can improve your drinking experience at home, the taste of your craft beer remains the same.
Create your flight or tasting tray
Flights are tasting trays filled with different types of beers. You can add four to six different craft beer types on your tray for an at-home flight experience like no other. Each beer can range from 2 to 6 ounces.
When creating your drinking flight at home, opt for a variety of beer. Choose the same craft beer but different versions, various light beers with similar colors, or just anything you want on your tray.
Vary your flight from the darkest beers with deeper, heartier flavors to the lightest with softer, paler notes. Begin with lighter notes to ensure that darker brews don’t mask their notes. Don’t be afraid to add something new on your tray.
Be creative with your presentation. Use anything from a kitchen cutting board to shot glasses you brought from your vacation as souvenirs to add to the fun of the experience.
Pair it with a tasty meal
Treat yourself to a delicious meal paired with your favorite craft beer or organize for a romantic dinner at home. Choose an appetizer that complements your entrée. For instance, make it lighter if you intend to serve fries and burgers, or heavier if you’ll serve soup or salad.
Pair your craft beer to the entrée, and the perfect meal. Consider the following:
- Barbecued ribs or steak with ales
- Meaty burgers or spicy food with lagers; lighter notes pair with almost any food due to their refreshing taste.
- Seafood, vanilla-flavored desserts or coffee with stouts for their smooth flavor.
- Greasy, filling fried foods such as pizza with amber ales.
Don’t forget to share a dessert!