First, a Happy Independence Day to our neighbours in the US. Did you know the Star-Spangled Banner is derived from The Anacreonitic Song which was used as a sobriety test in public houses due to the difficulty of the song’s lyrics? Enjoy your BBQ’s, fireworks and of course a good beer, but be weary of the enemies of beer are all around.
Sunshine, hot days and fresh air. Sounds like perfect conditions for a nice refreshing beer, yet nothing could be further from the truth. A hot sunny day is to beer what Nickelback is to ears. It’s only bad if one is exposed to the other. The three natural enemies of beer are light, heat and oxygen. That doesn’t mean you have to drink your beer in a dark basement, it just means you need to be mindful.
A green bottle will protect beer from light for about 5 minutes, and a clear bottle will not protect beer at all. Exposure to light (sunshine and fluorescent) will cause skunking or what’s known as ‘light-struck’ in beer almost instantly without protection. Brown bottles provide the best protection, but they are still susceptible to damage from light. Cans provide the most protection from light and have several other benefits that lend to better beer storage. So drink your beer one at a time on the patio, and don’t order by the bucket (there’s a reason certain beer need lime to hide off-flavours).
All beer should be stored in a refrigerator, although serving temperatures between styles of beer do differ. Large fluctuations in the storage temperature of beer can damage the beer, as well, allowing beer to reach temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius can be harmful. As a general rule of thumb, keep your beer at a constant cold (0-4) degrees Celsius) until you are ready to drink it.
This one should be a no-brainer. Everyone’s drank a beer that’s been open for to long and gone stale. This is known as oxidation. Oxidation has several causes, not just air exposure. Heat can speed up the process in a sealed beverage container, as well as motion. So leaving your beer in the trunk of your car for a week or two could have the same effect as leaving an open bottle in your fridge. If you are serving small glasses from a large bottle, products like beersavers™ can prolong the freshness of the beer by a few hours.
So there you go, a bit of a lesson that I hope wasn’t too boring (this is what happens when I write without a beer in hand). That’s it for today. Have a great weekend and as I always say, get it fresh!