How To Make Sure You’re Beer Is Actually Fresh
Have you ever poured a beer and noticed something just wasn’t quite right? You couldn’t point your finger at exactly what it was, but after taking a sip, you confirmed your theory? Well that in fact, is because you were drinking bad beer. Now, there are many factors that come in to play when a beer turns from drinkable to downright disgusting. In this blog, we will discuss what to look for in a beer to make sure that you’re drinking the freshest beer possible.
Best By Date
What is the best by date? The Best By Date is a mark on your can or bottle indicating the best recommended time to consume your beer by, in order to maintain its utmost freshness and quality. The Best By Date is not the same as the packaged Born on date. Whereas the Born-on date leaves you clueless on how long the drink is actually in good condition for, the Best By Date states how long the beer is considered fresh. If a product only has an expiration date, the quality of that product may hinder long before the date. We have personally seen beer on store shelves that are 1-2 years old. In our opinion, that is unacceptable, as that is not good beer unless barrel aged. Depending on the style, typically beer is dated with a three to six-month lifespan. This Best By Date is very important, as it ensures that your beer is fresh and good to drink. So next time you’re out on a beer run, make sure to look for the BEST BY DATE to know if your beer is actually in good condition.
When you pour your beer, the head of foam that sits on top of the glass plays a factor in how you perceive your drink. The beer foam, referred to as the head, actually brings out flavors to the top of your beer. While a nice beer head might not actually lead to better tasting beer, a nice beer head will allow you to taste the freshness of your beer on your first sip. Now, the beer foam is actually made up of tiny bubbles. When the bubbles pop, they release an odor that should enhance the overall smell of the beer. In the future, start paying attention to the to the flavors and scent that are brought out with the beer head.
How does the beer smell? Depending on the beer, you should typically be able to bring out some flavors through your nose. If you’re drinking a darker beer, such as a stout or porter, you’re going to smell a malty sensation. Should you be drinking a beer such as an IPA, your nose should detect the hops. Further, if you’re drinking a lighter beer, such as a blonde, you might pick up on the fruity notes within the beer. On the other hand, if your beer smells….unexpected, you should proceed with caution. Because smell ties in with how you perceive taste, a bad smelling beer can often predict beer that is not fresh or has deteriorated quality.
How does the beer taste? Can you pick out the ingredients depicted on the label? Is it crisp and rich with flavor? If so, you’re most likely in good shape. However, if your beer tastes flat, stale, or just plain out not good, you should be concerned. Did you check the beers Best By Date? If the beer is well within its best by date, the problem may lie in how you chose to drink it. Read below for more details.
How to drink
When purchasing beer within its Best By Date, there are few things that you need to do to make sure that your beer stays fresh. Prior to you cracking open your drink, the first step is to make sure that you have stored your beer in a cold or dark place. This helps protect your beer from aging quicker and gives it a longer life.
After opening, the two most important rules to keeping your beer fresh are:
1. Don’t let it sit out for too long. Oxygen will deteriorate the freshness and quality of the beer. If you’re going to open a beer, plan on drinking that beer.
2. Don’t leave it out in the sun. Sunlight is your beers enemy. When the UV rays from the sun lathers your beer, it breaks components within your beer down, leaving you with a funky taste and smell. As stated above, if you plan on drinking a beer, don’t plan on let it sit out…especially in the sun.
While some of these tips may have been common knowledge, it’s important to know exactly what to look for to make sure your beer is as fresh as possible. So next time you purchase beer, make sure you take each precautionary measure to ensure your beer is in great condition. Drink craft beer the way it was meant to be consumed.