Did you know drinking beer out of the bottle makes you more bloated than out of a glass? NEITHER DID WE. So while the quintessential snapshot of the summer barbecue may involve a group of dudes standing around a barbie with their stubbies -- they might want to reconsider.
To find out more, The Huffington Post Australia spoke to bier professor Dominic Dighton, who revealed some surprising insights on how a beer should be poured and served. For instance, did you know there's an old German that says pouring a beer is meant to take seven minutes? IRL probably more like three, but still.
"I don’t think it particularly matters whether it's a consumer pouring from home out of bottle or whether a barkeeper is doing it from the tap," Dighton told HuffPost Australia. "The main thing is to not rush the process.
"Whilst at the Bavarian Bier Cafe we do like to make a bit of a celebration of the ritual of pouring beer -- and by that I mean pre-rinsing the glass and the twist at the end for the consumer seated at the bar -- time is the key thing."
Dighton refers to the old German reference of the seven-minute beer.
"The saying lives on in beer mystique -- it's a part of the mysterious background of beer -- though in a practical sense it's probably not achievable. People aren’t going to wait that long.
"I will say, though, the time taken is worth the effort."
Dighton says a beer -- whether poured from bottle or tap -- should not be poured in one go, rather in a couple of stages -- ideally two to three.
"There are a couple of schools of thought about how beer should be poured," Dighton said. "It's like having three people in a room trying to decide the best full forward in history -- you'll end up with 10 different answers.
"But basically, the essence of the art of pouring beer is to develop the head early. That is to say, in the first pour the foam -- or schaum as the Germans would call it -- should really be voluptuous and overly large.
"Then it's important to let the beer rest. You want to pour about one third or a quarter of the beer in the first pour -- and you should do this straight into the bottom of the glass -- do not drizzle it down the side.
"The reason for this is it released the carbon dioxide and allows the foam to take off. Then you let it rest -- a period of 10 to 20 seconds would be appropriate -- to allow the head to compress and compact and basically firm up. If you leave it longer that’s fine, but no longer than 30 seconds."
After your beer has rested, it's time to proceed with pour number two. (One step closer to drinking time!)
"Now you'd typically pour the next third down the side of the glass," Dighton said. "Try not build up any more head. The idea is to build the head early and then fill the glass with liquid. All the while, giving the head the opportunity to compress and compact further.
"So you'd want to be tilting the glass at an angle of 45 degrees, pouring down the side of the glass and letting the head rise up the glass as you go."
Now, for the super impatient people -- and we've all been there -- two pours will do and you can get down to the happy business of drinking your delicious beverage. But if you can hold out a teensy bit longer, Dighton says three pours is even better.
"The final judgment call comes with the last third, which is why it's important," Dighton said. "If you did perfectly well with the first two pours, you can pour the last third straight into the bottom of the glass but holding the beer quite close to the bottle so you are not pouring from a great height.
"I would also recommend tilting the glass a little bit as you don’t want the head to explode. By leaving yourself that last third, you have the opportunity to make that judgment call."
So now we know how to pour a beer -- how do you serve it? BREAKING NEWS -- it shouldn't be icy cold.
"When a beer is served too cold it kills the head," Dighton said. "You see that a lot in pubs and clubs.
"The temperature is actually really important. A real beer junkie should know to serve their beers a few degrees warmer -- say four to six degrees at a serving point, and then let the in-glass temperature begin to elevate. Quality beer at its best around 10 to 12 degrees. The aromatics really begin to be released in a more neutral environment yet the beer is still cold.
"My key recommendation for the home consumer is to take the beer out of the fridge for 2-3 minutes if it’s a good beer. If we're talking your average commercial beer, then frosty cold is fine.
"But with craft beer and premium imported beer -- which cost a lot of money relatively speaking -- you'd want to take the time to pour the beer right and serve. Never drink it straight out of the bottle. Always pour it in a glass."
And now, for the answer we've all been waiting for -- WHY DOES DRINKING OUT OF THE BOTTLE MAKE YOU MORE BLOATED?
"By putting the beer into a glass, you're allowing the carbon dioxide to escape," Dighton explained. "If you drink from the bottle, it can only escape to your stomach, which tends to bloat you quickly.
"I know it's kind of a quintessentially Australian thing to do, to chug it out of the bottle, but it does tend to bloat people.
"You also lose the aromatics if you’re chugging it straight from bottle to lips, and swallowing. You’re not giving your sensory passages any real opportunity to discern the aromatics of the beer.
"In a glass you can swirl and agitate it and smell as you take a sip. You’ll be able to pick up a lot more character."