Summer Drinking: How to Keep Your Beer FreshJun 19, 2017 Comments (0)
Photo Provided by: HagePhoto
Here in Oregon we spend a lot of time dreaming of sunny weather. And the rolling from spring to summer means that it’s finally time to sip on Maiden the Shade in the backyard, dust off the charcoal grill and start enjoying the outdoors to its fullest. While the sun provides us with Vitamin D and warm positive vibes, beer is not too fond of the same treatment. Here are a few tips to maximize flavor and refreshment!
Block that light!
When the sun’s out and the grill’s on, often our first instinct is to crack open a beer, pour it into a clear plastic cup and go soak in some rays. Hold on a sec! People often think that the “skunkiness” of a beer is due to beer simply being old, but in fact it is due to UV light reacting with hop oils. If you’re planning on hanging out in the sun with your brew, consider leaving it in the brown bottle it came in. Brown glass, unlike the clear or green varieties, provide a lot more protection from UV rays. But if you must pour it out, consider using something like a stainless steel pint glass which can at least buy you some time to enjoy your IPA.
Photo Provided by: Emmett Photo
Keep it cold
It goes without saying that warm beer is not refreshing, but the real enemy here is the travel between the grocery store and home. When you pick up that six pack and put it in your trunk, don’t make too many stops! Get that beer home and head straight for your fridge. Heating beer speeds up oxidation which leads to cardboard-like staling and a loss of some of the punchier aromas from hops. If you’re not going to be partying for a while either find some space in your fridge to keep things cold, or at least find the coolest part of your house to keep things stable until go-time. Pro tip: if you’re really up for it, throw a cooler full of ice in your trunk and keep ‘em cold from the store to home!
Throwing a kegger?
Kegs are often the center piece of summer drinking and luckily there’s a few simple solutions to providing maximum flavor potential.
- Keep it cold!
Just as in bottles, don’t let them warm. Try to purchase your kegs right before you plan on using them and keep them on ice in a big tub.
- Mind your party pump
There’s nothing that speeds up staling like forcing oxygen right into the keg with a party pump. If you’re lucky, some folks have a kegerator or jockey box hooked up to CO2, but if you’re not in such luck, plan on drinking your keg within a day before it goes southbound.
- Tap only what you can drink in a day
Rather than buying a full half barrel for events, think about getting 2 quarter barrels. You can tap 1 keg at a time to preserve freshness, or mix it up and get two varieties!
Now that you’re armed with the know-how of providing the freshest beer possible during summer festivities you’ll be the hero arriving at the block party with the tastiest of suds. So grab a Pacific Rain and go enjoy the outdoors!
About the Author
Mat Olive knows a few things about beer and isn't afraid to drop some beer geek knowledge anytime there is an opportunity. As Ninkasi's Brewery Experience Coordinator Mat talks beer day-in-and-day-out to brewery guests and visitors ensuring each person who makes a trek to the brewery leaves with a deeper understanding of our industry and our craft. Mat is also a Certified Cicerone® and a Recognized BJCP Judge.