Answers to the Basic Beer Questions You're Too Afraid to Ask 

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Best way to pour a beer?
Snag a clean glass and tilt to 45 degrees. Aim for the midpoint of the glass, and then tilt up 90 degrees when half-full for the finish. Voilà!

To pump or not to pump the keg?
It’s all about the flow. There’s no set rule for how many pumps per pint, but if you see foam, ease up. When a steady stream slows to a drip, give it a push or two.

What the heck is an IBU?
It stands for International Bitterness Units. The higher the number, the bigger bite the beer will have. It’s said that the human palate can distinguish only up to 110 IBUs. Debate will ensue.

Frost the mug?
At the very least, use a room-temperature glass. Ice can pick up weird freezer flavors and often will chip, causing a strange taste and/or excess foam. Yuck. And researching the right glassware pays off. Ditch that mug.

How long is this growler gonna last?
Fresh beer will keep for a few days. But once opened, it usually loses its mojo in the first 24 to 36 hours. Keep in mind, this can be affected by the quality of the fill, the beer itself and the type of growler used.

Does beer really skunk?
Drink fresh, kids. You should select bottles that aren’t covered in dust and haven’t been exposed to light. Try to keep it cool, too. Room temperatures can degrade beer quality over time. What if a beer starts out cold, then gets to room temperature? Can you chill it again? Yes.

I don’t know what all those different kinds of beer are. What should I order?
Start with light, medium or dark. Translation: pilsner, ale, stout. Save the crazy stuff for later. Figure out how heavy you can handle your hops. And always remember: Ask your server. Most don’t bite — they really do want to help.


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