The shape of the glass can make a difference. If you’re like me, you like a mug or glass of beer which retain its ebullience after being poured. The inherent rich yet mellow effervescence which foams in your mouth a precious moment before subsiding and, depending on the brew, the flavour of it hits you. Sometimes its burning, sometimes slightly sweet, golden like summer wheat. Sometimes it’s all those things combined, and if it’s poured correctly, into a willing form which understands its needs, the beer will hold its strength and not have it uselessly frittered away so that it’s flat and to me, undrinkable.
If you have the right glass, one which is smaller at the base than almost near its rim by a certain degree, more or less, before curving back, just enough to keep the bubbles from fully escaping, that’s a perfect glass. You don’t want one which is smaller on the bottom, then without grace immediately opens to its rim where all the foamy goodness is lost. Well, not unless you plan to down that brew as quickly as possible. I prefer to savor mine now, most especially when I’m with dear and good friends….or someone who might becoming more interesting as the night passes.
With a mug, it’s more about the pouring method, which incidentally also must be done with glasses: they have to be tilted just right so that the beer isn’t spilling freely to crash into the bottom, release all its energy and raise a deep foam at the top. Pouring a glass is like good sex, you can’t go too fast if you want full satisfaction. If you go too quick, yeah, it will “get it done”, but no true lingering of appreciation, and certainly no beginning or growth of love. Even if you step outside the realm of the primarily physical, and step over into my own speciality: cooking. Whether you’re making a meatloaf, or roast chicken, or a common pot roast, being patient will provide you with the most tasty and satisfying results. Even if you’re coming in at a different angle, such as with prime rib or duck, starting off at a high temperature and fierce heat (apply sexual imagery if you wish), after a ferocious, initial outpouring, slowing down will make the pleasure last….in your glass.
By the way, the photo is one I made in Berlin one fine summer evening at a restaurant on the square at Charlottenburgplatz. It’s called “A Measure”, perhaps relating to the phrase “a measure of a man (or woman)”, and it’s traditional. You have 12 glasses of beer, 6 weiß, 6 dunkel, and you could share them around, but it was just my friend and I. You must drink them all :-) We did. That was the beginning to our evening which flowed through the night and well into morning. I confess I don’t remember how I got home.
Other places they pour a good brew? Another entry of mine– The Shannon: Memories from an Irish Pub.