Tuesday Beer Trivia: Beer Service

Have you ever had a beer you just knew was a little off? Do you understand what it takes to serve great beer? Put your knowledge of beer service to the test in this week’s Tuesday Beer Trivia quiz.

Beer is a fussy beverage. It’ll foam up on you if it’s too warm, or taste bland if too cold. It’s allergic to sunshine and cares about the size, shape and cleanliness of the glass it’s served in. In other words, beer is a prima donna and demands your best efforts.

However, beer has a generous and giving spirit, too. If you make a concerted effort you will be rewarded greatly. Yes, you could always just grab a cold one and chug it down, but most beers want a little T.L.C. Then and only then will you reveal their true nature.

After you take the Beer Trivia quiz below, scroll down to “Beer Trivia Answer Explanations” section to learn more about proper beer service!

Beer Trivia Answer Explanations

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Question 1: Flavor, aroma, texture, carbonation and clarity may change with temperature. Stronger beers are served warmer than weaker beers so the consumer may taste more of the beer’s complexity. For more specific temperature ranges, check out this table of beer styles and serving temperatures.

Question 2: A beer-clean glass should be free of visible soil and marks, and also free of foam-killing residues and lingering aromatics such as sanitizer. After properly cleaning your beer glassware, you can test your glasses for beer-clean status by using these three techniques: sheeting, the salt test, and lacing. Sheeting is dipping the glass in water and making sure the water evenly coast the glass when lifted out of the water. The salt test involves sprinkling salt on the interior of a wet glass. If the salt adheres evenly along the entire glass, it is clean. Lacing involves filling the glass with beer. If the glass is clean, foam will adhere to the inside of the glass in parallel rings after each sip, forming a lacing pattern.

Question 3: In order to maintain draught quality, it’s recommended that draught lines are cleaned at a minimum every two weeks with caustic solution, with acid cleaning every three months. Check out the Brewer’s Association Draught Quality Manual for more information.

Question 4: The British-based group Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) uses the term “real ale” to specifically refer to traditional British beer styles (bitters, stouts, pale ales, etc.) that were served at cellar temperatures (52-57°F) and a specific low level of carbonation (<1 vol. of CO2). Contrary to what some people believe, cask ale should never be served flat (non-carbonated). Check out our Introduction to Cask Conditioning Homebrew for more information.

Question 5: A half-barrel keg that is sitting at 48°F (8.9°C) will need about 24 hours to fully chill to 38°F (3.3°C). A chart of starting temperatures and desired temperatures can be found in the Brewer’s Association Draught Quality Manual.


Sources:

  • Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink by Randy Mosher
  • The Oxford Companion to Beer by Garret Oliver
  • The Draught Beer Quality Manual by The Brewers Association [Compiled By]
Homebrewers Association
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