Australians love a beer. EFTM recently wrote about how to properly taste and appreciate coffee. It makes sense then to talk about how to properly taste and appreciate beer. We also learned a bit more about a great side-dish for your beer, pistachios.
EFTM caught up with Kirrily Waldhorn aka the Beer Diva in Australia. Kirrily knows everything there is to know about beer. Not only beer but also what food pairs perfectly with beer. We had some questions to ask.
Most people throw a beer back faster than a hot dumpling. How can we properly taste beer?
- Open the beer and pour it into a glass, you don’t drink wine from a bottle – don’t treat beer any differently.
- Before diving in, hold up the glass and have a good look at the beer, pay attention to things like colour, clarity and carbonation – the three C’s.
- Give the glass a swirl, let the beer breathe a little, this will release aromas of the golden goodness.
- Give the beer a sniff, our noses can handle sense over 10,000 smells – what are you picking up here? Most flavours are actually discovered in the sniff, you’ll be able to smell the hops, the malt, maybe some yeast notes also.
- Open up and let it in. How does it feel in the mouth, don’t swish it around like wine, but unlike wine you will need to swallow to truly appreciate the flavour. Unlike wine, beer releases many more characteristics after you swallow, that lingering bitterness.
Instead of the usual beer nuts, lets look at pistachios with our beer.
Pistachios are packed with protein, fibre and other vitamins and minerals. They’re also perfect with beer. Some pistachios are seasoned slightly and that may change what beer is ideal for the flavour.
Wonderful Pistachios Roasted & Salted go really well with something like an Extra Special Bitter. A harmonious meeting of two classic styles, with the caramel notes in the beer enhancing the nuttiness of the pistachio bringing out the true character of the nut.
Kolsch with Wonderful Pistachios Salt & Pepper flavour. There’s German style pale lager, a hint of salt and then there’s pepper, with this winning combination, we have all three in one perfect fusion of flavour! The clean lager-like freshness of the Kolsch not only cuts through the salt but also really allows the beautiful spicy pepper notes in the pistachios to sing. This flavour of pistachio also works well with India Pale Ale.
The royalty wine is Champagne. What is the equivalent in beer?
For a special occasion, a Belgian beer, one with a little extra alcohol. Barrel aged beer is also perfect for the special occasion, usually sold in a 750ml bottle (like Champagne), something like a Coopers Vintage.
Glassware is a hot topic for beer, how important is the shape of the glass?
As long as it is in a glass you’re doing well! While beer glasses are relatively consistent in pubs, the best glasses are actually wine glasses, they’re shaped to truly appreciate aromas and give a great body to the beer.
For more pairing suggestions with pistachios head here
Kirrily Waldhorn is an absolute guru when it comes to beer and we appreciate her time in educating us on how to really appreciate beer!
Now, time for a drink…