Beer is one of those beverages that seems to lend itself nicely to myths and half-truths. You have likely heard of some of them yourself. Maybe you even believe one or two.
Visit any bar, and you will hear many of these myths perpetuated. Although most people mean well and think they are telling the truth, these myths are sometimes ridiculous. We are here to cut through the falsehoods and give you the scoop on the facts.
Debunking Beer Myths One at a Time
While some myths are outrageous, some seem plausible, which is why they spread so easily. Let’s eliminate these untruths and clear our minds of the clutter.
Myth One: Craft Beer Must Be Served Ice Cold
The myth that this beverage should be served cold is one of the greatest myths and is believed by many beer drinkers. While some people mock German brewers for drinking their brew at warmer temperatures, it turns out they are drinking it correctly.
If you drink your craft brew at cold temperatures, the cold numbs your taste buds and prevents you from tasting all the flavors. Your taste buds may miss the subtle flavors of an Irish stout when you serve beer cold. It often tastes better when served at the correct temperature. Consider the following.
- Lagered beer should be served between 42 to 48 degrees.
- Ales should be served between 44 and 52 degrees.
- Stouts should be served at around 55 degrees.
Myth Two: Dark Beers Have More Alcohol
For some reason, many beer lovers think the darker the color, the stronger the alcohol, but this simply is not correct. The color of a dark beer has nothing to do with alcohol content and everything to do with how the malt was roasted.
Longer roasting times produce dark beers. Pale beers can have similar alcohol content to darker beers, and moderate beer consumption is always key.
Myth Three: All Beer Is the Same
This myth continues to boggle our minds with all the flavors available in beers. If you have this line of thinking, you have never tasted some of the best beers in the world. There are at least 70 kinds of beer and countless secondary styles developed by brewers worldwide.
Myth Four: Bottled Beer Is Always Better Than Canned Beer
This is another myth that continues without any facts to back it up. Brew lovers mistakenly believe cans cause the alcohol to taste metallic.
Many brewers use cans over bottles to block light and prevent air influxes. Because the brew is in green bottles does not mean it is better than those in a can.
Myth Five: All Beer Tastes Bitter
If you are not a beer connoisseur, you may think all beer tastes bitter because you have never expanded your horizons. Since the bitterness of beer is determined by the hops, brewers can make the drink as bitter as they like.
Some drinks use much fewer hops and are not bitter. We consider milk stout to be a primary example. Milk stout is prized for its delicious sweetness.
Myth Six: Drink Beer Before Liquor and Get Sicker
We like to call this myth the dorm room deceit. Most college kids think if they drink beer and then liquor, they will get sick. Who knows how this one got its start.
Whether you get sick or not depends on how much alcohol you consume. Drinking beer before liquor will not get you any sicker than drinking liquor first. Binge drinking of any type of alcohol can lead to weight gain and a sick feeling.
Myth Seven: Beer Causes a Beer Belly
This is a myth we thoroughly enjoy debunking. We have all heard the term “beer belly.” If you are concerned about developing a substantial gut after drinking beer, do not worry.
Yes, drinking a lot of high-calorie brew will lead to a bigger gut, but so will eating too much pizza. If you’re gaining weight, you should consider your entire diet. Certain beers can actually stimulate fat oxidation and include numerous surprising benefits for your health when enjoyed in moderation.
Myth Eight: Head Is Bad
A frothing cap is loved by some and despised by others. While the head can be awful to taste, it serves an integral purpose. The head keeps your beer’s aroma and flavor trapped inside the glass. Head is not bad!
Myth Nine: Drinking Wine Is Healthier Than Drinking Beer
If you compare wine with beer, many people mistakenly believe wine is healthier, but this is not necessarily true. People think wine is beneficial because of resveratrol, which is associated with health benefits. The following are some of the health benefits of beer.
- Considered heart-healthy and leads to a reduced risk of heart disease by as much as 25%
- Builds stronger bones
- May prevent certain types of cancer
- Aids the digestive process
- Protects your brain cells
- Cleans your teeth
- Fights inflammation
Myth Ten: Draft Is Always Best for Beer
While we also love draft, it does have dirty lines. We consider this myth a matter of preference. Draft beers are not always the best beverage, and they may not create that refreshing crispness found in other drinks. Keep this in mind when choosing your next drink.
Myth Eleven: Sourness Means the Beer Is Bad
This myth is steeped in misunderstanding and truth. When a brew is sour, it has been infiltrated by microorganisms and spoiled. It is important to note that some brewers intentionally create sour brew flavors. Sour beers are just now making their way into the States.
Myth Twelve: Beer Has an Expiration Date
When you purchase sharp beers, you will find an expiration date on the bottle. The truth is, beer does not expire. Expiration dates are a gimmick used by manufacturers to get you to buy more beer. Keep your beer displayed in a cool dark place, and it will only improve with age.
Myth Thirteen: Beer Should Never Have Sediment
While the United States is big on filtering beer, this is unnecessary. Parts of Belgium leave the sediment inside the beer, and it is consumed. The sediment is a rich source of Vitamin B. Unfiltered beer is becoming increasingly popular in the United States.
Myth Fourteen: European Beer Tastes Skunky
If you have never tried a European brew because you believe it tastes skunky, think again. If you have sipped a European green bottle of beer that tasted skunky, this flavor developed because the bottles were exposed to light, causing spoilage. Although this “skunky beer” is technically spoiled, some people prefer it that way.
Myth Fifteen: Old Ales Are Always Darker Than Lagers
To the inexperienced, this myth may seem true. The difference between lagers and ales talking primarily is the yeast used during fermentation. The color of beer has nothing to do with its type or alcohol content. A dark lager gets its color from how the brewers roast the malt and the use of lager yeast versus ale yeast.
Myth Sixteen: Beer Should Be Kept Warm Until Consumed
This is another beer myth we just have to debunk. Beer should never be stored in a warm area. You should store beer in a cool, dark place. A basement is a perfect location for your India pale ale, draft beer, pale malt, dark malt, etc.
Storing your beer in a dark, cool place will help prevent exposure to light and drastic temperature changes that could cause your beverage to spoil.
Final Thoughts on Beer Myths
How many of these beer myths have you believed? Do not feel bad if you have been naive and believed these myths. We once believed some of them ourselves.
Beer does not have to be served ice-cold and should not be stored warm. Beer does not make you fat and outperformed wine in various health scenarios.
We have now provided you with the truth. Different beer styles have different alcohol content, complex flavors, and various shades of color based on whether they use top or bottom fermenting yeast, their roast times, the type of fermentation tank, etc. The simple truth is that beer is best served whichever way you prefer.