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5 steps to the perfect beer12/12/06

How to pour the perfect beer
The glass:
Get a proper beer glass; one that's a good full shape and curves in a little at the top to trap the beer's aromas. Take one of these, make sure it is scrupulously clean, and chill it in the fridge for an hour or so.

The beer:
Beer is never better than when it is delivered from the brewer. It does not improve with age; in fact, over time it will lose some of the crispness of it's flavour. So, for the perfect beer, choose a bottle that hasn't been hanging around the house too long.

The temperature:
This varies with personal taste and with the style of beer. For most Australian lager-style beers, something around typical household refrigerator temperatures (2 to 3 deg C) is fine.

Slosh some beer into the bottom of the glass to form a head. Then gently pour the beer directly onto the foam to break any large bubbles and pack the head. Leave for a short period to "age" the foam, then tilt the glass and fill carefully. Straighten the glass as it fills and keep pouring until the collar or head just froths over the rim of the glass.
Tip: The bitterness of the hops tends to be most concentrated in the foam of the head, so if you like a good hit of hops to jolt the tastebuds, give yourself a more generous head and sip the beer through it.

Savouring the beer:
Bring the glass to your lips and inhale gently to take in the aroma of the beer. This will awaken your tastebuds to the flavours that are to follow. Then sip, letting the cool beer flow over the tongue so you savour the full complexity of the flavour. Perfect!
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