How To Drink Beer Like A Pro With Mill Street’s Joel Manning

Above: Mill St. Brewery's seasonal sampler
Above: Mill St. Brewery's seasonal sampler

Open bottle, drink and repeat. You probably thought drinking beer was that simple. It can be, but with just a few slight changes, you amp up the enjoyment factor of your beer-drinking experience. On the eve of the launch of a new Summer Mix 12-pack, we asked Mill St. Brewery’s brewmaster Joel Manning about how it should be done. Damn the ice cubes and beer cocktails!

AmongMen: What is the ideal temperature at which to drink beer? Do different types of beer need to be chilled differently?
Joel Manning: Yes. Lagers need to be colder than ales—lagers at 2-4 degrees C and ales at 6-8 degrees C is where I drink my beers.

AM: Bottle or glass?
JM: For the best flavour, you should drink your beer out of a glass so that you can smell the aromas. Drinking beer out of a bottle will make you bloated because all of the carbonation will come out of the beer in your stomach instead of the glass.

AM: Is it ever okay to put ice cubes in your beer?
JM: Friends don’t let friends put ice cubes in their beer. There should be an anonymous tip line where you can call in and report someone who does that. Always consult your “What would Chuck Norris Do?” bracelet and never, EVER put ice cubes in your beer. That’s what cider is for. Freeze your glass if you want to get your beer as cold a possible. But if you’re drinking great beer, you shouldn’t have to get it super cold.

AM: What are the common mistakes beer drinkers make with beer?
JM: Store your beer where it will stay at one cool temperature. Ups and downs with temperature is bad for beer, as is constant hot temperatures.  Beer is often sweeter and less sharp if you drink it a bit warmer than you normally do. Don’t drink it too cold!

AM: How do you feel about the current trend toward beer cocktails?
JM: My Chuck Norris bracelet prevents me from ever ingesting beer cocktails, even accidentally. I’m a brewer so I’m not a big fan of adding anything to beer. It’s like asking a winemaker how to make a good white wine spritzer. If you have to add stuff to your beer to make it taste good you should be drinking better beer!

Certain beers do require additions, but they are few and far apart. We make a Berliner-style Weiss beer at our brewpub that comes with your choice of plain or with two different syrups that are traditionally served with it in Germany but that is an exception. I don’t even add fruit wedges to wheat beers and haven’t had lime cordial or lemonade in my beer since I was a teenager visiting England (drinking legally, of course) and even then I preferred good beer straight!

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