Posted on July 24th, 2009
Now that the summer months are upon us hopefully you’re getting the chance to enjoy plenty of summer brews out in the sun. If you’re like the Beeriety crew, nothing goes better with summer than a nice tall glass of hefeweizen or another wheat beer. Frequently when you order one of these delightful treats at your favorite watering hole the bartender may ask you if you would like a slice of citrus fruit, or if you’re not careful, may just put one in your beer without asking. It may seem tempting to try your beer with some orange or lemon thrown in. Wheat beers frequently are citrusy after all, but for the good of your beer, please resist this urge. There are a number of reasons why:
1. The acids in oranges will kill your beer’s head
Although an overly carbonated beer that’s more foam than drink is something no one wants to see, a little bit of foam is actually a good thing. It’s important part of a beer’s presentation and it helps guarantee your getting the proper aromas out of your beer.
2. The citrus will overpower any of the beer’s natural aromas
As I’ve mentioned before on this site, a major part of what we perceive as taste actually comes from our nose, not our tongue. Taking a good whiff of your beer while you drink ensures you’re taking in as much of your beer’s flavors as possible. With an orange floating in your beer you’re not going to smell anything but the orange, not the beer, and that’s going to affect the way the beer tastes to you.
3. Beer should stand on it’s own merit
As I mentioned it’s certainly true that many beers have natural citrus qualities in taste and aroma. Some may feel that adding an orange is simply enhancing what’s already there. However, the seems little too much like cheating in my mind. Beer doesn’t need help to taste or smell good, it’s perfectly capable of amazing things all by itself. It’s a little like covering a meal in pepper before you’ve even tried it.Perhaps the brewer didn’t want to make his or her beer particularly fruity, perhaps he did, whatever the case you should give the beer the chance to stand on it’s own legs and be the beer it was meant to be, not the beer you want to be.
Now this is of course just a matter of preference. The only really correct way to enjoy your beer is however you want to enjoy it, but hopefully this has given you some food for thought, or beer to drink as the case may be.