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Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Wine tour operator, wine writer and lapsed physiotherapist. "Nature abhors a vacuum. I personally hate dusting."

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

European Beers - stuff I didn't know..

Having been seriously in the wine biz for about 10 years, I figure that I do know a bit about wine - I have two wine columns, a published NZ wine region guide and being a conscientious drinker of wine on a regular basis.   However I do know Feck-all about beer.

Today -I had a local Auckland group on a half day wine tour with me: two couples.  One - ex Liverpudlians, the other a Dutch chap who has lived here for 40 years, and his NZ wife. 

All really nice people who like a drink and a grand day out in the country sampling wine, scenery and great food, God bless 'em.

Anyway ..we got to talking about beer - and the way it is served in NZ.  My Dutch mate remarked that in NZ if beer is served with a large 'head' of foam, one gripes about the issue that it is not filled up to the top.
(Much the same as NZ Hospo industry wine glasses have a Plimsoll line to delineate the required 100ml serve level.)  He said that in Europe, the beer is poured vertically (not on the slope) so that there are three fingers of foam on the beer, in order that the froth acts as a barrier to oxygen, and therefore preserves the freshness and flavour of the beer while being consumed - a bit like a spa blanket on yer Lager.

Also, re: the Belgian beer ritual of immersing the glass in water before filling from the tap - this ensures that any remnants of detergent are removed, and thus the froth is allowed to naturally adhere to the glass.

I am partial to the odd Leffe Blond or Hoegaarden at our local Belgian beer pub.  But now I have a new understanding and respec', no less for the, beer aficionados. 

Cheers.  *urp*

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