Meet Labatt. They bring you great beer, but what makes a beer great?
It’s not as simple as beer's four ingredients: hops, water, yeast, and malted barley. It's also about the handling and presentation of the beer once it hits the glass.
So, how do we get beer-educated and ready for the summer?
Brad Pennefather, regional director of Labatt Breweries in BC, showed the process involved in pouring a beer (much like a Japanese tea ceremony), at a party for Labatt recently in Vancouver. Take Stella Artois, for example. It sits inside a classic chalice glass (not the glass above) with a distinct 2.5 inch stem.
This stem, the only area the server is allowed to touch, is the first step.
"Proper beer means proper handling," Pennefather recently said.
Pennefather demonstrated the process by taking the oiliest part of the human body--- the nose---and smearing oil onto the inside of the Stella glass. He then dipped it in regular water before dipping it again in distilled water to rinse it.
Here are the steps to the best glass of beer:
Step 1: With a long-necked scrub, soap the glass down: inside, stem, and base.
Step 2: Fill the sink with water and dip the glass to rinse off the soap.
Step 3: In another filled sink with running water, dip the glass repeating 3-4 times until, when turned upside down, the water trickles evenly. Any oil remaining will result in cracks of water running down the glass.
Step 4: Spray the inner glass with cold water, preferably the same temperature as the beer.
Step 5: For beer on tap, open and let it run a bit, then angle the glass 45 degrees and let the beer overflow. The nozzle should not touch the beer in the glass because this might contaminate it.
Step 6: Take a knife and “decapitate” the head. On average, there should be about two inches of head. In Belgium, it can be up to four inches.
Step 7: Take the full glass of beer and dip it in the running water, again, to clean off the beer that overflowed leaving two inches above water.
At a celebration of Labatt beer in Vancouver recently, the open bar captured everyone's attention. No one commented on Labatt’s Lakeport Brewery closure in Hamilton, Ontario that resulted in 143 lay-offs. Labatt is apparently moving its brewery to London, Ontario.
At the opening, Labatt officials said they would pay the tab on both beer and taxi rides anywhere to get people home safely. Everyone got home safely.
Want to know more about Labatt? Here's the company's Wikipedia entry: