How to Serve Beer

Row of beer taps.
These days most men serve beer only one way, in a bottle, regardless of what would be most appropriate. I’m going to teach you how to serve beer properly, including the right way to serve a bottle.

Choosing a Glass

Choosing a glass is more complicated than you might think. Many brewers sell branded glasses so those would be the most appropriate style, just don’t put a different beer in a branded glass. If you’d rather just have one or two sets of beer glasses then pilsner glasses or steins are pretty good choices. You should, however, leave your ornate steins for Oktoberfest, and never use plastic cups of any kind.


It’s not as intuitive as you might think. Most beers are best served chilled, but not all. If you do some research into your beer of choice you may find out it should be served at room temperature, and that’s how you should serve it to guests who ask for it. For most beers, keep the bottles in the fridge or on ice, the glasses in a freezer, or the keg in a nice kegerator, but never serve beer over ice.


The only acceptable way to expect your guests to serve themselves is with bottles. Keep the bottles in a nice beer fridge in your entertaining space or on ice in a nice bucket or cooler, especially if you’re outside, and make sure there’s a bottle opener close at hand. When you’re serving your guests, never hand them an unopened bottle.

Casks & Kegs

If you want serve beer “on tap” then you’re going to need to store it in casks or kegs. Casks are more attractive and give a beautiful accent to a room and a unique tap to serve from. Kegs on the other hand are hideous. If you choose to use a keg then keep them out of view with a nice tap on the bar, or atop a kegerator that fits the room’s decor.


Don’t, just don’t. Never serve beer in a can, unless you’re sitting around a campfire, possibly.

The Pour

How you pour a beer is of great importance. If you do it wrong you’ll end up with a flat body and excessive head. Tilt the glass and aim for a spot just far enough from the rim so it doesn’t spill. Pour slowly and straighten the glass to keep it from spilling. If you do it perfectly you’ll end up with a noticeable head that’s so thin that tilting the glass enough to drink makes the body come through.


Most beers don’t call for a garnish, but some do. Only garnish a beer served in a glass, not a bottle. A beer with a notable citrus flavour, like a radler or white, are well served with an orange wedge on the rim.


La más famosa de las cervezas mexicanas. Yes, Coronas have substantially different rules. Corona is only to be served in a bottle, with a lime wedge in the neck.


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