It’s a fine line we have to tread as drinkers… we want to help people out when we hear things out in the “real world” that are incorrect. But at the same time, we don’t want to come off as the typical beer snob who is telling everyone why they are wrong. (I say this knowing full well that there are people reading this who are exactly those people, who take pride and joy in being the typical beer snob… but you get the point.) I thought a quick post (the first of a series over the near future) that highlights some of the most heard, and most misunderstood beer myths would be nice.
Without Further Ado…
Beer before liquor, never been sicker… Liquor before beer you’re in the clear…
You’ve heard this before, or some form of it (such as never mix light alcohols with dark alcohols etc). If you believe any of these stupid sayings, I’m about to change your drinking life for the better… it’s all false.
The truth of it all is that it’s not about what you’re drinking, or what order you are drinking it in, it’s how much you are drinking that is the bottom line. If you are trying to prevent a hangover in the morning, your biggest concerns should be how many drinks you are consuming or more importantly, how much water you are drinking along with your booze. The biggest factor in your morning will be how dehydrated you are, so space your drinks with water.
TRUTH: Alcohol is alcohol, it doesn’t matter what order you drink it in.
Beer should be as cold as possible… cold beer is soooo much better!
This has been perpetuated by some of the big “macro guys”. The truth of this is that cold liquids will have much of their flavors suppressed. I suppose that the one truth of this is that in some instances (not naming names) it might be better to suppress the flavors in your beer than to actually taste them. There was a great article on Slate a while back that explained it wonderfully, so rather than go into the details myself, you should go there and read it.
A bit of a tip… chill your beer, but don’t drink it so fast that you don’t give it a chance to warm at all. As the beer warms up to room temperature you will find that sweet spot, where the flavors really start to come out.
TRUTH: Flavors are suppressed by the cold…drink your beer chilled, but not so cold that you can’t taste it.
Dark beer is “heavier” than lighter colored beer.
This is another load of bologna. Try some great Belgian Tripels to really get a feel for how a light beer can be heavy, and drink some dark lagers to understand how a dark beer can be light.
The color of a beer comes from how long the grains were roasted. The body on the other hand, or the “heavy or light” factor of a beer has more to do with how these grains are used in the process, or how much grain is used than how they are roasted.
TRUTH: You can’t tell much of anything by looking at a beer in today’s craft beer world.
Cooling and then warming your beer will make it skunky.
There is one thing that causes skunkiness…and that’s light. Isohumulones are the bitter compounds in beer, and are very sensitive to UV light. They will break down with exposure to it and react with traces of sulfur compounds in the brew, creating 3-MBT (3-Methyl 2-Butene 1-Thiol) a potent compound that is very close to that found in a skunks… ummm… rear end.
TRUTH: High heat can speed up oxidation…but cooling and warming your beer does nothing related to skunkiness.
Drinking coffee will help a drunk person sober up faster.
Caffeine and drinking can be a dangerous combination… the coffee won’t actually sober you up, it will just make you feel like you are sobering up. The only thing that will actually sober you up is time.
This goes for all those remedies you have come across as well… they are all myths, unless someone just tells you to sleep it off. Sleeping it off will work very well. Rule of thumb? It takes about an hour for you to metabolize one “standard” drink.
TRUTH: Even after a couple cups of coffee, you will still be drunk… just not a tired drunk. Give it time.
Now you know! Don’t believe all that you hear.
There are quite a few of these myths surrounding drinking that you are sure to come across, so do your research before you believe anything that someone tells you. People don’t mean harm, they just perpetuate things that others have told them to be true…so don’t be to hard on each other!