Beer is one of the world best-selling beverages, and according to Kirin Ichiban’s latest annual report, global consumption of beer reached 188.79 million kiloliters in 2018, an increase of 0.8% from the previous year.
The popularity of beer in Europe is also on the rise, The Brewers of Europe’s latest report reveals there are 10,284 active breweries in Europe, with 7,181 of those being microbreweries. The steady rise of microbreweries is welcome news for beer connoisseurs searching to try more local artisanal beers.
Keep an eye on the head
Whilst there are countless versions of regional beers, one aspect remains the same – the importance of foam.
The foam, also known as the collar or head, plays an important role in beer – its function is preventing the carbon dioxide in beer from evaporating too quickly. Without the protective foam head, the tingly fresh flavour of the beer disappears rapidly.
Just like there are numerous regional variations of beer, there are varying preferences for pouring beer. Each country in Europe has an iteration of craft beer and those regional differences dictate how each beer should be poured.
For example, in the UK, it is common practice for beer to be poured with approximately 2cm of foam, too much foam and beer aficionados will ask for the glass to be topped up – there is even a standard line on pint glasses in the UK to help bartenders pull a pint with the perfect beer to foam ratio.
Whereas in Germany, beer lovers have a preference for a lot of foam, approximately 3cm is the general consensus, but those who love foam sometimes request more.
And in the Czech Republic, there is a local beer, called mlíko which translates to “milk beer”, that requires nearly the entire glass to be foam with a small amount of beer at the bottom. This milk beer is sweeter and traditionally ordered at the end of the night as a sweet treat to be consumed in one go.
Innovative technologies for traditional beers
It’s not surprising beer culture is so prevalent in the Czech Republic as the country has remained the number 1 country for beer consumption per-capita for the 26th consecutive year since Kirin Ichiban started its global beer report in 1993.
The rise of microbreweries is creating more opportunities for experimentation in bars. Customers are looking to try new craft beers and bar owners are looking for new ways to improve the customer experience. Some bars have introduced self-serve beer taps to showcase new craft beers and allow customers to pay and get their drinks faster with less time queuing.