If you haven’t guessed by now, I LOVE a freshly poured cold glass of beer. The aroma, the colour, the taste and refreshment all combine to make drinking beer one of my favourite pastimes.
Alongside how it makes you feel, drinking a fresh, hops packed beer that’s more than 99% sugar free and made from only four natural ingredients – grain, yeast, hops and water, makes me feel like I’m almost doing something that’s good for me……well almost.
We are all different, but by the time I finish one bottle of beer whilst at a barbie I’m starting to feel like I’ve consumed a balloon that expands as time goes on, the dreaded beer bloating belly.
A bloating belly doesn’t feel good, and it doesn’t look good. I struggle to get a six pack, in fact I’ve never had one, but the last thing I need are a few more centimetres around the girth whilst at social occasions.
I always thought that bloating was just the way it was, it was the price I paid for indulging in the beverage that I adore, but that’s not the case, there’s a reason beer give’s you that bloating feeling and there’s a way to STOP it for good!
I used to work for Australia’s largest brewer and they spent a lot of time teaching us how to brew it, why beer can be beautiful, and how to serve it in a way that makes the best of what the brewers intended.
One of the reasons beer is so low in sugar comes from the fermentation process. The yeast is our friend in this respect as it munches on the sugar that released from the grain to make the alcohol. The downside to this process is that it leaves carbon dioxide as a bi-product. Don’t get me wrong, carbon dioxide isn’t evil in beer as it also delivers the aromas of the hops, yeast and malt from your vessel to your nose, it also gives you the tickly sensation in your mouth and is vital in delivering a robust head on top, the foam.
So what could possibly be wrong with having carbon dioxide in our beer. Well for the reason above we need to keep it, but there’s SO much of it that it is what creates the bloating. There’s actually 2.5 times the amount of carbon dioxide gas in each stubby, put another way, it’s like they put two and a half stubbies of the gas into your one stubby!!
When released, those two and a half stubbies of gas have to go somewhere.
Once you drink the beer from your bottle or glass and you take your next bite of food, or if some undigested food is in your stomach and the beer makes its way into the stomach and acts as a nucleation site. Nucleation sites assist the physical separation of solid, liquid, and gas, meaning the gas trapped in the beer gets released inside your stomach. It’s a similar thing to what happens when you put a Mentos in a Coke bottle.
The best way to LOVE your beer and lessen the effect of carbon dioxide expanding in your stomach is to ALWAYS pour your beer into a chilled clean glass free of dust, dirt, and oils.
We do this for wine and spirits to enable to aroma to open up, so why not for beer? The added benefit of pouring into a glass is that if it’s properly done it releases a lot of the carbon dioxide to lesson the bloat.
SO, pour your beer hard into the glass at a 45 degree angle and then straight down the middle to force some of the carbon dioxide trapped in the beer to release into the glass instead of in your stomach. This released carbon dioxide will provide the backbone for a nice collar of foam which is essential for not only protecting the delicate aromas in the glass from light and air (another beer secret), but will capture them for you to enjoy before that first swig
Check out the video below to see how beer drunk from a bottle or can (simulated by slowly pouring the beer into a glass) reacts with food (using paper towel to stimulate the food in the stomach). I'm using a wine glass provocatively because who says beer can only be drunk in a schooner glass!
Imagine this happening inside you….no wonder you're feeling bloated!
For tasting notes on all the great beers we have on this site, check out these great links: