Among The Thugs by Bill Buford

By Bill Buford

A journalist who spent six years traveling with and collecting details on Britain's infamous football hooligans chronicles his striking studies with those harmful, violent, and fiercely unswerving lovers.

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DON’T ’ T DRINK OUT OF THE BOTTLE. Good beer bars serve beer in the appropriate corresponding glass, which varies greatly in size, depending on the beer. When it’s served like this, you may think you aren’t getting enough of a good thing. But, just as you would not ask for white wine in a Pinot Noir glass, don’t ask for your Tripel in a pint glass. Believe us when we tell you that you are getting your money’s worth. If you had a 16-ounce pint glass full of that 9% Tripel, the beer would be resting too long, causing it to lose carbonation and warm up too quickly for that style.

Finally, take a drink. Swirl the beer in your mouth, over your tongue. Take the time to really taste it. Think about what you are drinking. As with wine, there is the initial flavor, but then there are also secondary flavors and more subtle flavors that are revealed with each new sip. DON’T SLAM YOUR BEER. One misconception that many people have about beer is that it should be guzzled. The Keg Stand, Quarters, Beer Pong, and many other popular pastimes all operate under this assumption. But swilling beer down your gullet without taking the time to savor or appreciate it is an offense to great beer.

For example, Dublin has a type of hard water that is perfect for making the thick, chalky, dark stout for which the Irish are famous. Plzen (or Pilsen) in the Czech Republic has very soft water that produces a nuanced subtleness in a beer called Pilsner. Overall, there are over a dozen compounds found in water that are significant factors in what that final beer will taste like, so the source of water in each specific beer is of vital importance. When Yeast Is a Good Thing: Determining Yeast in Beer Have you ever looked at one of the crappy beers that you’ve had in the past and thought to yourself, “Well, at least it’s clear and shiny”?

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