Beer tasting is super rewarding. Coming across a new beer is a bit like finding a new band, it has particular characteristics to it that make it totally unique and may fit your mood or tastes like nothing else.
That said, there are a few things that will help you appreciate the different styles a bit more. Let’s get started!
Grab a clean glass, hold at 45 degrees and pour into the middle. Pour slowly until half full then tip the glass back up to 90 degrees. This will produce a nice foamy head which will help unlock the beer’s aroma. A perfect head is a few centimeters (1 to 1.5 inches) tall. Can you smell it already?
Take a look
Everything from the color to the consistency of the head says something about the beer. A golden see-throw bubbly beer will be lighter than a black, malty beer like a stout.
Give it a swirl
Swirl the glass a couple times. This lures out the aroma.
Have a smell
Dive in there. Stick your nose in the glass and take a couple whiffs of the sudsy stuff. Take quick sniffs, like aromatic punches! This will make the sensation more intense and help you focus and remember what aromas you experienced. Note if it smells of hops or malt. Darker beers will remind you of roasted coffee or chocolate. Some ales emit fruity or spicy notes.
Take a sip
But do so slowly! Let the first sip linger on your tongue. Try to concentrate on the flavors. Is it bitter? Sweet? Sour?
Some beers have qualities that build slowly. Try to make it a game: what kind of fruit do you taste if any? Can you taste any of the aromas you noticed before? Try to compare it with meals you have head earlier. This will help you discover flavors and nail down ingredients, giving you a fuller taste experience.
Mix it up!
Eventually, you’ll learn to how to detect different flavors. Something that might seem wildly different like a seaweed ale may contain a flavor that balances it out that you recognize. Think of a puzzle you can put together from different memories and tastes forming a new variety.
With so much out there to try, where do you start? A beer tasting course, wherever you’re headed, will give you a nice intro into different styles and ingredients so you can decide for yourself!
|Find beer tasting tours on GetYourGuide!|