How To Properly Taste Beer
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Most of the time we pour beer into our cups without thinking about it. We enjoy the flavors of our favorite brew, but unbeknownst to us we could be enjoying them a little bit more. This is where beer tasting comes in.
Properly tasting beer is a way to enjoy the subtleties of the beverage in a way you may not have thought about before. And with the rising popularity of craft beers, it can be especially rewarding to take that extra time to enjoy all the flavors the brewers incorporated into their beer. Here are a few ways to enjoy your favorite brew during the holidays.
To get the best flavor, we highly recommend doing your taste test and the beers found at some of our favorite beer of the month clubs – like the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club or Clubs Galore Beer of the Month Club.
It’s In The Pour
Proper beer tasting begins before the beverage gets anywhere near your mouth. The idea is to get about an inch worth of foam near the top of the beer after your pour. To accomplish this, tilt the glass at a 45-degree angle and pour the beer towards the center of the glass wall, gradually tilting the cup upright as more beer is dispensed. This should build up the perfect amount of foam.
Use Your Nose
Now, bring the beer close to your mouth and…smell it. That’s right, don’t taste it just yet—simply smell the aromas escaping from the foam. Does it smell like hops or does it have more of a malty aroma? Try to compare what you smell with some scents that are already familiar to you. Does it smell earthy, spicy, or fruity? Take three good sniffs.
Taste With Your Eyes
The last step before tasting the beer is to look at what’s going on in the cup. Is it a lighter beer or darker one? Is there a wide range of bubbles floating towards the top? Also take note about what kind of glass you poured your beer into. Are there any indentations in the cup that would cause the bubbles to congregate there?
You made it! Now take that first sip and let the liquid linger in your mouth for just a moment. Don’t treat it like it’s mouthwash, but also don’t just barrel it down the hatch either. There’s always a beginning, middle, and ending taste to the beer—and this is the beginning. Note the first impressions and also how the fluid feels when it first meets your tongue. Can you feel the bubbles dancing on your taste buds?
The Middle Stage
The middle stage of the first sip deals more with the consistency of the beer. Is it a lighter beer or does it have some nice body to it? It can be silky, chewy, heavy, or fuzzy. Paying attention to this middle stage is tough because your mouth was just introduced to a new beverage, so try to pay extra attention during this time.
Beer has a lot of residual sugars inside of it, and the hops do a lot to counteract this sweetness. In fact, the aftertaste of that first sip leaves the mouth feeling dry as your senses explore all the different taste palettes, ending with the hops. This is what ultimately gives beer that drinkability—as you’re constantly looking to wet your taste buds again after having them feel dry. It’s not always a dry finish though. Pay attention to the lingering tastes after you swallow that first sip.
Well, there you have it! Now you can impress your family at Christmas dinner with these simple hints. If you’re looking for some unique beers worth tasting, take a look at the beer clubs we reviewed for some refreshing variety this holiday season.