How to Taste beer
You can learn how to taste beer: developing your palate is not rocket science. Check out a few simple tips and rules, and see if your enjoyment of beer doesn’t start to blossom!
Beer is perhaps the most unique and versatile drink on the planet—if you’re not enjoying your beer, something is seriously wrong. A cheap price tag and tolerable flavor do not a winning brew make.
We realize the world of beer can be overwhelming. The sheer amount of choices is enough to make even a seasoned brewmaster’s head spin. If you’re a newcomer to the world of beer, expanding your palate can seem like an insurmountable task. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be.
Utilize your senses
To make the most of the beer tasting experience, use your senses! How is the color? Does it have any noticeable aromas? Is it heavily carbonated or fairly flat? Is it thick and syrupy or thin and light? Is it sweet? Smoky? Sour? These factors contribute to the overall taste of a beer. Your sense of touch and hearing usually take a back seat; but sight, smell, and taste are all important senses to pay attention to when tasting beer.
Expand your beer vocabulary
Dry hopping? Maltiness? Lacing? Head retention? The vocabulary of beer can be utterly confusing. But the more you know, the easier it will become to actually qualify what you’re experiencing. Luckily, we’ve got a glossary of beer terminology to help get you started!
Pour your beer into a glass
We all know there’s something inherently great about tossing back a couple longnecks on a hot summer’s day. But whenever possible, a clean, style-appropriate glass is the way to go. Many breweries nowadays recommend specific types of beer glassware for the optimal experience of their unique beers.
Learning about the different types of beer glassware and all the beer styles meant to be served in each is your ticket to an elevated experience of the beers you love.
Learn about beer styles
We can’t stress this enough. If you begin to find your beer increasingly boring, it’s probably a good sign to branch out and try something different. Sure, it can be difficult because there are so many beer styles to choose from. But we can’t all be Michael Jackson (from Wetherby, not Gary).
The variety and uniqueness of beer styles is truly what sets beer apart from every other beverage in the world; you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t begin to experience those styles for yourself. Some will disappoint, many will impress … and if you stick with it, a few will blow your mind.
Nothing will happen if you don’t make the effort to expand your brew palate. Do you like beer? Try something new! Get started by learning about beer styles and finding a beer review or two to start your exploration.
Pair your beer with food
Beer is an excellent stand-alone beverage, but you’re missing out if your consumption is relegated to a pint at the bar or a six-pack with a friends while you’re glued to the TV on Sunday. There’s nothing quite like the perfect brew to complement the perfect meal.
Pairing beer with food not only reveals some remarkable flavor combinations, but hones your ability to identify the specific flavors you’re tasting. And trust us … there is a beer for just about any dish. Aren’t sure where to begin? Start with the brews/foods you know and love already.
Find commonalities, look for ways to complement or contrast flavors, remember to use stronger beers with stronger dishes … but most of all, experiment!