How To Taste Beer
You may love beer, but do you know how to taste beer? Of course, you know what beer tastes like, but you could appreciate the different subtleties of taste if you used some of the techniques of professional beer tasters. Speaking of which, could you imagine being a professional beer taster? It sounds like a dream job where you’d never call in sick.
To taste beer like the professionals, you will need:
- Several kinds of beer
- Tasting volunteers
- Time your tastings. The best time to taste beer, according to the experts, is between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., because you have enough hunger to fully activate your taste buds but you are not yet tired.
- Rinse your mouth with beer before you begin to taste beer. It sounds kind of weird, but the first beer will be a shock to your taste buds and will suffer in comparison to the next one. This rinsing will clear your palate and compensate for the shock.
- Chill all beers to the same temperature. Flavors in beer are best tasted at 50 to 60 degrees instead of frosty cold.
- Choose your glassware. Make sure all glasses are the same size and material. They should be washed clean and allowed to air dry. Some people are influenced by the color of the beer and use opaque glasses instead of clear ones when they taste beer.
- Choose your lighting. Beer looks best under natural light. Make sure that what you see doesn’t impact what you taste. Some people taste beer under red lights that make all beers appear identical.
- Pour your beer. Make sure you pour each beer out in an identical manner. Pouring makes all the difference in how much aroma is released and how much head is formed. If you pour differently, one beer may have an advantage over another.
- Smell the beer. The aroma of the beer will tell you as much as the taste. Smell the beer as soon as you can after pouring. Close your eyes and take a forceful sniff. Pay attention to exactly how you do it so that you can smell each beer in the same manner. Evaluate the beer for aroma, bouquet and hoppiness. You do not want to detect any skunkiness or wet newspaper smell.
- Taste the beer. Take a sip, hold it in your mouth for a few seconds, and then drink it. Beer tasters do not spit the beer out like wine tasters do. Evaluate the beer’s flavor for sweetness, bitterness and the way it feels in your mouth.
- Pause before tasting the next beer. Wait about fifteen seconds. Do not eat anything or rinse your mouth with water.
- Decide which beer you like the best. Because everyone’s taste is unique, don’t be surprised if there’s some amount of disagreement about which beer is the best.