Beer is considered by many drinkers to be a pretty easy and simple drink to have. However, with the rise of specialty craft beers, people have begun paying extra attention to beer tasting. Much like with wine tasting, these techniques can help you elevate your beer drinking experience…
Beer Tasting: An In-Depth Look
Flavor and aroma
The flavor and aroma of a beer go hand-in-hand and play an important role in beer tasting. In fact, they play an important role in anything that we eat or drink. For example, if something smells good, then we believe that it’s going to taste good too. If the smell or taste don’t line up, then it impacts our ability to enjoy the food or drink.
This same idea applies to beers as well. The first part of the beer that most people experience is the aroma. Considering how many craft beers have such unique aromas, these all can have an influence of how the beer ends up tasting. In the end, you want to find beers where these elements compliment each other.
Mouthfeel, unlike flavor and aroma, is where beer tasting gets a little abstract. Breaking it down, it’s easy to see what mouthfeel means. It’s how the beer feels in your mouth when you drink it. But what does that mean for when you’re tasting it, and what impacts it? And what should you be looking for in a beer’s mouthfeel?
A beer’s mouthfeel is impacted by a number of things. The texture, pH levels, ABV, carbonation, and temperature are just some of the things which can change how a beer feels. Mouthfeel will also vary depending on the beer style. For example, a lager should be crisp, where as a stout is more thicker. Meanwhile, IPAs should be similar in mouthfeel, even if they’re different flavors.
Putting it together
Once you understand these three beer tasting concepts, it’s time to put them together. If you’re familiar with wine tasting, then the procedure is the same. First, take a good look at the beer, especially in regards to its color and structure. Then, take in some of the aromas to see what the flavor might be.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to take your first sip. Don’t be too hasty and just drink it normally. Instead, give it a chance to sit in your mouth so you can figure out it’s mouthfeel. Remember, you don’t have to be like a professional taster. Instead, it’s just about getting some extra enjoyment from your beer and getting familiar with what you like.