Beer Tasting

Drinking beer can be quite a unique experience if done properly. Many people like to down their icy cold beer as quickly as possible and move on to the next. That is completely fine. However, there are those who want to enjoy the quality that is put into a good beer. For those people, some knowledge on the subject will be needed.

When tasting beer, it is important that the drinker utilizes all of their senses. This may seem strange, but according to Morton Meilgaard’s “Meilgaard Beer Flavor Wheel” eighty to ninety percent of the different flavors of beer take the beer’s aroma into consideration. When tasting beer keep these things in mind:

-Aroma

-Appearance

-Taste

-Aftertaste

One common misconception that the average beer-drinker has is that, the colder a beer is, the better it is. Often times, beers are advertised as being “frosty, icy, cool,” etc. This is simply a marketing gimmick to ensure that their customers will overlook the poor quality of their cheap beer. Yes, these beers are cheap and they can be refreshing on hot days. However, they are not high-quality, good-tasting beers. With that being said, a good beer should be served between forty to fifty degrees Fahrenheit.

Another important factor to tasting beer is the knowledge of the different sections of the tongue. The tongue’s different parts deal with different taste sensations. For example, the tip of the tongue deals best with sweet flavors. With this in mind and in order to experience a beer in its totality, it is essential to spread the beer across the entire tongue. Here is a breakdown of the different tastes with their corresponding section on the tongue:

-Sweet Taste: Tip of the tongue.

-Salty Taste: Sides of the tongue towards the front of your mouth.

-Sour Taste: Sides of the tongue towards the back of your mouth.

-Bitter Taste: Back of the tongue.

A lot can be determined by the intensity of these tastes in a beer.

Here are some final tips to consider when beer-tasting:

-Start with sweet tasting beers first and gradually move to richer tasting beers.

-Cleanse your palate between each beer. It is okay to eat something in between as long as that something is lightly flavored and without salt.

-Use appropriate glassware. For a guide on the correct glassware for the correct beer, click here.

-Make sure there is enough head (foam) at the top of the glass of beer. This will release the beer’s aromatics and provide a better experience.

If these tips are applied to beer tasting, the experience will be vastly improved.

References:

-http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art31588.asp

-http://beer.pdqguides.com/beer-tasting-tips.html