For so many people, the idea of being a beer connoisseur like a wine expert is a world far removed, but beer is a drink that definitely holds its own in comparison to fine wines and stinky cheese! In fact, if you have a fantastic palate, you could be a beer connoisseur yourself. What are the things that you need to remember so you can taste beer like a professional?
Always Cleanse Your Palate First
It can be so easy to knock down beer after beer, but you need to remember that anything you consume before chasing the beer is going to influence the taste. While we all know when beer goes bad, we’ve got to understand the foods and drinks we consume in the run-up to quaffing beer can make a massive difference in the taste. If you want to get all of the flavor notes, just consume water before and afterward.
Learning About Different Styles
There are different types of beer, but they boil down to two main categories: ales and lagers. Ales are fermented at warmer temperatures and use what is called top-fermenting yeast, which floats to the top of the tank as it binds with the sugars in the liquid. Lagers are brewed at cooler temperatures and use bottom-fermenting yeast, resulting in lighter flavors. But there are more than 90 styles of beer including pale ales, stouts, porters, wheat beers, pilsners, and India Pale Ales (IPA).
Tasting the Beers
There is a routine that, much like any wine drinker, you should do before you start consuming. After ensuring your palate is cleansed you can look at some of the following things to get the most out of the beer-tasting experience:
- The color. When you are tasting different beers, you need to go from light beers like pilsners or golden ales all the way through to porters and stouts, which tend to be darker brown or black.
- Sniffing. Like any wine drinker, get that glass in your nose and pass it by your nostrils once or twice. You have to remember your taste buds and nostrils work in tandem, so the smell can give you a lot of subtle hints about the beers. Take another smell before you have a sip.
- Swirl the glass. This can cause the beer to foam slightly but can increase the scent.
- Sipping the beer. When you take a little sip, make sure it rolls over your tongue before you swallow it, and you don’t need to push it up against the back of your teeth like drinking wine. You may note a few different flavors, for example, bitter, salty, sweet, and darker beers may provide subtle flavors like coffee or cloves.
Being a beer connoisseur is a great way to get more out of your beer drinking. A lot of people don’t like drinking beers but if you like great craft beer and you are not content with just consuming beers on match days, this might be a great way to enhance your enjoyment.