Whether you’re already an ale aficionado or just planning a fun activity among friends, learning how to taste beer properly can be an intriguing way to enjoy a brew. Keep it up and you’ll have even gained a new skill.
So, we’ve created this handy how-to guide for beer tasting at home. Take these easy steps and you’ll be sipping like a specialist in no time!
Put Down the Pint Glass
We recently wrote a blog about how to pour the perfect pint at home. If you read that post, you’ll know that lots of brewers sell their own branded glasses which are ideally suited to their products. That’s because the size and shape of glassware can affect the taste of the drink inside!
However, if you purchase one for this particular pursuit, it’s best to go for a tulip glass. The bowl shape and smaller rim ensure that all the aromas are concentrated together and can’t escape easily. To get your hands on one, browse our superb selection.
Appreciate its Appearance
The first thing to do once you’ve poured out your bottle correctly (visit our previous post to learn all about that), is to simply get a good look at your beer. Soak up the colour, how clear or hazy it is, and the amount of foam it has. As you try more brands, you’ll get to know the ins and outs of each style.
Before the next step, think about the temperature of your beverage. Depending on its type, a cold brew can sometimes mask its true flavour, while some are just as tasty chilled.
Use Your Nose
Now, swirl your drink to agitate the liquid and release all those lovely aromas. Then, give it a good smell, so you can detect all the different fragrances. A few short sniffs and one big one should do the trick.
To really test yourself, don’t peek at the packaging or any online tasting notes until you’ve tried it first. Then, see if you were right!
Now, the Taste Test
Finally, you can have a sip. Don’t swallow immediately though; first, let it swish around your mouth and allow your taste buds to tingle! Acquaint yourself with its consistency and body, and breathe out as you do. That way, when you swallow, you’ll have gotten all of the initial flavours on your tongue, and any aftertaste, too.
Note the hops and the bitterness level. Is the beer fruity or floral? Take in the malts, too, is it light, caramel-y or rich?