To fully appreciate everything a beer has to offer sometimes you need to do a little more than just drink it. For drinkers who want to dive into the craft beer world, they suggest tasting beers to develop your palate, vocabulary, and knowledge.

If you’re drinking out of a glass or bottle, pour it into a clear glass so you can get a good look at it. Luigi Bormioli Birrateque glass will do just fine. Note the color of the beer, which can range from straw-colored to black. Can you see through the beer, or is it opaque or hazy? If you can get some head on it, note the color of that as well.

It’s good to know what temperature the beer is going to be by holding the glass for a moment. A warmer cellared cask ale is going to have a different reaction than, say, an ice cold pale lager. It’s all part of the sensory build towards drinking the beer.

Aroma makes up 80% of flavor, so it is incredibly important to take the time to appreciate and evaluate it. Our sense of smell is a thousand times sharper than our sense of taste, so there is a lot we can learn about a beer before we even taste it. 

After looking and smelling, you can finally bring that glass to your lips and take a sip… but wait! Now that the beer is in your mouth, let it linger on your tongue. Take a sip of the beer – enough to cover your palate. Like you did with the aromas, note the flavors. Are any malt characters coming through: dark fruit, caramel, chocolate, toast or smokiness? Can you detect any hop character: floral, citrus, grass, pine, earth, bitter, spices? The mouth-feel may have a number of manifestations: a bubbly, tingly carbonation; a smooth, creamy consistency; a body ranging from light to heavy; a short or everlasting finish that can be dry or wet; or any combination of these and other sensations. It’s all part of your individual sense and enjoyment of the beer.

You certainly don’t have to do all of this every time with every beer, but when you’re looking to fully appreciate and get to know a beer you might not be familiar with, following these five steps will ensure you get the best possible beer experience. 

Luigi Bormioli, the designer label of glassmaking, is synonymous with Italian Lifestyle. Our proprietary glassware formulas allow for an exciting fusion of elegance and technology.  Designed to enhance the tabletop and elevate the entertaining experience, these machine blown glasses are made in Italy, lead-free, durable, have laser cut fine rims, and will maintain their clarity after thousands of dishwashing cycles. You will enjoy their quality, brilliance, and strength for many years to come.