How would you react if ever invited to the beer degustation? Of course, it may feel a bit unusual to treat a mug of beer as a glass of wine. Still, taking the time to really appreciate the beer in front of you can open the door to a whole different level of enjoyment.
Check these steps in order to get the most out of your beer - who knows, maybe one day you’ll decide to host a beer tasting party!
During a tasting, serve beer -- like you would wine -- in order from the lightest-flavored to the strongest. This usually means serving bitter beers before sweet ones and light-colored beers before dark ones, but also pay attention to the alcohol content (sometimes expressed as ABV -- alcohol by volume -- or gravity) and serve less-alcoholic beers first.
Pour the beer into a proper glass (clear and properly-shaped). As with wine, different glasses bring out and highlight different flavors in a beer. Choosing the right beer glass may be confusing in the beginning, but we’ve got your back! Check out Luigi Bormioli Guide to Beer Glasses here.
Then, raise the beer in front of you in order to observe the color and look of the beer. Do not hold your beer to direct light as this will dilute its true color. The clarity of a beer can vary from brilliant to cloudy. Of course, the appearance doesn’t impact too much on a beer’s taste, but it does play a part in the overall experience of a beer.
Swirl your beer, gently in the glass. This will pull out aromas, slight nuances, loosen & stimulate carbonation and test head retention. Stick your nose right up to the beer and take a deep whiff.
A hint: warm your beer up in hands to release more aromas if you need. Really cold beer tends to mask some of the flavors.
Now it’s time to taste. Sip the beer, but do not swallow at once. Take in just enough to coat your mouth. Let it hit your lips, gums, teeth, and all around your tongue.
Finish it. Unlike wine, which can be fully taste without swallowing, beer must be gulped down to be fully appreciated. Take a few sips with a pause in between.
Enjoy! Relax. Take a deep breath. Smell the beer again, and taste it again. Think over the flavour - did you enjoy it? Does it taste like the previous kinds you tried?
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 best possible beer experience.
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