Beer tasting 101 – How to properly taste a beer.APPERITIVO Team
We suggest that you grab your favorite beer, sit in the most comfortable piece of furniture you can find, put on your reading glasses ( even if it is just to look wiser) and enjoy your beer like you never did.
1 – The Glass.
It may seem like a complete hoax, a useless act or just a marketing act altogether. And even though it’s true that the last one isn’t entirely wrong, when it comes to beer, the glass does matter. It is first and foremost true that it’s a marketing act, each beer producer gets the chance to adopt the glass to his brand and its target. The glass is the mirror of the beer itself and the first contact with the brand.
The glass is essential when it comes to taste, and it’s all about the rim. The shape and width of the rim is the single most crucial aspect of the glass; it changes the whole tasting experience.
While a narrow rim allows you to sip more consistently and fewer quantities at a time a wide rim will enable you to drink more significant amounts at once, and though it’s true that the later makes the carbonization process faster, it also allows you to drink it more quickly, preventing it from flating anyway.
The shape of the glass also conditionate the smells and their concentration. In a tulip glass, wide bottom and a short top, it condensates the head of the beer where you can find the citric scents, the hoppiness, and all that is characteristic from the beer you are drinking.
Light beers benefit from straight, wide, long glasses. You want to drink big gulps as it is not a very composed beer, its purpose is to refresh. A stronger brew with more hop components should be held in a glass with a larger bottom and a more strangled rim, so it conserves the head of the beer.
Having the right glass will help your tasting.
2 – Swirl and Look.
After you decided what glass fits your beer best you gently pour the beer and swirl the glass. This will help to unleash the aromas on your beer. Yeast, malt, hops. When swirling the beer, it will release the aromas present in the beer itself making it easier for you to identify them.
After swirling the beer give it a good look, watch its color, consistency, and shape of the head.
3 – Smell.
There are many different techniques for aroma sampling. Don’t worry we will cover them right here.
The first one is called the distant sniff: you pass the glass under your chin and take a sniff at the beer goes by. Hold the glass below and directly under your nose, move it from right to left and left to right and smell while you do it.
The drive by you swing the beer parallel to your chin and move it once from left to right smelling the trail. There are elements in beer that are so strong that overlaps any other sense. So if you feel the beer from right under your nose you will be overwhelmed and won’t be able to distinguish smells from each other, this technique prevents it from happening.
The Bloodhound technique: you stick the glass right under your nose and take three short sniffs. The quick sniffs, as opposed to long sniffs, serve to re-stimulate your olfactory nerves keeping your brain from being overwhelmed with information.
The long sniff: Take in a long, 2-second sniff to get the more deep aromas that will be stuck with you.
The covered sniff: Cover the glass with the palm of your hand and swirl it for a few seconds, take your hand from covering the glass and smelling intense once more. Including the glass will keep the aromas closed in the glass and then releasing it at once will allow you to have much more concentrated aromas leaving at once.
Swirl the glass and take a small gulp of the beer. Leave it in your mouth for one second before swallowing it. At this point, you will confirm the flavors you could smell in the sniffing tests. The main differentiating point that you will feel from smelling and tasting is the bitterness as it is something you cannot smell, you have to eat it. And each bear has its level of acidity, that you will uncover as you go on your tastings.
For final you should take a sip of the beer and exhale after you swallow. This will show you a more obvious sense of the aromas in the beer.
Now that you practically a pro at tasting beer grab your friends, your favorite pack of beers and give them a lesson.