Have you ever sat down with a beer and tried to put your finger on what you were smelling or tasting in it, but couldn’t quite get there? Learning how to critically taste beer doesn’t need to be complicated. Here are some basic tips you can use to increase your enjoyment.
1. Always drink your beer from a glass. The reason for this is that the perception of flavor is up to 70% reliant on your sense of smell. If your nose isn’t breathing in beer, you’re not getting the full experience.
2. Pass the glass under your nose once before you really commit to smelling it. This will help your brain acknowledge the beer aroma in the surrounding air and help separate the two.
3. Stick your nose in the glass, (not into the beer… don’t drown) and take a couple of short smells and then a big whiff.
4. Take a sip of your beer. Let it roll around in your mouth for a moment before swallowing.
5. After you swallow, breathe out through your nose. This will let you smell things that you didn’t notice in step 3 and complete your experience.
With all of these steps, think about what you’re detecting and what it tastes or smells like to you. There are no wrong answers. What you perceive is just as valid as anyone else’s description. Enjoy!
If you’d like to join us tasting some beer, check out our Asheville brewery tours!