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Beer Hopping: A Beginner’s Guide to Tasting Beer

Posted In Talking Points - By Herbert Lebaron on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018 With No Comments »

Friends toasting with beerAs one of the oldest beverages in the world, beer’s distinction as a fine liquor is only beginning. What was once considered a drink for the masses is now garnering popularity in finer circles of the alcohol world. But just because you don’t enjoy beer now, doesn’t mean you can’t learn to love it.

All around the world, people are learning to love beer and even purchasing home brewing kits online. But don’t go buy yourself galaxy hops just yet. For you to truly master beer, you have to learn how to appreciate it first.

Dos and Don’ts

Tasting beer is different from drinking beer. Therefore, there are certain things you want to avoid. One such action is drinking ice-cold beer or beer in a frosted mug.

That practice may work well at your local sports bar, but not so much for the beer’s flavor. A frosted mug will kill any carbonation and get rid of its aroma. Ice-cold beer will not only do the same, but also kill the flavor you want out to taste out of the liquor.

Experts suggest keeping your bottle in the fridge for up to 10 minutes before opening it and emptying into a clear, non-frosted glass. This can help you observe beer’s unique characteristics.

Look, Aroma, and Taste

Once you’ve emptied your beer into a glass, observe its color. This can range from straw yellow to dark brown. Also, take note of the beer’s opaqueness: Can you see through it or is it dark and gloomy?

Smell is also another consideration in beer. Give your glass a swirl like how you would a fine wine and take a whiff. Take quick sniffs of the brew and see what notes you can identify.

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Take a sip of your beer and let it sit in your mouth. This method allows the beer to bloom and expose its deeper flavors. How does it feel? Light and frothy or thick and bubbly? Does it feel astringent or oily? Observe for hints of sweetness or sourness as well.

Beer is as artisanal as any other alcoholic beverage. Observing these pointers can help you appreciate not just the beer’s flavor, but also all the hard work that goes into making it.