Guest Blog by Emma Willson
Beers are an exquisite variety of drinks that are refreshing and fun. But the drink is beyond just bitterness and froth. Rather the drink carries a complex bouquet and flavor palate in its many diverse varieties that can be quite fun to experience during a beer tasting.
Experiencing the intricate details of the drink during a tasting instead of simply pouring and swallowing it can be exciting. It will help you learn more about the drink and pick your favorites. Here are ten essentials you should know before going for a beer tasting.
1. Know The Types
There are two major styles of beer – Ales and Lagers. They are differentiated by preparation methods, such as the use of different types of yeast and brewing techniques.
Lagers are the most common type of beer that is brewed at low temperatures and goes through several months of storage in near-freezing conditions. This step contributes to the smooth and crisp flavor palette of the style.
Ales, on the other hand, go through brewing at higher temperatures that introduce fruity flavors into the drink. Hybrid beers are popular these days that combine the yeast variety used for preparing ale with lager brewing techniques to give a smooth but strong finish.
2. Know the Styles
There is incredible diversity in beer styles, each of which carries a niche characteristic within it. It is important to understand these styles to explore the innate flavors of the beer. Here are a few popular styles you should know.
Indian Pale Ale is among the best selling craft beer style with its intense hop flavor, balanced malt and some varieties that exhibit fruity, floral, and spicy notes. Pilsners are a lager variety originating from the Czech Republic that has a dominant taste of hops.
Stouts and Porters are often considered new types of beer rather than a style. Stout has a dense body and hints of sweet and roasted ingredients. They are usually dark in color. Porters are quite similar to Stouts, except they have a chocolatey taste and feel to it.
Ambers are easy to distinguish with their bright amber to a red color palette and malty hints of caramel. They could be either ales or lagers.
3. Cleanse Palate
The purpose of beer tasting is to enjoy the deep-rooted flavors hidden in a tall, frothy glass. The best way to do so is to cleanse your palette often to differentiate between the ingredients in every new variety.
Rinse in between every beer with some water to start fresh and enjoy the intricate flavors and notes in every glass you taste. Sip just a little bit of water and swirl around. Spit the water, and you are ready to continue with your tasting.
4. Always Drink From A Glass
Beer tasting is a deep and intuitive experience, quite different from chugging a bottle on a hot summer day. Hence the best way to understand and explore your beer is to pour it into a proper beer glass.
The process helps to release the complete aroma and taste notes of the drink and give you a wonderful experience overall.
5. Pour It Right
Not just the temperature, pouring it right helps to create the right amount of foam that is crucial to bottled beer in the best way. If not, you will end up simply swallowing gas.
Hold your glass and tilt it to a 45-degree angle. Start pouring the beer slowly up until it is half full. Now hold the glass straight and pour the rest in the middle while slowly raising the bottle. Having about an inch and a half of foam on the top should be perfect to relish the drink.
In recent times canned beers are increasingly becoming the popular way of enjoying craft beers. These cans in vibrant colors and designs are eco-friendly and protect the integrity and taste of the drink efficiently. They are lightweight and easy to relish anywhere without having to pour it down a glass.
6. Watch The Temperature
The temperature at which you taste a beer contributes to accessing its authentic taste and aroma. Drinking beer that is either too cold or hot will affect the carbonation and bitterness.
Remove beer from refrigeration and keep it at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before you begin your tasting. The beer should be chilled to enjoy a perfect beer tasting.
Lagers are best consumed at 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit range, whereas Ales taste best around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Strong Ales require higher temperatures at around 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Don’t Chug It All
Beer tasting is about getting your hands on many different styles and varieties. Hence an important point to remember is to never drink too much.
Try to drink just 2 – 3 ounces of every variety. Also, limit the number of varieties or styles to 12 – 14 per session. These tips help to reduce the chances of palate fatigue or getting too drunk.
8. Chew To Drink
Swishing the drink around in the mouth is a common practice during a wine tasting. Similarly, chewing the beer in your mouth helps to unearth the complex texture of the drink, which is a mixture of a frothy head and a heavier body.
After you swallow, take about a moment to analyze how intense the flavors are and how long do they linger. These points help to understand the intense texture of the drink even better.
9. Drink In The Right Order
The order of tasting your beer is critical to enjoying the different flavors present in your drink. Choosing beers that have bold and aromatic flavors will overpower your taste buds and make the rest of the experience boring.
The best way to do so is to warm up your taste buds with light varieties that have a simple palate and soft hints of bitter or sweet flavors. White ales or Pale Lagers are a good choice for this.
10. Always Choose Fresh
Freshly brewed varieties are the best choice for beer tasting. Tasting beer that is older than a few months may not be a worthy experience as their authentic flavors might be contaminated from the storage. You can find fresh Beers at liquor stores near me.
A month old is the sweet spot to explore the fine details of the drink. Anything more than 90 days old is simply not worth trying.
Identifying the right beers for your taste is all about experiencing the many varieties with an open mind. It will help to learn more about the drink to shortlist your favorites. Use these tips to relish your next beer tasting with fun and delicious flavors.
Author Bio: Emma Willson is a passionate writer & guest blogger. She is originally based out of California and has visited 16 countries of North America, South America and Europe. She continues to travel and has been working as a freelance writer for 4 years.
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