Beer Tasting 101: The Proper Way to Tasting Good Brew


With the whole world on lockdown and on quarantine because of the novel coronavirus, you have plenty of time to learn new skills, regardless if they’re useful or not. One of the things you can pick up that we’re certain you will enjoy is beer tasting.

Yup. You read it right. Apparently, there is a proper way of tasting and drinking a fine brew and not just chugging it all down. Whether they are the type that you buy in supermarkets or are finely brewed using only the finest German Hallertau hops, you can use any beer for practice.

Beer Tasting Like a Pro: The How-To’s

Step 1: Pour it in gently.

If you’re tasting a new brand, pour the content gently along the side of the glass or mug. Depending on the carbonation, the thickness of the head will vary.

If there’s a lot of carbonation, run it gently as you keep the glass tilted at an angle. If there is low carbonation, you can pour it straight into the glass to give you a thicker head.

Step 2: Take note of the appearance.

After pouring the drink in, check out if the head is thin or dense. Also, take note of its color depending on the type of brew you are tasting. If it’s a pilsner, then the head should be white. Light to medium colors goes with some varieties of stouts and porters.

Check out how the beer looks. Hold it up to a light to see what the color is and to see if it’s clear or hazy.

Step 3: Smell it.

The scent is an important part of evaluating the quality of a brew. Our taste buds are connected to our sense of smell.

Do you smell mostly hops or malt? Do they smell fruity? Is it sweet? Spicy? Different brews have different aromas. Take a few moments to sniff the drink first before taking your first sip.

Step 4: Take a sip and swish.

Finally, you can now taste the brew. But don’t swallow it yet. Let it linger in your mouth a bit. Swish it around so it touches the inside of your mouth, your lips, gums, teeth, and all over your tongue.

Take note of the initial sensation and your first impression. Some brews can taste entirely different from the first sip to the finish.

Pouring beerStep 5: Finish it.

Unlike wine, a beer’s taste can only be truly appreciated once it is swallowed. Take note of the lingering flavors and textures that the brew has.

Additional Tips

Never taste a new brand with food or after eating as your taste buds still have lingering flavors from the food you just ate. They can affect your impression of the brew.

Drink water before tasting any new beer to cleanse your palate. Even cheese and crackers can have an effect on a brew’s flavor.

When trying out several beers, always go by the color. Taste them from lightest to darkest.

Learning how to properly taste beer will make you appreciate it even more. Simply make sure to drink moderately and never drink and drive.

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