How To Taste Beer Like A Professional Beer Taster

February 5, 2022 // 6 minute read

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Different beers have become available to the masses in recent years. Craft beer for one – bringing new styles and tastes to beer geeks, like you and I.

If you’re struggling to find your perfect – and favorite – beer?

Don’t be discouraged!

Let your taste buds take flight.

Take a deep breath because this doesn’t require you to attend a beer judging certification program.

You don’t have to be a beer Sommelier or an advanced Cicerone to learn how to taste beer like a professional.

But… 

Tasting a beer is much more complex than just taking a sip. You need to consider; what it looks like, what it tastes like, what it smells like, and what it feels like. 

Even if you’re new to beer and have no background of how it’s being made, you still can be a pro at beer tasting.

Why so?

Tasting is a skill you can develop over time with practice and patience.

So, sit tight, we’ve come to the rescue…

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to taste beer like a pro.

Keep scrolling for more!

Step By Step Tasting Guide

The Perfect Pour

pouring beer

Equip yourself with the perfect glass…

A lot of beer tasting experts recommend using a stemmed glass that’s easy to swirl, similar to a wine glass. Swirling allows us to experience the beer’s aroma. 

The glass matters… 

…because it can affect the way you taste your beer. Remember to not freeze your glassware and keep it at room temperature.

Now, when pouring a beer… 

Make sure it’s only one-third of the way full to leave space for the beer’s aroma. And also to spill a little less when you are in the process of swirling.

Pour it like you mean it…

For 45 degrees, tilt your glass, then pour the beer with control. Ensure that the glass you are using is free from dirt and spotlessly clean.

Look

Assessing beer’s appearance creates an expectation of what your beer will taste like. And when thinking about beer’s appearance – 3C’s is the best guide for you.

look at the beer

Color

Beer’s color can range from gold, amber, and black. As a general rule, the darker the color of the beer – the warmer you serve.

Clarity

Most beers are clear, and we can see through them. Some beers are hazier than other beers, German-style beer, for one. Hazier beers are much creamier and fuller compared to clear beers. 

Lift up your glass to the light and take note of its color. 

Is it cloudy or clear?

Carbonation

You can look at the foam at the top of your beer, and you can see how much carbonation the beer contains.

Don’t forget to look at the head…

Look at the color of the bubbles at the top of the beer. 

What color is it? How thick is it?

Swirl

Give your beer a gentle swirl. It will release all the beer’s aroma into the air. It’s also a way to test the beer’s head retention.

As you swirl, the bubbles will rise up and bring up the aroma.

 The Smell

So, we drink now?

Not really. Before tasting beer – we must first smell.

The flavor is a combination of Aroma and Taste. 

smelling beer

According to the experts… 

We only have 5 basic tastes, but we can pick up different aromas, and that’s when the flavor is born. Aroma is the most important part of the flavor.

Tilt the glass and place your nose in there. 

But, don’t do long sniffs!

It will dry your nose and will affect your ability to smell. Short sniffs of two to three are good enough and don’t do a deep sniff.

There are five techniques that the professional beer taster uses to evaluate the beer’s aroma. But, basic short sniffs are good for starters.

If you get a hard time trying to smell the aroma…

You can warm the beer using the palm of your hands. As the beer warms, the aroma will be released.

Try to articulate what are the scent and aroma you are experiencing.

Drink

Now the part that you’ve been waiting for.

Take a sip of your beer. 

Let the beer run around inside your mouth. 

And, let it touch everything – your lips, teeth, gums, and all-around your tongue.

We’re not glugging here.

Let your taste bud immerse in the flavor that the beer is offering. Make sure to swallow it after. Flavor perception continues after swallowing – to be particular – the bitterness of the beer.

Taste

After taking a sip, take time to assess the flavor of the beer in your mouth.

How does it taste?

Take note of the initial and aftertaste. After taste is important. After we swallow, we wait.

Stop! Don’t go too fast!

This is the most common mistake of people when they’re trying to taste a beer. Take your time and indulge yourself with a few sniffs and sips. Do not finish it all at once.

The taste will be similar to its aroma.

Moving on…

Pay attention to how the beer tastes inside your mouth. The texture is important to the overall tasting experience.

After breathing out, try to detect the flavors.

How does the carbonation feel in your tongue?

Does it move fast? Does it move slow?

Are the bubbles thick or thin?

Taste Again

If you don’t get the taste and aroma at the first sip? 

Don’t worry!

Just wait for a few seconds and come back for another sniff and sip.

When you are a beginner… 

It will be harder for you to think of a description and identification of beer flavors during your first few attempts. 

Practice pays! Stick to it, and you’ll improve in no time.

Enjoy

enjoy your beer

Make sure to make the most out of your tasting experience. It’s better to assess and enjoy it at the same time.

Remember… 

Your palate will develop over time – so keep it cool. Enjoy this activity of beer tasting. Just appreciate the process, and don’t beat yourself about your lack of experience. 

Then, again… 

Practice pays!

Conclusion: How To Taste Beer Like A Professional Beer Taster

Still…

Nothing compares when you are sharing your beer with another. Finding the perfect beer for you is yours to determine.

Think about your experience and talk about it with a friend.

Remember that you don’t have to be a professional to enjoy tasting a beer. Simply put the glass on your mouth and enjoy.

But… 

If you want to experience and taste the beer like an expert – simply follow the steps above.

Cheers!

how to taste beer

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