Beer Tasting 101
So how did you spend your Friday night?
Drinking alone in a 5'x'7' padded room talking to yourself?
Cool! Me too!
I'm always amazed when I talk with brewers about beer. Their knowledge and love of the craft is inspiring. So, I'm taking it upon myself to learn more. Not only about the process of brewing but the tasting of the beer. It's an art unto itself.
The best way for me to learn is by doing. So, I cracked a Hazy IPA called TOME from Half Acre Brewing in Chicago. (It was one of the few craft brews in my local liquor store)
"Its final compounds POP with Citra, Mosaic, Idaho 7 and Centennial, but it’s still tangled up in the horns of original pale ale – a sweet and creamy core."
All of which I eventually picked out through my uneducated taste buds but could never say so succinctly.
But maybe some day? I'll never be a Cicerone, but maybe with enough practice I'll be able to express WHY I like a beer.
For one....The smell of a beer is hugely important. Actually...not just of beer but in anything you taste. The nose & tongue work closely together in order for you to get the specific experience that the brewer was crafting.
If you take the time to smell it before you taste it, it brings out characteristics that you wouldn't have noticed otherwise.
The same goes for after you've tasted it. Take another whiff and you may notice a completely different element.
Also...there are different techniques to smelling a beer. I know. Sounds pompous but I'm all in at this point.
The bloodhound technique is short sniffs. There's the long sniff. There's the drive by...where you waft it as the glass is going past your nose.
Then there's the Dutch oven technique. It's not called that...but it should be. You hold your hand over the top of the glass and swirl the beer. Then stick your nose under the "covers" and you get a more concentrated waft.
I'll never be a Cicerone, but maybe with enough practice I'll be able to express WHY I like a beer.
It's that simple. Do I like it? Yes. Why? No idea!
Ignorance is bliss, mostly. I don't have to think too much about it. Would I buy a 4 pack of these? Yes. That's all I need.
But what if I try to pick out tastes and notes and smells and all the things that many craft beer lovers are able to describe? Would that make me enjoy the beer more? Maybe.
At least it will make me appreciate the "craft" of craft beer.
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