Tasting Craft Beer
There are many Craft Beers brewed in B.C. and they are increasing month by month. With such an amazing range of different beer styles, such as IPA’s, wheat beers, fruit beers, barly wines and porters, it’s no wonder that tasting Craft Beers has become every bit as sophisticated as tasting wine.
There has never been a better time to appreciate traditional B.C. beers, but you don’t have to become an expert. Such a wide range of flavours are available to you that you will soon realise what beers most appeal to your taste buds, whether they are chocolaty porters or light floral golden beers. Tasting beer is just like tasting wine, but forget about spitting it out. The first step is to make sure the beer you taste is served at the right temperature. Too cold and Craft Beer loses many of it’s complex flavours. Served too warm, it can lose it’s flavour and condition in the glass.
Use your eyes!
Beer should look good. It should be colourful and bright and if it is meant to have a significant head of froth, this should be thick and creamy. Remember also that some beers, such as wheat beers may be cloudy, but these too should look attractive and not dull or flat in appearance. Generally though, your beer should be bright and clear and your glass should not contain any sediment.
Use your nose!
The best way to sniff your beer is with a glass which is half-empty. This enables you to give it a quick swirl, place your hand over the glass to hold in the lovely aromas fighting to escape and then dive in and take a nice deep breath. You will soon learn to regognise key features such as hoppiness fom IPA’s, the burnt chocolate flavours of a stout or the banana nose of a wheat beer.
Now the taste!
As you take your first taste of beer you’ll notice the sweetness from the malts at the front of your mouth, while dry bitter flavours from the hops dominate the back of your mouth as you swallow the beer, also learn to appreciate the “finish” i.e. the lingering flavours.
Just like wine, beers have their own unique characteristics and complexities from the style, ingredients and the recipe. Tasting beer is as satisfying as tasting wine and you’ll soon learn to appreciate the various styles. Beer can be enjoyed on it’s own, but it is also exceptionally good with food, so don’t think for a moment that the dining table should be reserved for wine!. Experiment and you’ll soon become skilled at matching different beers to different food dishes.