Return to main page. Guide to Tasting Beer
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Tasting is the best part of brewing, as it rewards you for the long hard hours you've put into your creation. To effectively taste and evaluate one's beer, you must learn to distinguish the flavors as well as the aromas beers should and shouldn't have. Following a few simple steps, you'll be able to dissect each valuable characteristic of your beer and at the same time improve your overall knowledge and understanding of it.

Here's how:

  1. First, hold the beer glass up to the light and take a good look at your beer. Note it's clarity and color. Proper color will depend on the beer's style. The beer should not be cloudy unless it's a weiss (wheat) beer.
  2. There should be a steady rise of tiny bubbles in the glass. The beer's head should be full, long lasting and cling to the side of the glass.
  3. Now hold the beer glass under your nose and smell it. Can you smell the aroma of the hops? Can you smell the malts or grains? Are there any unpleasant aromas? No one aroma should be overpowering, they should blend together harmoniously.
  4. "Feel" your beer by taking a swallow. Feel the tingle of it over your tongue. The beer should be smooth and not have a bite. Is it properly carbonated?
  5. Now actually taste your beer. The sweetness of the malt and bitterness of the hops should be balanced. Are there any undesirable flavors?
  6. Taking all of the above into consideration, what is your overall impression of the beer?

You can evaluate your beers numerically by assigning a point value to each of the above categories. By keeping a record of your beer's scores as well as comments on each of the above categories, you can chart your progress and improvements as a brewer. This record also gives you a feel for when your beers are in their prime so you can enter them in competitions when they are at their best. Happy tasting!

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Revised: Sunday, July 12, 1998 18:00:23
Copyright 1996 by [Lee's Brewery].
All trademarks or product names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.