How to Taste Beer

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

The first thing one notices about beer is its appearance. Take a few moments to really examine it. Put the beer in front of you and take note of its color, clarity, and carbonation. Not all beers should be clear.

Swirl the beer inside the glass to bring out its aromas and stimulate the carbonation.

After you swirl the beer, give it a good sniff. Two-thirds of taste is based on smell. To get a fuller flavor, place your nose at the edge of the glass and breathe in the scents with an open mouth. Try to break down the aroma and identify the individual smells. Remember to give the beer a swirl each time you do this.

Now taste the beer. First take a small sip, and let it swivel around the inside of your mouth for a little bit. Do not swallow it immediately. Take note of the consistency of the body and the carbonation. Try to detect that different tastes which include sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.

Finally, swallow. Beer drinkers look for the strength of the bitterness, which is detected by the back of the tongue. Unlike wine, swallowing is necessary to truly taste any beer.