How to Taste Beer

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To fully appreciate all a beer has to offer sometimes you need to do a little more than just drink it. Today we’re going to go over the five steps you should take to get the most out of your beer.


After pouring your beer into the proper glass, observe the color and look of the beer. Hold it up to a light to get a proper read on its appearance. What colors do you notice? How well can you see through the beer? All of this doesn’t impact too much on a beer’s taste, but it does play a part in the overall experience of a beer.


Gently swirl your beer around in the glass to agitate it and stir up some foam. Stick your nose right up to the beer and take a deep whiff. What do you smell? Is it hoppy? Sweet? What other flavors and scents are you reminded of? Although we don’t always realize it, smell plays a huge part in what we perceive as taste. Taking time to smell your beer before you drink it will ensure you’re getting as much flavor as possible when you finally taste it.

3. SIP

When you take a sip try to breathe in some air through your mouth in an almost slurping manner. Allowing the air to mix with your beer will further agitate it and ensure the flavors are at their most potent.


Move the beer around in your mouth. How does it feel? Is it sweet and viscous or thin and watery? As with most things, chances are it’ll be some what of a mix between the two. Notice the various tastes that hit your palate- What do you notice first? What do notice after that? A good beer will not have simply one flavor, but multiple tastes and sensations that will play out in your mouth.


Unlike wine, which can be fully taste without swallowing, beer must be gulped down to be fully appreciated. The part of the tongue best at detecting bitter flavors is at the very back. They only way to get at it is to swallow, the beer will hit the back of your tongue as it rushes down your throat.

You certainly don’t have to do all of this every time with every beer, but when you’re looking to fully appreciate and get to know a beer you might not be familiar with, following these five steps will ensure you get best possible beer experience.

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Carla Lauter was the founder of The Beer Babe and has been a beer blogger and expert for several decades. She's been interviewed in beer publications and podcasts about her favorite brews and the craft brewing scene. While she's ceased her involvement with The Beer Babe, her legacy remains in the various reviews and articles she has written.