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Posted 02/07/2023 in Resources

How to Taste Beer. Sip and swill the beery way.

How to Taste Beer. Sip and swill the beery way.

Aside from refreshing, beer is about the look, smell, taste, and drinkability, discovering the complexity and flavours hiding in the glass of amber liquid, as the brewer intended.

Just like wine, different beer styles are suited to different foods, and occasions, and there are many ways to describe beer. Your taste buds will let you know if you like or don’t like a particular beer or style.

Assuming your beer is perfectly chilled, here a few tasting tips to make sure any beer you try will always be a unique, and enjoyable experience.

Time for the fun part, tasting the BEER!



Start by pouring little bit of beer into a glass of your choice. For a proper tasting, use a stemmed glass like a wine taster, even a champagne flute will work well for a tasting session as it helps to keep warm hands off the body of the glass, and traps some of the aromas from the hops and malts in.



Take a moment to visually check the colour, clarity, cloudiness, head formation, then swirling the beer gently in the glass, and taking note of the body. Some beers like IPAs can be cloudy or have a haze, usually described in the name, and some bottle fermented beers might have some floating yeast, and sediment depending on the beer style.



Swirl the beer gently in the glass again to release the aromas, tilt the glass on its side a little so that the beer is close to the edge to take in its aromas.



The moment of truth for the brew! Take a small sip of your beer to taste the flavours, mouthfeel and finish, as well as any additional characteristics you may notice like the sweetness, acidity, bitterness and fizziness.

  • Sweet notes are the malts and will be on front of the tongue.
  • Sourness, acidity will be noticed on the back and sides of the tongue and gums.
  • Bitterness from the hops will be noticed in back of the tongue.

If you are trying a few beers at the same time, take note of the differences in colour, aroma, and consistency, and compare the beers to the others in your selection.

BEER Flavor Wheel

Check out the Beer Flavour Wheel that explains all the flavors you might come across in a beer.


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