DOs and DON’Ts of Craft Beer – Tips for enjoying your beer.
DO take more than one sip when trying a new beer.
Aromas can be tempting and deadly. Flavors can be complex and barring. Aftertastes can confuse and beguile. So, take your time. Let it all hang out a while before you decide if you really like (or dislike) a beer.
DO enjoy your beer at the correct temperature.
As we mentioned in our first round of Beer Facts, that does not always mean as cold as scientifically possible. Why? Well, the sensation of coldness inhibits the tongue’s taste receptors, and so by over-chilling your beer, you are numbing your palate to any nuances of flavors. British Ales, high-gravity Barley Wines, and Bocks will really open up if served just slightly chilled. Check the above link to our Beer Facts blog post for other recommended temperatures.
DO employ the correct glassware.
The tulip glass, the flute, and the imperial pint are all things of great beauty. Learn to enjoy your beer in the correct glassware, not only for the visual verification that is may imply, but also to maximize the flavor. Yes, the right glassware can enhance your beer; by keeping it cooler or providing more surface area for it to breathe, for example.
DO pay attention to ABV.
The craft beer industry is a wonderfully crazy ride, and along with that, some potent brews have been created. Some IPAs and Imperial stouts are in the double digits, and just a few of those can wipe out your weekend. Play safe, folks.
DO drink your beer flight in order.
Usually when trying several craft beers in one sitting, such as a flight or sampler, it is good practice to start with the lightest mouthfeel and lowest ABV beers, moving on to heavier and stronger beers towards the end. This saves your palette from being overwhelmed at the start and missing out on understated flavors of the lighter beers. Try not to go back and forth – you’ll only muddle your palate.
DO take tasting notes.
Slightly nerdy? Possibly, but it shows that you take your beer seriously. Keeping track of likes and dislikes, subtle taste differences, and new names and recommendations can get overwhelming otherwise. Better yet, use an online beer rating system such as Tap tracker to rate your craft beers and keep records of your favorites.
DON’T store your beer in the light.
Light is the main factor in making beer turn bad; a bottle of beer can become more ‘sulfurous’ when touched by sunlight. This is why some companies choose to use brown bottles – they block the most light and protect the beer as much as possible. This is also why kegs do not have windows.
DON’T store your beer too warm.
Try and store your beers below room temperature, and when buying craft beer from a store, try and purchase ones that have been cooled, even if you don’t intend on drinking immediately. Warmth can speed the rate at which beer loses its freshness too.
DON’T drink on an empty stomach.
Rookie mistake. Eating food before or while drinking beer changes the way that your body metabolizes the alcohol. In short, it means that instead of feeling tipsy during your first beer, you’ll be able to savor more of your beer-drinking experience (and probably be able to order another beer or two).
DON’T wear perfume or cologne.
Strong smells can interfere with the scent of a beer, particularly any craft beers with lighter flavors and smells. Try to keep you (and your surroundings) strong odor free while tasting beers.
DON’T drink and drive.