Friday, April 6, 2012

The Art of Beer Whispering

image from Society 6

There's a ton of literature out there explaining the proper tasting techniques when tasting beer. Anyone familiar with tasting wine, knows that you have to get all of your senses involved to appreciate the entire experience. In actually tasting a beer, as opposed to the ever tasteful art of shotgunning of a beer {I mean, I wouldn't know but I can guess)}, one can really discover the true depth of a beer, with all of its flavors and character. 

I also think it's important to keep in mind there are no wrong answers, or I'll just simply keep telling myself that. But seriously, I've always thought that everyone tastes differently - a beer too bitter for one person, might be sweet for another. And let's get real: it's beer. It's supposed to be fun. Here's a standard method of tasting beer as outlined on
  • Appearance
    • Color - one of the methods brewers use to describe a beer's color is the Standard Reference Method (or SRM). This method involves the use of spectrophotometry to assign a number of degrees SRM to light intensity.  hmm.. read this article to get down to the science of it. In real life, color descriptions will suffice (such as Dark Amber in color). But how smart would you sound describing a beer as 15 SRM?
    • Head- the foam on top of the beer
    • Carbonation Levels
  • Aroma (What does it smell like?)
  • Flavor (What does it taste like?)
  • Mouthfeel (How does the liquid feel on  your tongue?)
  • Overall Impression ( you like it?!)
Another way I found to go about tasting a beer a little less technically is called Beer Whispering, also from It seems like it creates a more memorable and abstract tasting experience, drawing upon more than just the liquid's characteristics. I like how this method really drives home the point, that there are no right or wrong tasting opinions and keeps it a little more open-ended. {Beer geeks, relax please.}
Beer Whispering
Express out loud what the beer has to say. Is it:
  • Happy/Sad?
  • What kind of aroma does it have?
  • Does it taste heavy or light?
  • Does the beverage inspire you?
  • Is it memorable?
  • What food would it best pair with?
I hearby declare this to be the new way I will drink beer from now on, by whether or not a beer inspires me. So profound. I love it.
Just to be clear and to wrap it up (you're welcome) don't ever shy away from stating your opinions about a beer. Your opinion and tasting notes are all that matters,anyways. It's beer - it's supposed to be FUN.

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