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How to Appreciate Beer Using All Five of Your Senses

You don’t have to be a beer connoisseur to know there’s more to drinking a brew than just gulping it down. Although you may already know what kinds of beer you like from drinking it, there’s an important aspect of beer you could be missing out on – appreciating it.

And when it comes to learning how to appreciate beer, you have to use all five of your senses. It’s obvious that taste and smell play a large part in experiencing beer, however, using your other senses are just as important when it comes to fully appreciating it.

Each beer has a unique flavor profile with different colors, clarity, aromas and levels of carbonation, all carefully crafted by brew masters to create something extraordinary. So, if you’re not taking it in with every one of your senses, you’re ultimately missing out on all that your beer has to offer. Not sure how to go about this process? We have plenty of tips for you.

Sound: From the moment you open the can or bottle, or when you pour your beer into your glass, you should be listening to the sounds it creates. Listen to the crack of the tab or the pop of the bottle cap, the louder the sound, the more carbonated the beer will be.

Sight: Before you take your first sip, you should take notice of the color, the clarity and the thickness of the foam. The colors of beer can vary greatly and go far beyond just light and dark. They cover a spectrum of hues from pale gold, to reds and even blackish brown. Look at the clarity of the beer as well – is it hazy or clear? Additionally, look at the foamy head of the beer which can be thick or sparse and can range in color from white to tan.

Smell: After you’ve had a good look, take in the aroma of your beer. This is probably one of the most important senses when it comes to tasting beer, as most of the flavor is actually in the smell. Give the glass a gentle swirl and then take a small sniff. It could smell like fruit, chocolate, pine or coffee and it may be intense or subtle, but whatever you’re smelling gives you a good indication of what the beer will taste like.

Taste: And finally, it’s time to taste the beer. Take a small sip and let it rest in your mouth for a bit. Identify some of its flavors, but remember that your judgement may be skewed from food, other beers, toothpaste or whatever else may still be on your palate. Our taste buds can only pick up five flavors: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and savory. So, take another sip and pay attention to any of these five flavors that may be present.

Touch: In addition to enjoying the taste, pay attention to how the beer feels on your tongue. Does it feel thick or watery? Does is tingle from the carbonation or is it sour enough to make your mouth pucker?

All of your senses play a crucial role in appreciating beer, however there’s also nothing wrong with having a drink just for fun with no attention to detail required. But if you’re exploring new beers and trying to really taste them, you owe it to the people who devotedly crafted the brew – and to yourself – to take in all of its elements and not just chug.

Learn about our delicious craft beers and come in to one of our locations to experience them for yourself!