The Proper Technique for Tasting Bier

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September 15, 2014 by Prost Brewing

A bier's taste has everything to do with its enjoyment.

A bier’s taste has everything to do with its enjoyment.

There are many great reasons to drink the finest German-style bier, but taste has to be at the top of the list. If we don’t enjoy the overall taste of a bier, including flavors and aroma, then all the other elements don’t really matter. How do you go about tasting a bier? Believe it or not, there’s a proper technique for tasting, and using it will enhance your drinking experience and help you better appreciate the bier.

The first step is to take a sip, slosh it around in your mouth to allow full contact with all parts of your mouth, and then swallow slowly. Record the overall taste character, including the bier’s aroma. Next, take a smaller sip and evaluate basic tastes. Does the bier taste sweet, bitter, or sour? Record the tastes you experience, and rate their intensities. Include off tastes, if any exist.

We’re not done yet! Take another small sip and work it over the back of your tongue and other mouth parts to determine the mouthfeel. Is it creamy, slick, chewy, or perhaps effervescent? Record the types and intensities of the bier’s mouthfeel. Take a fourth sip, work it over your tongue, throat, and other mouth parts to determine the aftertaste, or the finish. Record the type of aftertaste and the duration it lingers on your palate.

This technique can help you learn a lot about the characteristics of each bier style and differentiate between different malt types and hops varieties. You’ll soon be a connoisseur of German-style bier, if you’re not already. Prost!


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