Beer tasting for beginners

Tips from the Beer on Broadway Festival

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Beer on Broadway 2006 - report on the festival

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Beer on Broadway

Ealing Summer Festival 2006



If you want to find your way through the maze of tastes & terminology, you need to taste beer the way the experts do. Here's how�


Use your eyes�   Clarity! Nearly all beer should be clear with no sediment�


and your nose�   Best way is to clamp your hand over the glass and swirl, then take a deep sniff. As with wine, you're limited only by your powers of description! Aromas include fruit, caramel, chocolate, leather, cut grass, burnt matches, etc.

�Condition' is important too � a measure of a beer's �excitement' or �balls'. An indicator of this is the amount of natural CO2 present. Flat is bad! There should be some tiny bubbles present under the surface when the beer is swirled, and it should produce a tingle when it comes into contact with the tip of your tongue.


And then, of course, TASTE�   the front and sides of your tongue will get the sweet tastes of the malt first, with the bitter �hoppy' tastes registering at the back of your mouth as an �aftertaste'.


Clever stuff eh? Well, up to a point, because the judgement that's important to most brewers is, quite simply, �Do I like it enough to buy another pint?�


May 23rd 2005