The Rise of Craft Beer
Craft beer tasting events are becoming more and more popular as craft beers continue to grow in popularity. Whether you’re attending a craft beer festival, craft brewery tour or just at your local bar for happy hour, there is always something new to learn about craft beers. With so many different craft breweries out there it can be hard to keep up with all the latest trends and styles of craft beer.
Miami Brewing Company is one of these special breweries, located in Homestead, the heart of South Florida. Their craft beers are made with locally sourced ingredients for a truly artisanal flavor. They have their own craft beer tastings every day, so you can always try something new!
This article will provide 10 essential guidelines that should help you become an expert craft beer taster!
Become an Expert Beer Taster
1.- Know the Types and Styles of Beer
There are two main types of beer: lagers and ales. Lager beers use a bottom-fermenting yeast while ale uses top-fermenting yeasts. Some craft breweries make hybrid styles such as Kolsch, Altbier or Cream Ale which fall between the two categories (less hoppy than an ale but not quite as malty as a lager).
Hybrid craft beers are becoming more and more popular, so if you’re looking to expand your craft beer knowledge it may be helpful to try out some of these hybrid styles!
In general, ale craft beers have a fruitier flavor while lagers tend to be crisp with less intense flavors.
Beer can also vary in color, some are darker and some are lighter. Darker craft beers tend to have more intense flavors while lighter craft beers are usually sweeter and crisper.
Lagers- light, crisp & refreshing (can be dark or pale depending on the type of malt used)
Ales- vary in color (usually darker), fruity flavor with hints of spice and caramel
Just like there are two different main types of beer, these can come in a lot of different styles. For example, a very famous style of beer is the IPA, or Indian Pale Ale, which is a craft beer with a strong hop flavor.
IPA craft beers have an intensely hoppy flavor and are usually amber to copper in color. IPA’s can have fruity flavors as well. For example, Miami Brewing Company’s Vice IPA is an American Indian Pale Ale that pours a light straw color with a fluffy white head. Light crips and citrus aromas on a malty backbone with fruity hop notes on the nose.
Pilsners are another style of beer. A pilsner is a craft beer that is pale in color, usually golden to light orangish-yellow. Pilsner craft beers have their own unique flavors as well which are generally crisp and lighter than other craft beers with less intense maltiness.
Stouts are craft beers that are dark brown to black in color. They have a roasted malt flavor with hints of chocolate, coffee, or caramel, and sometimes fruity flavors as well.
Porter craft beers are similar but tend to be lighter than stout craft beers while still being darker than the average lager craft beer.
These are just some examples of beer styles, although taprooms and craft beer breweries have been creating their own for a very long time. This is why when you attend a beer tasting, it’s important to know some of these things so you can understand what your bartender is explaining before diving in and discovering the amazing flavors!
4.- Drink from the glass, slowly.
When beer tasting, it is very important to do it from a proper glass and not from the bottle.
The craft beer will have a proper glass, so you should too! It’s important to keep in mind that craft beers are meant to be enjoyed responsibly and tasting from the right vessel is one of those responsibilities.
The glass helps to release aromas and to maintain a craft beer’s head.
The head of a craft beer is foam that forms on top when the craft beer is poured into its proper vessel. A lot of times, this can be where most of the flavors come from! In addition, smelling your craft beers before drinking them will help you determine what kind of beer it is.
Tasting beer is an experience, and chugging it will not help you get the true tastes and flavors of your artisanal beer. The perfect amount to try from each beer is around 4 ounces, and craft beers usually come in 12-ounce servings.
If you’re trying tasters or flights, take your time tasting each craft beer! Some craft beers are meant to be savored and enjoyed slowly, whereas others can be more complex with some quick sips. Take the craft beer at a comfortable pace so that you don’t miss out on the experience!
3.- Cleanse Your Palate Between Beers
The purpose of a beer tasting is to taste craft beers of different flavors, but the only way to appreciate these craft beers is if you have a clean palate.
Tasting craft beer on its own is okay because it’s self-explanatory but when learning more about tasters and flights, for example, this can be your opportunity to really understand how each flavor works together. The last thing you want is to taste your hamburger while you’re trying new brews!
Have a glass of water at hand before, between, and after craft beers.
If you’re trying tasters or flights, start with the lighter craft beer first (such as a lager) then move to darker craft beers like an IPA or stout. This will help your palate adjust if necessary.
Being mindful of what you have eaten before attending a craft beer tasting is always helpful! So sip, cleanse, and continue tasting!
6.- Learn How to Pour
When attending a beer tasting, your bartender will probably be the one to pour your beer for you. But, it’s important for you to learn how to pour your beer correctly as well!
When pouring a beer, hold your craft beer vessel at a 45-degree angle and pour it down the side of the glass.
This will help reduce head from spilling over into the rest of your craft beer as well as give you enough room to swirl if that’s what you choose to do!
7.- Temperature is important!
The temperature at which you taste a beer is a very important factor when accessing its taste and aroma.
This might sound a little complicated, but craft beers are best served at their ideal temperature.
Keep in mind that craft beer is meant to be consumed responsibly and it’s important to wait if the craft beer you’re tasting isn’t at your preferred serving temperature! A lot of times this can make or break a craft brew experience.
If beer is too cold or too hot, this will affect the taste and carbonation! A perfect temperature is usually chilled, but not extremely cold. At home, you can try taking your very cold beer out of the refrigerator and waiting around 5 or 10 minutes depending on the outside temperature to enjoy chilled!
The best way to truly taste a beer is to taste it all over your mouth! Swishing all over your mouth to taste it from every corner is the perfect way to feel every single flavor your beer has to offer.
You can also act like you’re chewing, and trust us, craft beer will feel like you’re eating a meal with all the flavors it will unleash!
Swishing is important when tasting craft beers because it helps release flavors that might be trapped in your mouth. Swashing the craft beer around all over your palate allows for every taste bud to enjoy its complex characteristics.
After you swallow, take a second and let it linger!
9.- Listen to Your Bartender
There is a correct order you should try your beer, and your bartender will let you know. This is critical for you to take in all the flavors!
First, you should try the lighter varieties with softer hints and sweeter flavors, such as lagers or pale ales. Then, continue with craft beers with medium to light flavors, such as IPAs or craft wheat.
And then finally move on to the heavier and more intense craft brews that will blow your mind! The darker varieties like stouts and porters are meant to be enjoyed last because their bolder taste can stand up against the others. This is a great way to end the perfect tasting!
Of course, when in doubt, ask your bartender!
10.- Choose the perfect Taproom!
With so many new breweries, craft breweries, and artisanal beer taprooms, there’s a lot to choose from!
But when attending a beer tasting your want to really try something very special.
So, look for craft breweries that have a lot to offer in terms of craft beer selection! When visiting Miami Brewing Company, you can take advantage of their artisanal craft beer tasting menu with many different beers to choose from.
Miami Brewing Company’s Beer Flights
With a wide variety of beers, Miami Brewing Company is the perfect place for a beer tasting.
Their beer is made with exotic tropical fruits from the heart of South Florida, so you can get to try incredible flavors on the nose of your beer such as coconut, lychee, and much more!
If craft beer is something you’re passionate about, then attending a craft brew tasting event with Miami Brewing Company will be the best decision!
The Taproom offers a Beer Flight for just $20, in which you get four 4oz beers to try, your choice, and then you finish off with your favorite pint! But, if you get the beer flight ONLINE, you can get FIVE beers to try instead of four!