Craft beer has a series of organoleptic qualities that complete and complement the drinking experience. Before starting the beer tasting there are a couple of points that need to be highlighted.

The first is the use of the right recipient. Clay jars or tall glasses are inadequate. Each beer variety has one or two drink-holder formats that enhance its qualities. The same thing happens with the temperature of the beer.

The second is the foam. It should be rich and vibrant, although the colour may change, it should always be there since it protects the beer from oxidation. For the foam to form, the beer has to be correctly poured, with the correct inclination in each case.

The four steps to follow in order are:

– Appearance

– Aroma

-Taste

Hop/malt balance

Aftertaste

Mouthfeel

– General impression

Look: observing with detail and associating our impressions, is to taste with your eyes. With our sight we can learn if a beer will be more refreshing and drinkable, or if it will be heavy bodied. If it has been elaborated with pale, caramelised or roasted malt. We can also know if it’s very carbonated, and even is the CO2 is natural or has been injected. We can even tell if the beer has been filtrated or if it has the turbidity typical of yeast in suspension.

Smell: the aroma and its pureness tell us all we need to know about the ingredients used and about their freshness. Normally, our sense of smell can tell us if the hops, the malt or the yeast are dominant or if there is a balance. Each one will give us hints about the product we are about to drink.

Taste: once you taste the beer in your mouth and you swallow it, many different feelings arise. Once we wash over our taste buds with beer and swallow we will be able to identify the different tastes that the malts, the water, the hops and the different fermentation processes leave behind. The aftertaste can leave us with sweet, sour, bitter or the warm taste of the alcohol. The feeling in the mouth can be of a silky beer but with little body, but it can also tell us how much gas there is in the drink.

General impression: lastly we need to take into account the sum of the three previous concepts and subjectivity. Here we will conclude if we have liked a beer, if we would order a different one or if we would try it again on a different occasion. We can also say if it’s a well-balanced beer, easy to drink or very complex. Ultimately, we can say what our general opinion has been. Cheers!