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How to taste beer correctly

How to Taste Beer Correctly, According to Brewmaster

If there’s one man you should listen to about tasting beer, it’s Chuck Hahn. The godfather of Australian brewing, Dr Charles (Chuck) Hahn, has created some of the world’s most popular beers, including Coors Light (the second most-consumed beer in the United States), Hahn Premium Pilsener, and more than we can count as Chief Brewer of the Lion Group (James Squire, etc.)

He’s championed the phrase “Slam it down slowly,” and Man of Many was lucky enough to hang out with Chuck and his son Scott at their new family-owned brewery ‘Chuck and Sons Brewing‘ in St Peters, Sydney, where he revealed the five steps to taste beer correctly.

RELATED: These are the best craft beers in Australia, according to the GABS100.

5 Steps to Taste Beer Correctly

According to Chuck Hahn, there are five steps for tasting beer correctly:

  1. Look at the beer: Like other alcohols, the first thing you’ll want to do when tasting beer is note the colour, consistency, and general state of the liquid in your glass. Hold it up to the light; how does it look? The darker the beer, the more likely it is to have chocolate or coffee notes. Chuck can pick a good beer by its looks alone, but you’ll want to practice this every time you drink beer to build up your knowledge. “You want to look at the glass first; look at the beer. Is it inviting? Is it screaming out, drink me, enjoy me?” he says.
  2. Swirl it around in the glass: Like you do wine and whisky, swirl the beer around your glass before nosing. According to Chuck, “This releases the hop volatiles.”
  3. Put your nose in the glass and smell: Nose the beer and consider the notes you can smell. These are entirely subjective, and you could have completely different notes to the person beside you. In our video, you’ll see that Chuck noted some herbaceousness in the pilsener that we were tasting. He also says that you’ll want to “be careful if the foam’s up there because you don’t want to put the foam into your nose,” so keep that in mind, too.
  4. Take a sip and swirl it around your mouth: Now for the fun part. Swirl the liquid around your mouth to see if the tasting notes match those you smelt from your nose. Consider the balance between bitter and sweet, the mouthfeel, carbonation, and body. Don’t swallow the beer yet!
  5. Swallow with your mouth open: Now, it’s time to swallow the beer with your mouth open. Chuck says, “This bathes your taste buds with beer and air at the same time to bring out those really rich malt and hop flavours.” Think about the beer’s texture as it slides across the back of your palate.

After executing these steps, you’ve successfully tasted beer correctly!

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