With the emergence of craft breweries in the past decade, there is an ever growing population of those interested in testing the latest and greatest that today’s beers have to offer. With so many choices, ordering a beer can seem like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. With a few easy tips, you can be on your way to sampling brews with confidence.
Preparation for Sampling
In order to prepare for the ultimate sampling experience, there are a few things to consider. Drinking environment, palate preparation, type of glassware, beer temperature and pouring will all play a major role in selecting and sampling your favorites.
- Drinking Environment: if you are truly on a mission to find a good beer, then you will want to be focused with little distractions. Choose a restaurant or bar that will cater to your needs.
- Palate Preparation: Be sure to have a glass of water next to you, so that you can rinse (and then swallow) between beers. In addition to drinking water, eating unsalted crackers or pretzels between beers will help to cleanse and refresh your palate.
- Type of Glassware: It is best to sample beer from glassware than a bottle. Being able to see the color of your brew adds to your tasting experience. Be sure to sample from a clean glass, so you are not mixing flavors. Beer flights come in all shapes and sizes, but staying with two ounce glassware will allow you to sample more.
- Temperature: To enjoy the aroma, flavor and body of each sample, you want to make sure it is the right temperature. Beer that is too cold can chill your taste buds.
- Pouring: if you are pouring your own sample, hold the glass at a 45° angle and pour slowly down the sides of the glass. Tilt the glass upright as you reach the halfway point and pour in the middle.
Tasting & Evaluating
When getting ready to actually sample your beer, be fully engaged with your senses. Take a deep breath and enjoy the aromas. Observe the color and clarity before the first sip. As you take a sip, allow the beer to hit every taste bud to savor the flavor. Before you swallow, be aware of the lightness, heaviness or creaminess of the beer as well as the carbonation and temperature. Once you swallow, you will be able to notice any aftertaste it may have. At this point, you will be able to evaluate your sample on the following:
- Bouquet/Aroma (Malt, Hops, Yeast, etc.)
- Appearance (Color, Clarity, Head Retention)
- Body (Mouthfeel, Light, Heavy, Carbonation)
To sample the best beers in the ‘Burgh, stop by Bado’s Pizza Grill & Ale House in Mt. Lebanon where there are 20 rotating draft beers on tap at any given time. Weekly craft samplings, every Thursday evening, offer you a chance to try everything from domestics to IPAs to Belgiums and even seasonal beers. Beer flights are available! You can sample any four beers on draft of your choice. To check out our daily specials and upcoming events, please visit Bado’s Pizza Grill & Ale House online or call 412-563-5300.