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Knowledge Of Beer

Tasting beers: the right way to do it



Autor: Nadine Weinmann, Kommunikation.Pur


2 Min Reading Time

There are a few aspects which should be considered during a professional beer tasting in order to taste beer specialties - such as those from the Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan - like a sensory professional.


The environment or the room in which the tasting takes place should offer as few distractions as possible and should not be too hot or too cold. The beer specialties should be stored upright and cool the day before and taken out of the refrigerator about half an hour before the actual tasting. Very aromatic and alcohol-rich beer specialties, such as a Doppelbock like our Korbinian, can also be stored a little earlier at room temperature, as they can be tasted even better with a few degrees more temperature and only in this way can the complex aroma profile be tasted in its entirety.

If several beer specialties are tasted (no more than five, otherwise the taste buds will tire and the impression will no longer appear very clear and distinct), please follow the order: taste from light, light to dark, heavy and alcoholic beers.

Our Original - one of a kind.

Our Original - one of a kind.

It should be tasted from very well rinsed glasses. Glasses without decoration, which would distract the eye when assessing color and clarity, are ideal. Before pouring the beer sample, rinse the glass again briefly with cold clear water. To neutralize the taste between beers, crisp or white bread and a still, only very slightly mineralized mineral water are suitable. Pour about 0.1 liters of beer per glass, which is sufficient to fully understand a beer speciality. When pouring, make sure that the beer is not simply poured from the bottle into the glass, but flows in from above, so that it can combine with the oxygen in the air and develop its aroma.

A beer with many layers - our Korbinian.

A beer with many layers - our Korbinian.

It is ideal if all tasting participants are provided with paper and pen so that they can record their impressions as notes before discussing them together. There are different evaluation templates for this purpose.

A beer tasting of different beer styles is always structured according to the following basic rules:

  • from low-alcohol to high-alcohol beers
  • from light, slender to dark, bulky beers
  • Intense special beers such as smoked beers should be placed at the end of a tasting.

Ideal order for tasting individual beer specialties

I. Visual impression:

  • Describe the color of the specialty beer as vividly as possible (e.g., golden yellow, bronze, a dark brown reminiscent of mahogany).
  • Is the beer glossy and clear, does it have a fine (opalescent) or heavy, uniform haze? 
  • Report details about the foam: fine-pored, stable, creamy, velvety, long-lasting?

II. Smell:

  • What aromas can be detected in the first impression (fruity-fresh or malty-heavy)? Is there a direction that dominates the aroma profile?

III. Taste:

  • Which aroma notes can be detected in the initial impression, which in the finish?
  • What is the mouthfeel (soft, tangy) and overall body of the beer (round full-bodied, lean, bulky)?
  • How is the bitterness integrated into the malt body? Is it intrusive in the finish, long-lasting or quickly volatile?
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