Craft beer is a delightful creation and there are so many different varieties to taste and explore. If you want to fully enjoy each craft beer you sample to the fullest, then follow these tips.
Pour your beer into a glass.
A big part of tasting beer is actually smelling it. A beer glass allows you to do this; a beer bottle or can does not. Pouring the beer into the glass also introduces some more oxygen to it, which enhances the flavors and can make certain flavor nuances more prevalent. There are all sorts of specialized beer glasses that are specifically designed for various types of craft beer, but a pint glass is a perfectly suitable starting point.
Let it warm up a little.
You may want to drink generic beer at refrigerator temperature because the chill can help mask some characteristics. But most craft beer is actually better served slightly warmer. You do not want it to be outright warm, but somewhere around 45 degrees tends to be ideal. This is just a little warmer than the average refrigerator. If you leave the bottle on the counter for a few minutes before drinking, you should be on the right track. Or you can invest in a beer fridge that you keep dialed in at 45 degrees.
Don't judge until the second sip.
Try not to think too much when you take the first sip of a new beer. This first sip basically cleanses your palate and resets your taste buds. The second sip will give you a much better idea of the beer's actual flavors. If you take a sip of something and it's not what you expected, take a second sip to make a more informed and palatable decision.
Work your way from light to dark beers.
If you are sampling several different craft beers in the same session, always taste them in order from lightest to darkest. If all of the beers are of the same variety, then order them from lowest ABV to highest ABV. This helps keep your palate from getting overwhelmed by the stronger or darker beers at the beginning so you can truly enjoy the lighter beers, too.
Craft brewers put a lot of work into their products, so those products deserve to be enjoyed to the fullest. If you follow the tips above, then you will be making the most of each craft beer tasting experience.