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A beginner's guide to tasting beer

Joshua Cornell Author: Joshua Cornell

Menus & Entertaining

A beginner's guide to tasting beer

Taking tiny sips will ruin your beer-drinking experience! Here's your guide to tasting beer, direct from Dublin's Guinness Storehouse.


Most people would agree that fully enjoying a glass of wine requires a few tried-and-true techniques, but what about beer? To ensure you get the most out of your favourite brew, follow these easy steps.

Step 1: The experts at Guinness Storehouse recommend taking your beer out of the fridge and letting it sit for a few minutes. When drinking beer, a temperature of about 8ËšC is ideal—rather than the average fridge temperature of 1.6ËšC.

Step 2: Once your beer has warmed a few degrees, pour it into a glass.

Step 3: Swirl the glass around to generate a bit of froth, or head, on top. It will also help aerate the beer and bring out the aromas in the beer.

Step 4: Take a deep breath from the glass.

Step 5: Now use the “Retro Nasal Breathing” technique used when Guinness’ quality panel tests beer. Take another deep breath, then sip a generous mouthful, swirling it around the mouth to coat your palate entirely. Swallow the beer to taste it at the back of your throat, then breathe out gently from your nose.

Step 6: Take at least three full mouthfuls before judging the taste.

When pairing beer with food, be sure to sip the beer before your first bite.

Guinness has a few food pairing recommendations for their beers, as made available during tastings in Guinness Storehouse’s private tasting bar:

Seafood chowder with beer


Joshua Cornell

1. Guinness Extra Stout: This beer has a dry, roasted bitterness and more carbonation than other Guinness varieties. Pair it with seafood, such as the seafood chowder pictured.

Beef with beer
Joshua Cornell

2. Guinness Foreign Extra Stout: This beer has the flavours of burnt caramel, roasted treacle, molasses and licorice. It complements braised beef and can be used in beef stew or in teriyaki sauce and marinades.

Chocolate Mousse with beer
Joshua Cornell

3. Guinness Draft: The variety of Guinness best known in North America, Guinness Draft has a chocolate and coffee taste. Pair it with chocolate mousse, as pictured. The two sweet items are a match made in heaven.
 

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A beginner's guide to tasting beer

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