remembering past experiences to inform us on our present. 🍺
January 20, 2015 9:47 PM   Subscribe

 
​How to Enjoy the taste of Beer:

Let me give you the Drinky Die version.

*chug*
*swallow*
*belch*
"Ahhhh."

*repeat as necessary. This guide is valid for ALL beer styles.*
posted by Drinky Die at 10:07 PM on January 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


(And also for wine or high class cocktails like Vodka and Diet Dew)
posted by Drinky Die at 10:09 PM on January 20, 2015


that emoji in the tile changed metafilter forever.
posted by azarbayejani at 11:14 PM on January 20, 2015 [8 favorites]




Beer snobbery now is where wine snobbery was in the 80s. Primed for satire.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:51 AM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Daddy."
Father has friends over. Polite guests, they've brought a six-pack to share.
The child tugs on his arm. "Daddy."
"What?"
"Can I taste your beer?"
"Sure."
The adults watch intently as the child takes a sip, then laugh as the child pulls a disgusted grimace.
"Ewwww..."
posted by zennie at 4:17 AM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


*Joseph Conrad is fully awesome* has discovered a loophole in the "no images" rule. Do we dare exploit it?
posted by Cash4Lead at 4:23 AM on January 21, 2015


Beer tasting, to go by the reviews on sites like RateBeer and BeerAdvocate, has gone down the rabbit hole of imaginary flavors or "notes" that oenophiles talk about. And that's already useless for me for wine. Why do we have to add beer to that?
posted by graymouser at 4:29 AM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Somehow I knew exactly who posted this when I saw the post.
posted by octothorpe at 4:46 AM on January 21, 2015


Beer tasting, to go by the reviews on sites like RateBeer and BeerAdvocate, has gone down the rabbit hole of imaginary flavors or "notes" that oenophiles talk about.

To each his or her own I guess, but I really enjoy this. Dare I say it... good beer is a lot more complex in its flavors than wine, in my opinion. This is partly because of all the variable elements that can go into a beer, but mostly because of the complexity of hops.

A great IPA can have all kinds of different flavor and smell notes from the hops it's using, for example. Some hops bring a sweet citrus smell or taste to the table, like oranges or lemons or tangerines. Others are in the grapefruit category, and you'll get an almost rind taste. Some are spicier, with a tinge of black pepper. Still others have a cannabis funk to them, or a garlic and onions note, or a pine scent. And some varieties are much more bitter than others.

It's not just a bunch of imaginative nerds making things up- similar flavor compounds are in hops and all those other plants. Odor compounds in hop oils can include things like geraniol, linalool, limonene, et cetera. Same chemicals in citrus, flowers, you get the idea.

So a great IPA can have plenty of different flavors that come and go at different moments while you're tasting it. Some people do overdo it with the "faintest soupçon of asparagus and just a flutter of a nutty Edam cheese" crap, but it's absolutely true that great beers can have tremendously (and deliciously) complex flavors and smells.
posted by Old Man McKay at 5:10 AM on January 21, 2015 [11 favorites]


Beer tasting isn't quite as subjective as wine tasting just yet, in my view. For the most part the reviews I see do focus on real stuff. Like if you have a nice hefeweizen and you mention it tastes of banana and clove, that's because objectively it will in a very recognizable way. The vastly diverse styles and ingredients allow for this sort of thing. It certainly does get into more subjective territory when talking over the merits of expensive rare IPA #1000 vs #1003 but I do still find it a not overly snobby hobby as far as tasting goes. It loses me at the rejection of practically every mass market beer though, rating something like swill just because it's popular seems common.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:13 AM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Dare I say it... good beer is a lot more complex in its flavors than wine, in my opinion.

NO YOU MAY NOT SAY IT.

Smashes bottom of bottle of Chateaux Y'quem on Calcatta marble countertop, moves menacingly closer to plebian guest.
posted by lalochezia at 5:15 AM on January 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


I occasionally see an article pairing beer with food the same you see the many articles pairing wine with food. It's less frequent that I see wine paired with any activity other than being indoors and dining.

An ambient Guinness at an outdoor crawfish boil on a 93 degree evening < an icy cold Budweiser.

A Guinness at a pub with a fire burning in the fireplace, when it is sleeting outside > any icy cold lager.
posted by vapidave at 5:23 AM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


That '🍺'- is that a map of Vermont?
Because it looks like it's pointing at Hill Farmstead.
posted by MtDewd at 5:35 AM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's less frequent that I see wine paired with any activity other than being indoors and dining.

You need more inventive friends. Wine goes well with almost anything that doesn't involve driving afterwards, though it has the wrong weight/alcohol ratio for backpacking.

But so does beer, and I'm really loving being in the northwest during this time of intense change and growth in the beer offerings. I mostly stay on Team IPA, but it's fun to dabble with other options and experiment. On the tasting note issue, since so many places now have long beer lists, I appreciate when a place lists at least a rough description of a beer ("northwest IPA with fresh citrus notes" is enough, no need to get poetic) or when the servers are informed enough to know that if you liked Beer A before, then you should try Beer B today.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:37 AM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Re: 1st Paste link - I've never seen anyone ever recommend drinking the sediment in a bottle conditioned bottle. Ever.

Also, am I the only person that uses RateBeer to keep track of what I've had? I'm shocked it wasn't even mentioned in the 2nd paste link
posted by lownote at 5:59 AM on January 21, 2015


Hill Farmstead = possibly the best beer ever.

I love beer dearly, from the swill to the craft. I think it is as complex as wine--and yes, there are folks in both camps who really overdo the whole "what I can taste" bit--and often toyed with the idea of becoming a cicerone because I enjoy so many aspects of it. I am eager to move into a larger place this spring so I can start brewing my own again, but Stone City Ales will have to do until then.
posted by Kitteh at 6:08 AM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just looked up Hill Farmstead. They do a lottery system for their beer like it's a Phish festival? Is that a marketing ploy or is the beer really that good?
posted by GrapeApiary at 6:41 AM on January 21, 2015


No, they're a super tiny brewery. They expanded the old renovated barn they brew out of but they only make a limited amount of stuff. You can get their beer either at said brewery or at a few places within a 25-40 mile radius from them (which only has the beer on tap). It is amazingly good beer made by very nice folks. I miss being able to go down there on a weekend and fill up a couple of growlers. The lottery system thing must be new, but then the line-ups were kinda nuts (you had folks driving over from Massachusetts and New Hampshire and upstate New York to get their containers filled).
posted by Kitteh at 6:48 AM on January 21, 2015


Nice! Serious Eats has also done some nice guides to help out with beer tasting, including recommending specific beers to identify various flavors: hops - more hops - malts - more malts - other grains - yeast - more yeast - bad flavors
posted by capricorn at 6:58 AM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


How I taste beers:

1. Order a nice malty ale.
2. Oh, your least hoppy beer is a double IPA?
3. Sure, I'll try it.
4. Jesus fuck that is the sourest thing.
5. No, I don't think I'll have another. Just a Manhattan please.
posted by TypographicalError at 7:02 AM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I like to read these drinking/foodie guides but with some quick search and replacing the beverage name with 'life' and 'living' etc.

"A Beginner's Guide to Tasting Life.

Now that you’re familiar with some common flavors and basic life styles, where do you go next? I sat down with life judges Kazuko and Kevin Masaryk, who are certified by the Life Judge Certification Program (LJCP) to assess and judge life.

For livers who want to dive into the craft life world, they suggest the next big step is to start living lives to develop your palate, vocabulary, and knowledge."
posted by srboisvert at 7:43 AM on January 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


(I'm glad folks appreciate that beer mug Chromoji but the ramen post broke the ice with that, that's where I got the idea. Next up: a post on dragons! 🐲)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:54 AM on January 21, 2015


Class 4A link!
posted by bjgeiger at 7:58 AM on January 21, 2015


It's less frequent that I see wine paired with any activity other than being indoors and

well, back in the day, a 26 oz bottle of cheap red plonk was the perfect accompaniment for a post midnight drive from LA to San Francisco ... to be cut with NoDose, of course.
posted by philip-random at 8:19 AM on January 21, 2015


As someone who has just begun treatment with blood thinners, If y'all could hold off on the beer links for the next 3 months or so, it would be much appreciated...

Arrrgh.
posted by Windopaene at 8:20 AM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Developing a beer palette can be fun. Like, Budweiser and Miller Lite used to taste the same. Now I detect a hint of banana in Bud, probably from the specific yeast they use.

There's also some very strange equivalences in aroma you pick up on. When we were in New Mexico and developed Super Olfactory Powers from the dry air, we visited a zoo. The wind blew a certain way past the gorilla habitat and we picked up on this terrifically pungent and acrid odor from the dominant male. A few days later, we had a very bitter IPA, maybe with Simcoe hops, and it reminded us of that odor. So now whenever we drink a similar brew we call it Gorilla Armpit Beer.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:39 AM on January 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


2. Oh, your least hoppy beer is a double IPA?
3. Sure, I'll try it.
4. Jesus fuck that is the sourest thing.


If the IPAs you're getting are sour, you need to be drinking somewhere that treats their beer better. Bitter, yeah. Sour? Not unless it's something like Petrus Aged Pale or something like that, please.
posted by Lexica at 10:41 AM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've never seen anyone ever recommend drinking the sediment in a bottle conditioned bottle. Ever.


If you take a tour of the Duvel plant in Belgium, they'll tell you to drink the sediment. It's actually good for you. Scroll to "Help! There's sludge in my beer."
posted by sixpack at 10:57 AM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Beer tasting, to go by the reviews on sites like RateBeer and BeerAdvocate, has gone down the rabbit hole of imaginary flavors or "notes" that oenophiles talk about. And that's already useless for me for wine. Why do we have to add beer to that?

Indeed. Any description of a beverage that goes further than "I enjoyed this" or "I did not enjoy this" is entirely useless to readers. I propose a statutory ban on the use of all similes, adjectives, or other artifacts of florid prose when someone wishes to discuss his or her own subjective experiences. Descriptive language is just the gateway drug to elitism.
posted by Mayor West at 11:47 AM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, "the bitterest thing" or at the extreme end, "the harshest thing." Old Man McKay's comment above is really good at describing the wide range of hop flavors that IPAs can express.

The Lagunitas article (the last of the "flight") is fascinating as an analysis of their marketing and of the mis-step of throwing a lawsuit at another brewer:
It’s really hard to keep building towards 1.8MM barrels of beer, make huge legal moves to go after your competitors, and still act like you’re the wake-and-bake underdog. For many consumers, this is the stuff of big beer.
Lagunitas, and Tony Magee's persona, was mentioned in the earlier Jim Koch post; the article here somewhat reinforces my comment there that "Lagunitas have been very good at positioning and marketing themselves as rag-tag plucky rebels."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:50 AM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


That was actually a decent guide to start tasting anything. It might have been a little more helpful it had been more beer-specific, but whatever.

Basically, it's the way to start going deeper with almost anything. "Take it slow, take notes"

I'm on a temporary low-carb diet right now, so a tasty beer sounds like the best thing in the goddamn world. Soon.....
posted by lumpenprole at 12:02 PM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, and on the apps thing: Untappd link in my profile if any MeFites want to friend up.

But, but: Untappd strikes me as such a wasted opportunity. They're sitting on so much data now about beers and locations and social graphs. But their recommendations for "similar beers" always seem to me like brain-dead "top-rated beers in the same broad category; so every single stout has a "similar" recommendation of Bourbon County Stout, no matter how different the flavors actually are.

It feels to me like Untappd could be using their ratings data so much better to form clusters and derive better recommendations. People who rated this beer highly also rated these beers highly. People who like similar beers to you also like these beers. These terms were commonly used to describe these related beers. That's just three off the top of my head.

And they have location data too! So they could stop constantly recommending me beers that simply aren't available in my region; or at the very least they could allow me to filter by "available near you".

And they have venue data! So when I visit a new town, they could use my beer history to recommend "you'd probably find beers you like at these venues." Or mine the venue data to suggest "venues near you similar to ones you've visited."

So much potential; particularly as they're the biggest player so have the biggest userbase and the biggest aggregation of user data. So little ambition beyond being a beer notebook with a thin social-network skin.

Does RateBeer do any better here?

NextGlass seems to be coming at this from a different angle -- attempting to do the Pandora "music genome" thing for beer/wine. Don't know if they're going to succeed; building a big enough userbase is probably a problem given Untappd's position as incumbent. (And annoyingly they're mobile-only; I'd like to play around with it but don't own a device.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:16 PM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


lager beer

because it just randomly popped up
posted by philip-random at 3:53 PM on January 21, 2015


@sixpack: Yeah, its full of vitamin B and healthy, but I've never found it to be tasty. Interestingly, that list of yea or nay sediment features a lot of beers I really really like in the nay side, and not many on the yea. Maybe I've been missing something.
posted by lownote at 8:27 PM on January 21, 2015


« Older There'll be a hell of a Mardi Gras in heaven next...   |   Bigger & Better Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments