it’s fall. that means “back to school”. and don’t think that you are exempt from the task. in fact, as a beer drinker going back to school to learn about beer should not be a chore like it was when we were small. learning about beer is always fun even if the beer that is in front of you isn’t your thing. at least you’ll know not to order it next time.
speaking of ordering one of the best ways to get to know beer at a new brewer is to order the sampler. a sampler can be all the beers on the board or a select few. it’s a easy way to try out all the beers without committing to whole pints of things that you might not enjoy. the best part about the sampler is that you will usually find something that you really want to have a pint for yourself.
be sure to take notes and take pictures of the beer that you are touring. it’s easy to forget all that you are trying especially if you are at festival or a touring beer. pictures are an easy way to take notes without writing a word. when you see a picture you can instantly remember the details of what you drinking. and if you take notes you will start to develop a way to describe tastes and smells using words.
speaking of festivals… go! attending a festival is a great way to cover a lot of different beers in a day without a lot of effort. skip the beer that you already know or that’s local to you and instead focus on beer that you have never tasted. listen to the buzz around the tent for clues on what you absolutely should not miss. by the end of the day you may have a new favorite beer or two to live your fridge at home.
if you’ve never brewed your own beer you’re missing out. there are a few ways to do this. one is it use a “brew on premise” service. just do a google search for “brew on premise your city” to find one. a BoP has all the gear ready to beer 5 to 10 gallons meaning all you need to do is show up with your friends. it takes between 6-8 hours to brew a batch so plan accordingly.
you can also make beer with a home brewer.
if you want to dig into the ins and outs of serving beer the Cicerone course may be for you. it covers everything from styles to vessels. be sure to download the sylybus first. you can learn lots just from that without going into the gory details.
some people have a palette that can drill into very specific flavors. if that’s you consider becoming a beer judge. it may take your several years to learn what what it takes but that’s what sets a judge apart from the people at the bar.