JBU > Introductory

How To Describe Beer Like a Pro

This article is a quick and easy reference to the words you need for describing beer to your friends. Now you’ll never be at a loss for words and always be part of the beer discussion.

How To Describe Beer Like a Pro

At a loss for words when discussing beers you’ve had to your friends? We’ll make it quick and easy, so you can get back to the things you love: beer and your friends.

Body

This is a description of how “heavy” or “thick” the beer feels in your mouth. Beers fall into 3 categories: Light, Medium or Full-bodied. Usually beers under 5% ABV are light, 5-7% are medium-bodied and 8% and up are usually full-bodied. For more details read more about Final Gravity.

Complexity

The complexity of a beer is in its flavours and sensations. If you feel 2 or more taste sensations or flavours on your palate that means the beer is complex. Sensations can include warm, dry, bubbly, etc…

Crisp/Fresh

This often relates to the carbonation of a beer. If it feels bubbly or effervescent you can describe it as crisp or fresh.

Dry

Dryness refers to the lack of sweetness in a beer.

Hoppy/Bitter

The more bitter a beer is the more hops was used to brew it, so feel free to use the word hoppy to describe it. Learn more about the relationship between hops and bitterness.

Malty/Sweet

This is not sweet like great (although they could be great too!), but sweet like caramel or chocolate. This sweetness is caused by the malts used to brew the beer.

Roasty/Toasty

This is caused by the roasting of the grains. Different roasts cause different flavours much like those of roasting coffee beans and as a matter of fact coffee is one of the flavour profiles you might feel.

 

Ways to Practice

  • Read reviews of beers and see how they describe the beers.
  • Read the sides of the beer before you drink it. The description can help you learn what flavours or sensations you should try to feel out.
  • Participate in tours or classes at your local brewery. Learn from the best and ask lots of questions. Come armed with questions after reading: 5 Questions Brewers Wish You’d Ask on a Brewery Tour.
  • Read some articles at Just Beer University
  • And most important TASTE, TASTE and TASTE AWAY!

 

If I B U I’d Seriously Read More:

10 Words to Know When Talking About Beer

Does Beer Go Bad?

Beer Styles 201: Gruit Beer

Beer 101: Temperature, Pour and Glassware

 

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