-Tasting the Beer-
The Brilliant Beer Co.
At last we come to the interesting part tasting the beer.
Pour the beer correctly gentle down the side of the glass unless advised differently by the brand owner.
Now LOOK at the beer. Its appearance, colour and hue, haze and clarity, bubble tracing or surge are all important aspects of the quality and appeal of the beer.
The other important attribute is the head or beer foam. A stable beer foam is a unique property of beer with foam active agents coming from protein from the malt.
All beers should have a foam, the extent and volume depends on the particular beer style. (see section on beer foam). This is another reason for drinking beer from a glass.
However, if you look at what influences the consumers choice of beer there are complete range of expectations, stimuli and senses which are used to determine if the consumer is satisfied with the purchase.
Before the consumer even sees the beer, he or she will have made a choice based on the image or perception of what the product may deliver, for example:
Point of sales – packaging or dispense font
Peer pressure or image
Before you taste the beer you should explore its aroma.
As soon as you pour the beer you should put it to your nose for a couple of “quick sniff” to detect the most volatile compounds. You will notice sulphur type flavours (such as sweetcorn, eggy or rubber tires) which are very transient and disappear.
Then put your hand over the top of the glass and swirl the contents (the glass should be less than half full) and now you will detect most of the volatile aroma compounds.
It is now time to taste the beer.
The tongue has four basic receptors – salt, sweet, sour/acid and bitter. There is a fifth taste associated with texture called “umamai” or texture associated with mono sodium glutamate.
Take a good sip and roll it around your mouth to let the warmth of your mouth reslease the aroma compounds quickly after pouring. why it is necessary plies to all beers except bottle why they choose a particular brand of beer, it is most likely they would say it is because the like the taste or flavour of the beer.
Having chosen a particular beer, then a variety of senses come in to play as the consumer prepares to enjoy his or her drink. The selection of the beer either by brand or by beer type will produce a set of expectations about the appearance and taste of the beer. The extent to which the beer meets these expectations will determine whether the customer is satisfied or not.
The first contact with the beer will be Visual. The visual impact can come from the packaging as well as the look of the beer. Typical beer properties which will influence the customers perception of the beer are:
Colour – darker beers are considered “stronger” than pale beers
Clarity – most beers are served bright . Cloudy beer is associated with poor quality.
Foam – the size and nature of foam head varies with beer product and region and country, and can contribute to both negative and positive feelings towards the beer. Nitrogenated ale and stouts are served with a tight creamy head, while traditional cask ales in the South of England are served without any head at all. As well as contributing to appearance the head effects the aroma.
As part of the visual impact there is the way the beer is presented. This can be influenced by the type and shape of glass, tracing of gas bubbles through the beer and dispense techniques. The environment in which the beer is consumed will also play a major role in the consumers enjoyment of the beer (this is beyond the scope of this article)
Having poured the beer or handed the bottle across to the consumer Touch or Feel comes into effect. The temperature at which the beer is dispensed and consumed is very important.
Lagers are expected to be served cool around 8⁰C
Naturally conditioned ale may be served at room temperature (for the UK) at around 12⁰C to 14⁰C.
However there is a growing trend to serve most beers cool, as this makes for a more refreshing drink. A well known brand of Stout has differentiated its product by offering the same beer as “Cold” and “Extra Cold”.
As well as changing temperature and hence refreshment value, serving a beer cold increases the solubility of gases (particularly CO2), and decreases the intensity of many flavour compounds. Thus colder beers may be perceived as smoother or less full flavours than the same beer consumed at ambient temperature.
The consumer has absorbed all this information and has not even tasted the beer yet!