Craft beer has become a huge industry in recent years, and for good reason. With a seemingly endless variety of unique flavors and brewing techniques, there's no shortage of interesting and exciting craft beers to try. But for beginners, the world of craft beer can be overwhelming. With so many brands, styles, and flavors out there, where do you even start? This guide will give you some tips on how to explore the world of craft beer, from what to look for when browsing the shelves of a craft beer store to how to taste and evaluate different kinds of beer.
Knowing Your Beer Style Preferences
Whether you like hoppy IPAs, rich stouts, or crisp pilsners, knowing your beer style preferences will help you navigate the wide range of options available in a craft beer store. You can also try asking the staff what they would recommend based on your preferred flavors and mouthfeel. Before long, you'll have a list of go-to styles you can explore in further detail.
Reading Labels and Flavor Profiles
When you're in a craft beer store, you'll come across a wide variety of brews from different breweries. Reading the labels and flavor profiles on the bottles can be a great way to decipher which ones you might enjoy trying. The alcohol content, hop and malt profiles, and unique flavors are all important factors to take into account when choosing a beer to try.
Exploring New Breweries
Once you've found a few styles you enjoy, it's time to start exploring different breweries. Each brewery has its own unique flavor profiles, brewing techniques, and philosophies, which can lead to all kinds of diverse and exciting beers. Many craft beer stores organize their selections by brewery, allowing you to easily find new brands and their offerings.
Tasting and Evaluating Beers
Tasting and evaluating beers can be an enjoyable and informative experience that will help you become more familiar with different styles and what you like. When tasting beer, make sure to take note of the appearance, aroma, taste, and mouthfeel of each beer. The appearance will include the color of the beer, along with any carbonation or foam. The aroma should be noted for any qualities that you detect, such as floral, citrus, or earthy. The taste notes can include malty, hoppy, or sweet flavors. The mouthfeel includes texture and carbonation, which adds to the taste of the beer.
Trying Beer Sampler Packs
Beer sampler packs are an excellent way to explore different brands and styles without committing to a full pack or individual bottles. Many breweries offer sample packs that include a variety of their beers. Most craft beer stores also have their own collection of sampler packs available for purchase.
Reach out to a craft beer store near you to learn more.