This script is from the second season of Beer Notes, which you can listen to at beernotes.org.

You might think you like a beer because it tastes good, but your idea of taste is far more complicated than you’d think it is. This week on Beer Notes, we’re exploring all the senses that go into your enjoyment of a craft beer.

Let’s start with the visual. The only way to maximize your experience is to ensure that the beer is in a clear glass, so you can appreciate all aspects of your evaluation of your beer: The color, clarity, carbonation and cleanliness of the glass.

Smell and taste work together, but the balance of each might surprise you. 80% of what you experience as flavor actually comes from the aroma of the beer. Humans can perceive about one trillion aromas, but we can only identify five tastes: Sweet, bitter, sour, salty and umami, or savoriness.

Touch contributes both the mouthfeel and body you perceive as you taste your beer. According to the Brewers Association, you evaluate carbonation, alcohol warming, mouth coating, astringency, metallic properties, viscosity and body when you taste your beer.

So if you want to enjoy your craft beer to the max, and do it consciously, pour your beer into a clean, cold glass. Hold it up to the light to look for color and clarity. Swirl it under your nose and take two short sniffs. Then, take a sip to coat your mouth, and another to activate all your olfactory senses, as well as your taste buds.

For Beer Notes, this is Anne Neely.

Kristin Helf
Author: Kristin Helf

Kristin is a writer and picture-taker in Ocean City, Maryland. She likes puppies, pumpkin ales and watching movies for the Ocean City Film Festival in her spare time.

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