Getting to Know the Different Aromas and Flavors of Your Beer

Beer is a simple, fermented alcoholic beverage made of just water, malt and hops. But, by varying the way those ingredients are prepared and small changes in the brewing process, brewers can make an enormous variety of unique styles of beer.

Whether you’re a novice or a connoisseur, it’s important to take a deep sip of your beer, swirling it around so the taste is spread throughout the mouth. This will help you pick out the different flavors and aromas of your beer. Try comparing the tastes of your beer to specific foods or to other drinks. For example, is your beer sweet like maple syrup or bitter like broccoli? Does it have a floral aroma similar to roses or geraniums?

The aroma of your beer can be determined largely by the esters it contains. Ethyl acetate is one of the most commonly found esters in beer, and it is formed when yeast metabolizes certain sugars. This explains why some beers smell fruity and others floral or earthy.

The odors and tastes of your beer are influenced by many factors, such as the temperature at which it’s served. Often, beers that are too cold mask the full range of flavors and aromas. It’s best to serve your beer at room temperature or a little cooler so that the flavor and aromas are fully developed. The same goes for adding ice to your beer; it can also dull the full flavor and aroma of the brew.