One of the first requirements we came up with when sitting down and planning our craft beer store was to sample each and every beer that we stock. It isn’t just about getting to try an overwhelming quantity of beer, it has a pretty important purpose: To provide a consistent description that you can rely on.
When reviewing the descriptions of most beers, it is pretty obvious that they lie somewhere between brewers notes and marketing spin. To cut through all of that, we came up with model for our notes:
- Beers are sampled around 8°C, warmer for dark beers
- Appearance: colour, head and carbonation (if visible)
- Aromas: hops, malt and yeast are the normal traits, but there can be some off-notes too (cardboard, wet dog, etc)
- Flavour: Initial flavours through to the finish and the mouthfeel
- Finish with a short overview about some of the positives of the beer
There is a little disclaimer though. Everyone’s tastes are different and sometimes aromas or flavours are misidentified. We’re still learning, and we’ll continue to learn more as we get new brews through the store. As always, feedback is welcomed!
As a personal note, one of the things that I’ve loved about the whole process is how my beer preferences have changed! I’ve been a big fan off hoppy beers like a strong Pale Ale or an IPA, and I’ve had the opportunity to try beers that I wouldn’t normally buy at a bar or bottle-o. I now keep a decent selection of lighter beers in the fridge, like Moon Dog Love Tap and Boatrocker Hoppbier.