What is the tasting process?

Brewers compete at the national and international level to produce the "best-tasting" beer, but no matter how great the stakes, there will always be a component of personal taste involved. You will never be wrong for liking a particular beer. Your mission as a taster is to find out what specifically impresses you and any other beer drinkers you may be serving. That way, you'll hone your ability to make great selections.

The following are components you'll want to consider in the tasting process.

1. Appearance

Pour the beer into a glass. What do you see? Is it very clear, slightly hazy, or cloudy? Is the head comprised of small bubbles, large bubbles, or bubbles of differing sizes? Even within types, you’ll see minor variations.

2. Aroma

Refer to our beer identification guide to get a sense of the flavors that may be present, as these will influence the aroma. Lean close and sniff (not too close… you don't want a foam mustache!) Can you detect the roasty malt aroma emanating from a brown ale? How about the subtle notes of citrus from a wheat ale? Now try comparing beers of the same type.

3. Taste

You may detect any number of flavors. Some will be more distinctive than others. Again, you will probably want to refer to our beer identification guide at first to learn the flavors typically present in each beer type. Once you've had some practice, determine what makes two brands of the same type different. Each recipe is unique.

4. Mouthfeel

This refers to the texture of the beer in your mouth. Is it light or heavy? Creamy or bubbly? Does it linger on the palate long after swallowing? There will be similarities among beers of the same type, but each will be different in its subtle way.

Happy tasting!

For information on finding beers you love at Publix, check out our new beer identification guide and flavor balance guide.

Publix promotes responsible drinking and supports efforts to fight alcohol abuse and underage drinking. Please visit the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility at www.responsibility.org for more information.