Intro to Beer Tasting & Flights

beer flight image by flickr LongituteLatitude
So many flavors to try! Photo: beer flight by flickr LongituteLatitude

Do you like to stick with the “usual” beers? Are you ready to try something new? Why not try a beer tasting? You don’t have to be an expert to know what tastes good to you! In the spirit of developing an Adventure Attitude, take a baby step of trying a flight of beers, and who knows? Maybe this intro to beer tasting & flights will inspire you to follow a new passion!

After you’ve read through this intro, be sure to check out how I made a beer flight holder. It may inspire you to reignite your creativity too.

Go to the Experts

a wall of locally made craft beers
A wall of locally crafted beer at the local beer supply store, Corvallis Brewing Supply
  1. Go to a tap house that has a large menu of beers and offers flights.  Choose the beers you want to sample, buy the flight and enjoy.  The server often has good knowledge and incentive to educate – ask questions!
  2. Not sure where to go? Here’s a listing of craft beer places all across the USA and Canada: Beer Guides

Try It At Home

The tasters

Decide if you want to try this with a friend or a few friends.  The Adventurer in me likes to make sure any “try something new” event is fun, with education being second.  If it’s a party, keep it smaller (4-10 people). Hint: Try not to invite that one person who dominates with knowledge – it’s all about everyone having fun.  If such a person shows up, suggest they play teacher vs. know-it-all.

Display good taste

The Man Can Mini beer tasting glass
Available on Amazon – official note, I am an affiliate so I may receive compensation if you buy them.

Have the appropriate size glasses. 2.5-6 oz are the best for tastings.  I bought some small fruit juice glasses at an outlet store.  My local tavern uses these (they look like little glass beer cans!)  You can get disposable cups (but plastic is not eco-friendly, nor does it enhance the flavor of the beer!).  If you want to learn a little more about beer glasses in general, read “13 Types of Beer Glasses: A Guide to Finding the Right Glass”

Place glasses on a flight holder.  Make your own (see how I made mine from old license plates).  Additionally, I’ve created a beer tasting mat that you can write on for tasting notes and the names of beers.  This can help later to remember what you drank and your thoughts.

beer tasting mat
Click here to download the free PDF and print out your own Beer Tasting mat!

Enjoy the tastes

Have a selection of beers.  Most beer flights have four samples.  You could go up to six.  Just remember that your taste buds can get overwhelmed with too many flavors.  Start with the lightest and go to the darkest.  You could try several beers from one brewer.  You could go with the big brands.  If your local beer retailer has craft brews, ask someone who works there (and knows about beer flavors) offer suggestions.  If you want to explore and educate yourself, there are dozens of websites to help you out.  Check out “Introduction to Beer Styles” written for people wanting to become certified beer judges

beer flavor wheel
At the local beer making supply store, I spotted this beer flavor wheel

Pour the beers into the glasses.  Taste, take notes, compare and enjoy!

old license plate as beer flight holders
Quite the unique holiday gift set! Old license plates turned into beer flight holders.

Don’t forget to check out the companion blog, “Make Your Own Beer Flight Holder”

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