Trick your friends & family into thinking you’re an expert and taste craft beer like a pro!
By Caroline O’Gorman, July 21, 2021
If you’re looking for something to do with your friends and family this summer, why not try a trip to a craft brewery? Some breweries offer an outdoor beer garden experience while the weather is nice where you can play games, sit by a fire, and enjoy your drinks outside. Keep reading to find out what to expect and gain some tips on how to get the most out of your experience.
- Order a “flight”
Instead of ordering one or two full cans or bottles, a flight allows you to experience various beer styles that the brewery specializes in. Your hosts most likely have some recommendations! Flights are the best way to find the beer that’s just right for you!
- Step out of your comfort zone!
Taste at least one thing you haven’t tried before and you might surprise yourself or learn something new! Keep an open mind, ask questions and let your hosts recommend beers for you based on what you already know you like.
- Make it a social event!
Go with friends and maybe make a few new ones!
- Get the app “Untappd”
You can log beers you have tried and search up reviews of beers you’d like to try!
- Always do the brewery tour if there is one available
Make the most of your time there and learn some fun facts! See Brewery Tour Tips below!
- Enjoy and savor your beer!
You may become a beer connoisseur before you know it!
Craft Beer Tasting tips:
- First, Observe
Pour your craft beer into a clear glass. Observe the color and the clarity through the glass. Hold it up to the light. Craft beers can appear clear, hazy, golden, yellow, amber, brown, or black. Watch the liquid move around your glass and notice the thickness. Notice the amount and speed of the bubbles that are rising to the surface. Is the foam thick or thin? Is it white, creamy or brown?
- Next, Smell
Take a deep sniff. What scents can you pick up on? Many craft beers have multiple ingredients. Swirling the beer around in the glass helps to release the aromas. Sniff again and see if you can identify each one. Is it fruity? Herbal? Are there notes of pine? Over time you may be able to identify different types of hops or malts used to brew the craft beer.
- Then, Taste.
Take a big sip. Hold the beer in your mouth a bit and let it touch all of your taste buds before you swallow it. Think about the taste in your mouth. Then think about the after taste. Notice the carbonation and the amount of hops or malt. Is it dry or sweet? Can you recognize each different flavor?
The more you try, the better and more refined you will get at these brewery skills and identifying differences between brews! When you are at a tasting, it is best not to eat food with the craft beers and instead cleanse your palate between beers with some water. Drink lighter beers first and then move towards darker beers for a clearer pallet as you taste. As you gain experience you will start to recognize what colors, thicknesses, and levels of carbonation you prefer in a craft beer.
Brewery Tour Tips:
Ask your hosts questions!! They will be MORE than happy to talk beer with you and no question is a bad question!
- Which craft beers do they recommend, and why?
- What makes this brewery unique?
- What is the brewery’s philosophy on brewing?
- What is the brewery’s specialty?
- How did they get started?
- What was the brewery’s first craft beer on the market? What was it called? What was in it? Is it still available? Why/why not?
- How do they come up with their craft beer names?
- Who designs the craft beer can or bottle labels?
Drink your way through Southern Delaware!
The state of Delaware boasts a number of great brewery locations throughout the state, making it a must-visit location for craft beer lovers! The southern Delaware beaches have a number of craft breweries within close proximity to each other (and to the beach!) which makes for the perfect day trip or weekend vacation! Breweries you may have heard of include Dogfish Head, Big Oyster, Iron Hill, Revelation, Thompson Island, and Dewey Beer Company!
Coming up this fall, the Canalside Inn of Rehoboth Beach is hosting two weekend Craft Beer and Brewery Retreats and an Oktoberfest celebration! The Craft Beer & Breweries Retreat includes visits to local breweries, kayaking, live music, and beer pairings. Transportation is provided and guests can stay at the Inn! The first retreat is September 24th-26th and the second is October 1st-3rd. Click here for more information!
Oktoberfest is on September 25th at the Canalside Inn with beer, traditional German foods, and booths from local businesses and vendors. Click here for more information!