How to Be a Professional Beer Taster

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Determine the beer's characteristics through tasting. A sweet-flavored beer generally indicates a malt based beer, and a bitter beer consists of a hops based formula. A professional beer taster needs to tell the difference between these qualities. The taster also needs to classify the thickness of a beer, another factor in positioning a beer for a market segment.

Approach the tastings methodically. Schedule beer tasting the same time each day, usually during lunchtime (11:30 a.m to 1:00 p.m.) when the taste buds aren't worn out from a long day.

Learn about the brewing methods and what's needed to produce a particular type of beer. A taster should know about how yeast facilitates different flavors and textures in a beer, and how that skews the beer's projected audience.

Drink the beer. Unlike wine tasters, the beer taster has to actually swallow the brew and feel the tactile sensation of it in his or her mouth. The beer's smell and color remains an important sales factor, so take that into account when writing your report about the beer's attributes.

Rinse your mouth with water between tastings. Don't cleanse the palate with crackers, cheese or other snacks. This will cloud the palate for your next beer tasting.

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