Being a blog about making beer I know it is strange to be writing a post on how to like beer; but believe it or not my friends there are people out there who do not like the taste of beer.
My girlfriend is actually one of those people and a recent experience we had is why I decided to write this post. A few weeks back we had my sister and her boyfriend over for some drinks and she noted how the rest of us were excited and talking about the different brands of beer we had purchased for the evening. She commented out loud that she was missing out and wished she could make herself like the taste of beer.
So this post is designed to help people like my girlfriend to start enjoying the wonderful beverage of beer. To start I am going to provide you with 10 tips on how to start liking the taste of beer and then I will finish the post with 5 tips on how to make beer taste better.
Let’s get into my 10 tips to help you like beer…
#1 – Give Yourself Time
It is funny to me now but when I first started drinking alcohol I could not stand the taste of beer. In fact I could not stand the taste of pretty much any alcoholic beverage except for tequila if you can imagine. But over time I slowly started to develop a taste for beer. It started with the lighter commercial beers and slowly as my palette changed I transitioned into enjoying the more complex craft beers that I very much enjoy today.
Our palettes change and take time to develop. Give yourself time to come to enjoy beer. Try different styles and brands from time to time until you find one that you somewhat enjoy. For example my girlfriend does not mind a corona or a stout, so they would be her starting points to start developing a taste for beer.
If you simply turn your nose up every time someone offers you one you are never going to like it. Start slow by implementing the tips you are about to read and it will surprise you how fast you develop a taste for it.
#2 – Find The Right Tasting Beer For You
Like I said in the first tip, my girlfriend is somewhat ok with corona and stouts; my gut is that since she likes wine that she would be ok with sour beers also. So if she were truly interested in learning how to like the taste of beer these styles would be where she would start her journey.
There are countless styles and brands of beer on the market. New brands literally come out on a daily basis. I can virtually assure you that there is at least one beer on the market that you would enjoy. You just have to find it.
Once you find one you somewhat enjoy, your palette will start to change and you will find that over time you are going to start liking the taste of other styles. So find that one and take it from there.
#3 – Try Beers With Different Alcohol Levels
Higher levels of alcohol in beers typically means that they are going to be less sweet tasting as the yeast has eaten most of the sugars during fermentation and created a higher alcohol level.
Some people consider the higher alcohol beers to be more bitter tasting and harsh. You may find that lower alcohol beers have a sweeter taste that you will enjoy.
#4 – Sample All The Different Beer Styles
There is a vast difference in tastes between the different beer styles. It is actually hard to say you do not like the taste of beer as there are so many different flavors between the many different styles. It would be like saying you don’t like the taste of fruit; well which fruit, certainly not all of them. The same concept applies for beer.
Here are some of the flavors associated with just some of the styles of beer:
Ale’s – Most beers are actually Ale’s so it is hard to pinpoint the taste of an ale as it will be all over the board depending on the style of Ale. They can be sweeter and also bitter. Some have tropical flavors as a result of the hops that are used to brew them, while others will have no detectable hop flavors at all. Some will provide a warming effect from the higher alcohol levels and some will be so low in alcohol that you can drink many in a session and not become inebriated.
Lagers – This style of beer is typically very light, crisp and clean tasting and goes down very smooth. Lagers are enjoyed on hot summer days by many. These characteristics are a result of being brewed with Lager yeast, which takes longer to ferment and requires lower temperatures which result in less flavors being produced as compared to Ale’s.
Stouts & Porters – Do not let the appearance of these beers fool you. Many people think the darker the beer the stronger and harsher tasting it will be. Although that can be the case with some versions of these styles, the vast majority of them are actually quite light, creamy and smooth. Guinness Dry Irish Stout for example comes in at only 4.2% in alcohol and is a very light and easy drinking beer. Many times these beers will have hints of coffee and chocolate flavors.
Wheat Beers – These are also a style of Ale that includes wheat in the recipe. As a result they tend to have a slightly fuller and creamy mouthfeel then other Ale’s. Wheat beers are lighter in color and are typically hazy in appearance. Taste wise they tend to be citrusy with hints of lemon and most times are actually served with a lemon or orange slice.
Sours – This is the beer that non beer drinkers like because it does not taste like beer. Sours typically taste tart, light and fruity. They tend to resemble more of a wine taste.
#5 – Give Your Local Craft Brewery a Try
The craft beer industry has exploded in popularity across the world. Every town pretty much world wide has at least 1 craft brewery. The majority of them have tap rooms where you can go in and sample or have a few pints of their beer. Getting to taste these brews fresh from the brewery is a fun experience to do with friends.
Most will have anywhere from 5 – 10 beers on tap that they brew. Typically they will have an option where you can order a flight of beer which is basically a selection of all of their beers served in taster (4oz) size glasses. The flights are lots of fun and a great way to try out a wide selection of beer and find one that you like.
#6 – Get Rid of Your Frosty Mug
There are 4 reasons for this, the first is that beer is actually not meant to be served at that temperature, we will discuss that more in the next tip.
The second reason is that when you place your mug into the freezer to cool down it takes on the flavors of your freezer or whatever you have in the freezer, chicken, steak, hamburger, etc. Not flavors you want in your beer.
The third reason is that the ice that forms on the mug is going to melt when you take it out of the freezer and pour beer into it, essentially watering down your beer. Anything watered down loses its original taste. It would be like putting an ice cube into your beer, unspeakable to even think about.
The fourth reason is that the ice cold mug will cause your beer to foam up, this results in the beer losing some of it’s aroma as well as losing its carbonation quicker. You always want to drink beer out of a room temperature glass. Give your glass a quick rinse with cool water for best results.
#7 – Do Not Drink Your Beer Ice Cold
Beer was originally consumed warm and not refrigerated. In fact in many places around the world you will still find this is how it is served. I do prefer my beer to be at fridge temperatures, but never ice cold because you will lose the ability to detect it’s aroma and flavor at that temperature.
The whole notion that beer should be served ice cold originated during WWII when there was a shortage of grain and American brewers started making beer with ingredients such as rice which resulted in beers with much less flavor being produced and as a result they started recommending that you drink them ice cold so as not to notice.
Americans became used to these styles of beers over the years, most commercial beers are still brewed in this manner and hence why people still think all beer should be drunk ice cold.
If the beer you are trying is a low quality commercial beer that does not have much flavor or aroma then by all means serve it ice cold; and you probably should in order to hide it’s lack of taste.
However if you are drinking a craft beer that has been brewed with ingredients designed to enhance it’s flavor and aroma, never serve it ice cold. In order to really enjoy it’s characteristics, serving at fridge temperatures is fine, however taking it out of the fridge and letting it sit on the counter for 5 – 10 minutes before drinking it will enhance its flavors and aromas even more.
#8 – Drink Your Beer From a Glass
The perceived taste of your beverage (or food) is strongly connected to how it also smells, i.e it’s aroma. When you drink a beer from a bottle you are not allowing the beer’s aromas to be released and you are missing out on the overall experience and characteristics of that brew.
The style of glassware makes a difference when it comes to taste as well. I love to collect beer glasses of all shapes and sizes and depending on what mood I am in or what beer I am drinking will determine which glass I use.
There are whole articles written on what glass should be used for which beer. My suggestion is to start buying different styles of glasses, then before sitting down to sample the new beer you picked, do a quick google search to see which style of glass is recommended for that beer. It’s a strange thing to think that the type of glass improves your drinking experience but it is very true.
#9 – Don’t Drink Skunky Beer
Oftentimes you will hear people complain that they don’t like the taste of beer because it has a skunky taste. Most beer should not have a skunky taste, while a very few are designed that way on purpose.
If you are finding that the beer you are tasting has a skunky taste to it, the problem may be that you are letting it sit in the sunlight too long. When a beer is exposed to sunlight for too long it will take on those unpleasant tastes. Also beers that are bottled in white or green bottles versus brown bottles tend to have that skunky aroma also.
#10 – Try Beer With a Meal
Just like wine, certain beers pair well with different foods. So next time you want to try a beer do so with a meal. You may find that it will transform the flavor into one that you enjoy.
For the first little while you may find that you can only drink a beer while you are eating, but over time as your palette changes and you get accustomed to the taste and start to enjoy it you will be able to do so without having a meal alongside it.
How to Make Beer Taste Better
The following are 7 ways you can change the taste of your beer by adding things to it and make it more to your liking. Just like some of the other tips we covered today, try these out and find some that you like, as you do your palette is going to change and develop a liking for beer and eventually you will be able to drink it straight without the following changes.
#1 – Add Citrus
You have seen this done with many different beers. The key is it has to be with a lighter color beer, do not try it with dark beers like porters or stouts.
There are a couple of things you can try:
The first is adding a wedge of orange, lime or lemon to your beer. Wheat beers like Blue Moon and Mexican cerveza like Corona are good examples of this. The reason this works is the citrus flavor from the lime, lemon or orange distracts from the bitter after tastes from the beer.
The second thing you can try is actually making a concoction similar to a mimosas but instead of using champagne you would use orange juice. Start out by mixing it half and half and then adjusting from there. Basically you are making a homemade radler.
#2 – Add Salt
I can remember in my university days going out to a local club that would serve cheap draft, 25 cents a pint. It was not good beer to say the very least. We used to always add salt to it, just sprinkle in a little bit. My father also told me that when he was younger that was also a regular practice for he and his friends and after some research it turns out that it is a fairly well known practice from the past.
I can attest that it definitely helps improve the flavor of cheap beer. It reduces the bitterness of the beer while also increasing the mouthfeel. As soon as you add the salt you will notice what appear to be carbonation bubbles starting to rise from the bottom. It is definitely worth a shot.
#3 – Add Frozen Berries to Your beer
Very similar to what you have seen people do with their wine; freeze some berries and add them to your beer. Many beers are brewed and flavored with berries, this is a simple way to do this on your own. It will not only improve the taste but also keeps your beer cold (but not too cold).
Raspberries go great with stouts and porters and might be something you want to try.
# 4 – Margarita Your Beer
You have two options here. One is you can simply add some margarita mix directly to your beer. Some claim this improves the taste by adding sweetness and citrus flavors.
One of my favorite beer cocktails is called a bulldog; which is when you take a glass of margarita and put a bottle of corona into it upside down. It is preferable to use the smaller mini corona bottles if you can find them. Some people call this beverage a Coronarita. It’s tasty but beware it packs a serious punch.
#5 -Make a Shandy
A shandy has British origins and is a sort of beer cocktail of sorts. Traditionally it was a blonde lager that was mixed 50/50 with ginger ale. Nowadays people will use ginger beer, lemonade, apple juice, ginger ale, mountain dew and even lemon lime soda.
The addition of juice or soda makes for a sweeter drink than a beer alone, but it keeps it’s carbonation resulting in a light and refreshing beverage.
I actually had a beer on tap at my brew pub that I brewed that was part blonde ale and part mountain dew, people new to craft beer loved it.
#6 – Tomato or Clamato Juice
Adding tomato juice to my beer is one of my favorite things to do when I am out camping. For me it is a morning drink, instead of a Bloody Mary I stick to just beer and tomato juice. I will also sprinkle pepper on it as well. I have also drank this mixture when I was hung over and had another event to attend that day, it tends to bring me back around nicely. For me I mix it with half juice and half beer.
#7 – Beer Cocktails
Much of what we have just covered are in fact beer cocktails as you may have noticed me referring to them as. There are a ton of different beer cocktails you can make that are incredibly delicious.
People mix beer with all sorts of other liquors, from wine to spiced rum to coffee liqueur. After you try a few you will never look at beer the same way again.
To Wrap It Up
I trust you enjoyed this post and found some good tips on how to like beer. I wish you the best of luck in your attempts at this very worthy endeavor.
The following is a post you also might enjoy: How to make beer taste better.
Cheers, Big Robb is Out!