Whether they’re watching a ball game, dining out at a restaurant or checking out the newest brewery in town, there’s no denying Americans love their beer.
Fourteen percent of Americans drink beer once a week and American consumers aged 21 and older consumed 27.5 gallons of beer and cider per person during 2015. Furthermore, a 2016 Gallup Poll found that 43 percent of legal drinkers prefer beer over wine and spirits.
The growing popularity of the craft beer market has increased beer’s popularity as well. The U.S. craft beer market is worth $23.5 billion and small and independent brewers now represent 12 percent market share of the overall beer industry. In 2015 alone, the number of operating breweries grew 15 percent to 4,269-the most at any time in American history.
As the craft beer industry continues to grow, Americans are flocking to breweries to try the latest and greatest brews. Seasonal beer is a popular draw in the craft beer market and eighty four percent of craft beer customers like to choose their beer depending on the season. To enjoy your favorite seasonal beer a little longer, a growler is becoming a must-have for beer connoisseurs who want to enjoy their favorite types of beer at home.
Getting into the craft beer craze can be fun and a great way to enjoy the newest types of beer available at your local brewery. Whether you want to try the latest lagers, porters or stouts, here are some good tips when it comes to trying new craft beers.
- Don’t be afraid to take more than one sip. With so many types of beer available that means there are a lot of flavors and those flavors can be complex. Take a cherry wheat beer for instance. With the first sip, you may taste more wheat than cherry. The next sip may yield more cherry than wheat. Take time to really experience the complex flavors of whatever types of beer you’re trying. That will help you determine whether or not you really like a particular flavor or beer type.
- Keep your beer at the right temperature. There’s no doubt that traditionally beer is best enjoyed cold, but over-chilling beer can also interfere with the taste receptors on your tongue. Numbing your tongue can make it difficult to enjoy the nuances in flavor of whatever beer you’re trying.
- If you order a beer flight or sampler, try all the different types of beer in order. Start with the lowest ABV beer and work your way up. Starting with heavier beers can be overwhelming to your palate and you could miss out on some of the flavors of the lighter beers.
- Don’t be afraid to take notes. With so many types of beer available from so many craft breweries, it can be helpful to know what you like and don’t like. Apps like Untappd and Tap Tracker allow you to rate different beers and you can keep track of which ones you enjoy the best. Beer enthusiasts can also share their ratings of different beers and can the apps make it easy to get recommendations of other beers to try.
- When it comes to drinking your beer, make sure to use the right glassware. Different glassware like imperial pints and flutes each have their merits, but using the right glassware maximizes the flavor of new beers you may be trying. It may sound silly, but your beer drinking experience of a specific brand or flavor may be determined by the glassware you use. The right glassware allows the beer to stay cool and allows it to breathe, which brings out the complexities in the flavor.
Trying new flavors of beer or different types of alcohol can be fun, but it should always be done responsibly. Don’t be afraid to take more than one sip when trying a new beer and keep notes to remember what you did or didn’t like about particular beer brands or beer flavors.