Today, on July 21, we celebrate our national holiday! The perfect moment to be extra proud of our little country.
Besides the performance of the Red Devils at the World Cup, we as Belgians can also be very proud of our beer culture.
What better day than today to organize a beertasting? Below you will find our tips & tricks for an enjoyable and instructive tasting evening.
Which beers to select?
If you know that Belgium has almost 2000 beer brands, then making choices is difficult. If you start selecting beers haphazardly, it is difficult to compare them with each other. That is why it is best to work around a particular theme or to get advice from an expert.
At BeerSelect we made a unique selection of 8 top-fermenting blond specialty beers with refermentation in the bottle. The three beer styles: Blond, Saison and Tripel, are traditionally Belgian and can easily be compared. So in our Discovery Box you can perfectly compare the Toria Blond with ‘t Gijzelaarke Blond, but you can also observe the differences between the Keikop Saison and the Keikop Tripel.
Which glass to use?
The glass you use also has a big impact on the taste experience. As a typical tasting glass, we recommend the BeerSelect Tasting Glass. However, if you want to be able to pour your entire beer, then the Sommelier Glass is a better choice. In general, make sure your glass is round in the center and that it narrows towards the rim. On the one hand it ensures that you can easily roll the beer, and on the other that the aromas and flavor are well preserved.
At what temperature?
Before tasting, make sure that the special beers have been stored at the same temperature for several days. Large temperature variations will affect the taste of the beer. An ideal temperature for our selection is 6-8°C.
Now it’s time to pour your beer. Make sure your glass is clean, but never wash it in the dishwasher (these can leave soap scum which makes for little foam). Hold your glass by the stem and keep it at an angle of about 45 degrees. Slowly pour the beer and let it slide like a spiral against the side of the glass. Are you halfway through? Then gently turn your glass upright a little while you continue to pour. This will create a nice head of foam.
TIP: While pouring, leave 1cm in the bottle. That’s where the yeast deposit is (only for refermentation in the bottle!). The yeast deposit is often a lot cloudier than the beer, and makes the beer a little less hard. Using a yeast glass, you can taste the yeast separately, which makes the experience all the more enjoyable.
In what order?
For the order of beers during your tasting night, it’s best to pay attention to two things: the intensity of the flavors and the alcohol percentage. Strong flavors and heavy beers linger much longer than light beers with less pronounced flavors. That is why it is best to start with the beers with a lower alcohol percentage and to slowly move on to the somewhat stronger beers.
If you always want to be able to give an objective assessment, it is best to rinse your glass after each beer and eat a piece of bread. This neutralizes your taste buds.
Finally time to taste.
In addition to being fun with friends or family, a beer tasting is also informative!
We’ll start with the view, then move on to the taste, mouthfeel and aftertaste. Of course, your personal opinion about the beer should not be missing. Because say, everyone has a different preference, right?