But I don’t know if I like beer…

First and foremost, I am not trying to persuade anyone to drink beer.  I frown upon excessive beer consumption, and I frown on underage drinking.  Whew!  Now… let’s get to the good stuff.  Today, we’re learning how to review a beer, and I’m basing my review off guidelines provided by an article at BeerAdvocate.

My first beer when a warm keg beer in a plastic, red cup.  It was a Miller Lite.  I hated it.  Guess what… now that I have an appreciation for brews, I can honestly say that I still despise warm beer, prefer not to drink from plastic cups, and dislike Miller Lite.

red cup

Knowing which beer to pick is the hardest part.  It depends on many factors, such as what you already like.  Sweet or savory?  Light or hearty?  Even seasons can play a part in your beer experience.  (I know you all have heard of chilled pinot grigio in summer!)

With all these variables, I’m going to just generalize here, and we’re going to go with a whitbier. Yesterday via tweet, It’s Just the Booze Dancing and Beer Runner also recommended a crisp wheat beer (hefeweizen, actually) for a beer newbie, which makes me feel better about my choice.  I’d go with a Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat or Hoegaarden, and for this post, let’s stick with Hoegaarden’s White Ale.  (On a side note, Kevin is not a Hoegaarden fan!)

Hoegaarden

Appearance

  • First, pour your beer into a pint glass at an angle or order it draft.  Notice its appearance, including the beautiful light yellow color and its cloudiness.  This isn’t a very heavy beer, but as a non-filtered ale, it’s more cloudy than your typical American lager.  You can also take note of the lovely lacy head on top.  Makes it cute, right?  (I think the Hoegaarden people would track me down if they discovered I called their beer cute.)

Smell

  • Doesn’t it smell pleasant?  Your senses may pick up different things than other people – just like with wine.  You could notice lemon, bananas, other citrus, spice, yeast, malt, or even pepper.  I mean, we’re not talking about fragrant rum punch; it’s still beer.

Taste

  • Finally!  Don’t get too excited; we’re not shot-gunning!  Sip, savor, and think about any complex flavors you taste.  Maybe it’s apricot, orange, or lemon that’s dancing with the doughy flavor in your glass.  Is there an aftertaste?  There’s a lot going on here, but this is not an overpowering beer.

Mouthfeel

  • Mouth-whaaa?  Many stout drinkers might say this is light and refreshing, but if you’re used to a light pilsner, you may think it has moderate carbonation with a n almost “chewy” mouthfeel.  It’s relative, and there are no wrong answers.  Score!

Overall

  • We’re at the finish line here.  Ask yourself the most important question, do you like it?

 Hoegaarden

I hope that helps.  As you know, this blog is more about healthy living, fun times, and random oddities than beer education, but I hope we all learned a little something.  As you know, I don’t place beer in my “healthy things” file, but I keep it in my “enjoy in moderation and let the good times roll” file.  Yeah, that files much cooler.

  • Have you had this beer?  What do you think?
  • Also, I’m curious as to how many readers are also beer drinkers.  Gimme’ your two cents.

Have a super weekend!

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37 Comments to “But I don’t know if I like beer…”

  1. This is great for beer novices! I don’t drink beer all the time (even though I do annually go to the AC Celebration of Suds), but there is really nothing like an ice cold beer on a hot day!

  2. I’m a definite fan of this beer, though not as much as my beau. However, when he gets a six pack, normally I’ll try to sneak at least one or two!

    Sidenote: The word mouthfeel makes me feel a little dirty. Mouthfeel. ewwwww.

  3. Bahhhh I am not a beer drinker. I just cannot get over the smell for whatever reason. Even beers that beer drinkers say “dont taste like beer” taste like beer to me. I am alll about the red wine!

    • Mmmm… wine is gooooood Kev has taken a liking to scotch, and I get mad if he gets too close to me with it. Now that stuff smells bad! haha

  4. I’m definitely a novice beer taster as well, but I agree that “mouthfeel” is tough to describe, and totally relative to your expectations!

    Do I like beer? Well duh. 🙂

    Great post!

  5. My favorite beer is the Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin Ale. This is also a wheat beer, but it has pale malt flavors that satisfy my IPA preference taste buds! At 7.5% alcohol, drinking more than one or two in an evening can be dangerous. These go well with a hearty summer cookout!

  6. I’m actually not a beed drinker at all. I used to be when I was younger, but I never enjoyed it. I don’t really drink that much alcohol at all, but I do love a good red wine once in a while… and I’ll never turn down a glass of champagne when it’s time to celebrate 😀

  7. I think I’ve had sips of my boyfriend Hoegaarden before but never a full glass. I’m much more a wine drinker than beer drinker – I’m not sure why, it’s just my preference. Something about beer doesn’t sit well with me. In general I’m not a HUGE drinker anyway so I’m probably the worst person to ask 🙂

  8. Love Hoegaarden! YUM!

    My first beer was a warm Alpine. I hated every sip of it and refused to drink beer (unless i was already drunk) for YEARS until I started dating a boy who had a love for expensive beer… I love it now!@

  9. I am a huge beer fan. I show up to wine/girly drink events at friends’ houses with my own six pack (no–I don’t drink the whole thing…usually). And the darker the better, although I do enjoy a good hefeweizen or IPA. That said, I love this post, as my beer tasting/judging skills basically only include that last step up there–do I like it? Now I’m ready to try something new and judge with a little more…judgment.

  10. I totally agree with the whitbier/wheat beer as first beer sentiment. I HATED all the crappy miller/natty/whatever they fed me in college. After moving out of rural middle of nowhere I’ve found I do indeed LOVE beer. My new favorites are really spicy IPAs (Like Russian River: Pliny the elder, and Dogfishhead 60 min IPA), and sour beers (Jolly Pumpkin and Russian River have some good ones).

    Thanks for the message on my blog because after reading the title of yours I knew I had to follow! 😀

  11. What a descriptive post! I am a wine-lover at heart, but you just can’t beat a cold beer in the summer 🙂 I highly recommend a summer ale from the suburbs of Philadelphia: Victory Whirlwind. (I think many beer lovers have heard of Victory’s Prima Pils or Hop Devil, but Whirlwind is a perfect summer beer!)

  12. great post. my hubby is way into beer so he tells me about it all the time 🙂

  13. I love this post!! I was just coming over to your site, because I wanted to ask you what would your recommendation be for beer with bbq! And here you go, posting for us beer newbies!
    Would those be good for bbq food? I’m going to this bbq joint, and supposedly, they have a huge beer list.

    I honestly do not know what kind of beer drinker I am. Let me think… The beers that I tend to enjoy: corona light with salt and lemon/lime, coors light, amstel light, I remember trying a pale ale beer, but can’t recall the exact name…

    So embarrassed! 🙂 But I am willing to learn, and find out what my favorite kind of beer will be!

    • Hmmm… good question! I think ESBs go best with BBQ, but they’re hit or miss and occasionally hard to find. Sooooo I recommend Dos Eqis amber. The malty will balance BBQ spice, and it isn’t bitter. You can even have it with a lime like Corona – though I think I prefer it fruitless. 🙂 Enjoy your BBQ!

  14. Hmmm..I’ve yet to acquire the taste for beer, but maybe you’ve convinced me to give it another try, ha!

  15. i’m not a beer drinker, but i’ve heard that miller lite is pretty bad!!!
    but here’s a fun beer fact: i live in waterloo, ontario and kitchener-waterloo is totally famous for oktoberfest, held every october (surprise!) – it’s one of the biggest oktoberfests in the world! (no clue if the beer is actually any good!)

  16. I love me some cold beer! 🙂 I like trying different kinds of beers, especially at brewery type restaurants. I’m Great Lakes gal, it’s a Cleveland beer. So good!

  17. Great Lakes has some goooooood stuff!

  18. I only drink at sporting events… I cant get in the mood to drink beer anywhere else! Can you suggest a good fruity beer?

    • The only good summer one that comes to mind is Sweetwater Blue. It still tastes like a beer, but there’s a hint of blueberry that isn’t syrupy sweet. I feel festive when I drink it on the 4th of July. 🙂

  19. LOVELOVELOVE beer! (There’s a page dedicated to my love of beer on my blog, go figure right?)

    My favorite beers are IPAs and bitter pale ales, but I do enjoy a good oatmeal stout or winter warmer ale too!

    Bell’s Oberon is a good summer wheat ale, but my favorite seasonal beers are pumpkin beers, such as Dogfish Head Punkin Ale (yum)

    • Really?! I’m going to have to check it out in the very near future. I very much enjoy IPAs, but seasonals are so fun, aren’t they? Great for a change of pace.

  20. Love Hoegaarden! And most other beers…hard to find one I don’t like! Try the Wachusett Blueberry beer. Amazing for summer!

  21. Great tips. I love beer and wine tasting. And you’re right, can’t overindulge. You’ll wreck your tastebuds.

  22. You are a woman after my heart!!! I love Hoegaarden. Also love sunset wheat! Beer is so delicious and you can definitely live healthy and still enjoy it. Yum!

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