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Learning the Art of Beer Tasting – Part 1

Have you ever wanted to learn the ins and outs of beer tasting? If you are reading this post I assume that answer is yes. Well, me too… I have been homebrewing for a while now but have never really picked up the art of being able to taste and describe beer accurately or consistently. Oh sure, I can tell you if a beer is bad or has diacetyl present, but, I can’t really tell you whether a particular beer is consistent with a specific style. This takes practice and a fine tuned palette. So, I embarking on a journey to fine tune my palette and practice, practice, practice…..

That said, I’m challenging myself  to increase my beer knowledge and vocabulary to a point where I can sit for the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) exam. Over the next several months I will be chronicling my path to accomplish this goal. Because this will be an evolving course I will be trying different methods and materials to hone in on the best way to absorb the information. I will be breaking down each of the BJCP categories in manageable chunks and probably throwing in a brew day recipe when appropriate.

I hope that you will join me in this journey and exchange your thoughts and ideas as we move forward. And…when the next homebrew competition comes around you and I will have the knowledge and confidence to sit down and judge some great beer.

Stay tuned and Happy Brewing!


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12 Responses to Learning the Art of Beer Tasting – Part 1

  1. This sounds like an interesting project.

    I’ve always relied on experience to taste my beers but I’m sure I miss a lot. It’ll be fun to read how you learn to do it properly.

    Good luck!

    • Hey John,
      Thanks for stopping by. I’m formulating the plan right now. Not completely sure where it’s going to go yet. I’m sure I’ll figure it out right at the end ;-). Stop by again soon.

  2. Clay,

    I’m hoping your experience will inspire me to prepare to take the BJCP exam.


  3. Just getting into home brewing and found your blog today. Looks to be full of great info for a newb like me! The brew rig looks awesome! I’m a VA neighbor a couple hours north. Looking forward to following your journey toward the BJCP, and improving my own tasting skills!

    • Hey Danny-
      Thanks for stopping by. We do big cluster brews from time to time where a bunch of brewers come together and brew at one place. Your not too far away to join us for one of those. Good luck with your new hobby. Stay in touch!

  4. Man, this post was exactly what I need to get my a$$ in gear and sign up for my local brew club. Being able to properly taste/sample beer is my goal. Thanks. Rudy

    • Thanks Rudy. Sorry I’ve been kind of a slacker in follow up posts in this series. Been kinda crazy around here for the last several months. Stay tuned though. Cheers!

  5. Hi,

    I neighbour from the other side of the pond, looking forward to following your progress on this. New to HB, and trying to learn as much as I can.

    Have fun

    • Hey Tony- thanks for stopping by. Been a little slow out of the gate on the beer tasting series. Stay tuned though.

  6. Hope you have improved your skills on beer tasting. I’m trying to follow your steps although it’s not that easy in Brazil as it is in your country. Anyway, giving up is not my goal. Cheers.

  7. Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy Wow…and just like that beer.

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