I would walk into a brewery with my husband and he would get greeted like Norm from Cheers. Me? A wave or a quick hello, if I was lucky. But I refused to let this intimidate me. I’d take my tour, read the menu, and confidently order my beer. I would hold up my glass to look at the color, I’d smell the aroma, and I would take that anticipated first sip. Mmmmm. Too bad a lot of women weren’t given the same chit-chat from the bartender as most men got over their selection, but times they are a changing.
Ladies, we know our stuff (or are trying to), and shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions or strike up a conversation with the bartender, brewer, or owner. I have heard plenty of men ask some pretty silly questions without thinking twice. Worst yet, I have heard many a man go to order but says he doesn’t like “bitter beers”, doesn’t want anything “too heavy’, nothing “too dark”, and absolutely “hates sours”. What the heck are you doing in a microbrewery then? That guy wasn’t holding back, so don’t you.
We all have to learn to speak up and feel comfortable. Yes, many times the breweries are so busy that a conversation isn’t possible. But with so many microbrews opening, you don’t have to go far to find a friendly face. Don’t be afraid to ask about a beer, and don’t hesitate to ask for a sample. These breweries are putting their heart, soul, and money into this passion of theirs. They want you to enjoy your time in their establishment and learn about their product. After all, we are all there for the same reason…a great beer and a good time.
Now Sit Back And Enjoy Your Flight!
You walk into the brewery, take your tour, and go read the menu. You see Stouts, IPA’s, Ales, Lagers, Wits, and a …Sour? A sour beer? What does that mean? The brewer purposely made the beer acidic to taste tart? Hmmmmm…….
Bacteria are what give the sour beers their distinct taste. Lactobacillus and Pediococcus are the two bacteria that turn the sugars into lactic acid and increase acidity. Brettanomyces is wild yeast that balances the beer with an earthiness. So how do they taste?
At first sip, I thought, “Oooh, too tart!” But then I was asked by the brewer, “Do you like wine?” I replied, “Yes.” He said, “Take another sip and think about wine.” Wow! He was right. The sour took on an entirely new profile. Comparing it to wine, rather than a sour or tart drink, had me appreciating it a lot more. It was crisp, clean, refreshing, tart and fruity. Yay! A brand new way to enjoy a beer.
Sours can be a great alternative to those who don’t love beer but do like wine. For me, they’re a brew to slowly sip and savor the flavor of just one. I must admit, I don’t regularly order a sour. Having it as a sidecar, or just asking for a sample is about my extent. This year I will stop being a sourpuss and find a sweetness for sours.
Now sit back and enjoy your flight!
Just like we eat with our eyes when a plate of food is put in front of us, we drink with our eyes when a flight is presented to us. The beautiful hues of ales, ambers, lagers, and ports can make for a Kodak moment you want to remember and share with others.
When your selection is given to you in order from lightest to darkest, you can’t help but smile and say, “How pretty!” Automatically your tasting is off to a great start. Take a moment and look at your selections. Watch the bubbles rise (a sign of a clean glass). Hold the glass up to the light. Revel in the beauty of the different shades, and see if the color resembles the description given on the menu. Try to guess which pour is which without reading your selections.
I personally feel ambers are the prettiest of them all. The rich reds are so warming and gorgeous, I hate having them disappear. It’s really amazing how just the slightest variances in color can enrich and add eye candy to your tasting. If the taste is as yummy as the color, a total win!Take the time to visually enjoy your flight as well as taste it. After all, looks aren’t everything, but they sure do help!
Take the time to visually enjoy your flight as well as taste it. After all, looks aren’t everything, but they sure do help!
Now sit back, and enjoy your flight!
Hi, I’m Karen Renzulli, and I am just as much a lover of beer as my husband, Tom, who also writes for the site. With the increase of popularity of beer, women enjoying, tasting, and learning about beer is becoming more the norm. While living in Flagstaff, AZ for a brief period, microbrews were the big thing in the local beer scene and we grew to love them. At first sip, I was not in “flavor” of them. I could make a beer last for hours and it was not enjoyable. I decided that if I was to learn to like these new flavors I would have to teach myself a new style of tasting so I could appreciate all the different brews. Beer tasting can be very intimidating to a woman who doesn’t know about the different styles of beer. I hope to use my knowledge and style of tasting to encourage all ladies to be confident in ordering and enjoying a flight of beer. A flight is a sampling of several beers in small glasses and is a popular way to try new types of beer without committing to a full pint. By using our senses of sight, smell, and taste, we all can join in any conversation about the beer in front of us. With each article, I will focus on one aspect of a flight using my own “girl” take on the topic, and hopefully, make you laugh a little! Please join me in exploring an exciting, interactive way to taste and ultimately appreciate a beer you might never have even considered.
Pucker Up with an IPA
One of the most difficult types of beer to appreciate, and more importantly enjoy, is the IPA. IPA stands for India Pale Ale. It is a hoppy beer style that is described with a puckered pout as bitter.
I felt the same way when I first tried these golden lip smackers. My face contorted and I wanted to spit it out. I couldn’t understand who would actually like this pour. What helped me to enjoy IPAs is not thinking that they were bitter, but that they were citrusy, like a grapefruit. Having this different mindset completely altered my taste buds to expect citrus and not bitterness. I like to rate the IPA on how close it is to a grapefruit or orange. I also like to imagine how refreshing and crisp the IPA would be on a hot summer day sitting by a pool. If I can taste and picture this, then that’s a keeper in my book! By no means are all IPAs citrusy, but I do think this is a fun way to start my flight. The love of an IPA may not come overnight, but each small sip a girl takes is one giant leap for womankind!
Now sit back and enjoy your flight!