By: Stephen Staples, DipWSET
Ah, beer! A beverage adored by many, often seen as a more casual counterpart to wine (rightly or wrongly). Yet, the complexities of beer, its aromas, flavors, and the sheer diversity of styles can be just as intricate as its vinous counterpart. While the laid-back approach to beer has its charm, there’s an allure to understanding it on a deeper, more nuanced level. Enter the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET).
Now, you might think: “WSET? Aren’t they all about wine, spirits and sake?” And while that’s historically accurate, the world of beverage education is evolving. Just as the casual wine lover benefits from structured wine education, so too can the beer drinker enhance their appreciation with formal beer learning. An important part of this education is embracing the Systematic Approach to Tasting (SAT) to Tasting Beer which is both an enlightening, enjoyable and tasty part of the journey.
So, what exactly is the Systematic Approach to Tasting (SAT) to tasting beer?
The WSET’s Systematic Approach to Tasting Beer and the Beer-Lexicon provides a structured framework to understand and evaluate beer. It offers learners a consistent and comprehensive way to approach beer tasting, focusing on its appearance, nose, palate, and the conclusions one can draw from these observations.
Why would a casual beer lover care about this approach?
For one, it can greatly enhance enjoyment. By understanding the intricacies of what you’re sipping, you can discover layers of flavor and aroma that might have previously gone unnoticed. It’s akin to watching a movie in high-definition – the experience is just richer. Similarly, comprehending the structure of beer adds depth to each sip, allowing you to savor the craftsmanship behind every brew.
Moreover, SAT can help you pinpoint your preferences. Perhaps you gravitate towards IPAs but shy away from stouts and can’t understand why? With a more formal understanding of beer components, you can better identify what appeals to your palate and why. Additionally, by recognizing the nuances of your favored styles, you can uncover other beer styles that align with your tastes, broadening your beverage horizons.
Furthermore, even if you find yourself disliking certain styles, understanding them can foster appreciation. While you might never develop a love for sour beers, knowing their history, production methods, and intended flavor profiles can cultivate respect for the craft and skill behind them.
Beer offers a rich tapestry of depth, history, and artistry within every bottle, can and keg. The WSET courses allow you to delve deeper into the nuances of each brew and expand your understanding of this vast beverage world. To all beer enthusiasts, take this chance to elevate your appreciation and knowledge.