How To Review A Beer

Trying new beers can be very intimidating especially if there aren’t good reviews out there to give some expectation of what you are going to get. That’s probably why Budweiser, Coors and even some large scale craft breweries like Goose Island and Lagunitas get so many sales. People know that you’ll generally get these for cheaper prices, consistent quality and know exactly what they are getting. It’s time for there to be great reviews out there- because trying new ‘more obscure’ beers is great. Thanks to our friends at Beer Advocate, let’s take a look at what you need to know for writing a beer review.

Appearance (10%)
How does the beer look? Can you see through it? How’s the carbonation?

– Pale, Golden, Amber, Brown, Red, Black
– Clear or Cloudy
– Air bubbles, creamy

Smell (30%)
Take a deep breath over the glass and try to smell everything about the beer. Is it fragrant?

Taste (40%)
How does it taste?

– Bitter, Sweet
– Fruity, Chocolaty, Tart
– Piney, Citrus,
– Metallic, Alcohol, Vinegar

Feel (10%)
Is it heavy on the tongue? Many beers are either thick or light. Imagine drinking a Guinness that has a very smooth and lingering mouthfeel versus a Coors Light that will just rinse down and remove itself from your palate in a few moments.

Overall (10%) (
What’s your overall impression of the beer? Is it served in the correct glass? It is properly carbonated? Does it have any off-flavors?

Pouring the Beer
If you plan on drinking a beer out of the bottle, stick to the light ones or those that you stick a lime in (Sorry, Coronas. It’s true). If you want to drink and get the full flavor of a beer, grab that favorite glass out of the cupboard and pour the beer at a 45 degree angle for the first 80% of the beer, then vigorously pour the last 20% to get a great head to the beer. This will allow you to get the best out of each beer.

Go From Light to Dark
Any time you are going to have more than one beer in a sitting (i.e. a sampling party or just getting a flight out at a restaurant or brewery), it’s always good practice to go from light to dark (or the least alcohol content to the most). This will help keep your palate fresh as you taste each one. If you go in the reverse direction, for example, taste a really high alcohol content beer and then go to a lighter one, you won’t be able to differentiate the taste if you had gone the other way.

About Matt Strobel

Matt Strobel is the editor and lead writer for He works in marketing analytics and has been writing for the last five years. Don’t forget to subscribe to his website, share this article, and see the latest from Matt to show support for our new site!

Write A Comment