The beloved subgenre of India Pale Ale type is the undisputed champion among beer crafters. The nascent style called New England IPA relies on tangy, fruity hops to achieve a jui...
The taste of a beer usually comes from four ingredients, yeast, water, malt and hop. Additionally, beer quality also depends on the quality of hops, yeast quality, yeast kind, etc.
- Hop– Hops are known for adding a trace of bitterness to beer that goes well with citrus and flowery additives.
- Beer Yeast– Probably, the most significant ingredient is yeast. Yeast gives a neutral, sugar taste to beer and leverages the fruity and spice notes in its aroma.
- Malt- Malt or barley contributes to the grainy dry flavour.
- Water– H2O accounts for most of the volume in beer.
Some brewers may add fruits, spices or other ingredients to their beers to give them a different taste.
How To Identify A Good Beer
You can tell everything about a good beer just by tasting it. It involves evaluating different aspects of a beer style like balance, complexity, intensity, colour, crispness, ester profile. WHC Lab is breaking down the most important here for you:
Whether or not you are a frequent beer drinker, it is simple to identify a quality beer based on its aroma. The major key ingredient that gives beers their great fragrance is hop. Hop contains essential oils and resins which contribute to the flavour as well enhancing the brewing process of the beer giving the beer a piquant aroma.
Depending on the variety of hop, brewers are able to give beers their aroma varying from citrus, pine, floral, spice, pine, grass, fruit, etc.
The idea of balance in a beer is closely related to how the overall flavour of the beer tastes like.
“Good beer has a balance of flavour profiles, not necessarily just styles, with something for every palate and every plate, no matter the size of the list,” says Greg Engert, Beer Director & Partner with Washington, D.C.’s Neighborhood Restaurant Group.
A major contribution is shared by Yeast. Yeasts are tiny organisms that are responsible for converting sugar into alcohol. And the type of yeast ensures different taste development in a beer.
Companies like WHC Lab, which specialize in yeast, create different strains of yeast usable in beer brewing.
WHC Lab suggests that two species of yeast are used in brewing beer: 1) Ale yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae and 2) Lager yeast called S. pastorianus.
The availability of various strains in the beer brewing process helps attain the right balance of acidity, sourness, and punch in the beer.
Another metric that is heavily regarded as a key factor in assessing the beer quality is its colour. Light lager beers are usually light in colour and as their intensity heightens, their colour darkens.
Experts suggest that it is hard to judge a beer by its colour. For example, India Pale Ale (light colour) is much higher in alcohol and bitterness than Milk stout (dark colour) which is a lot sweeter and lower in alcohol.
The best way to identify a good beer is to taste it because you will never know whether you will like a certain beer based on its colour.
One of the key metrics to identify a good beer is to know its alcohol content which can be obtained from the bottle’s label. Generally, you cannot find the Original Gravity and Final Gravity readings on the label. But these readings are vital to measuring the ABV (Alcohol By Volume) of a beer. The alcohol content in a beer impacts the flavours of the beer and creates a high-quality beer.
Traditionally, Ale beer, which is the first type of beer, was made without any hop at all. Over time, the taste has changed. Now, ales, and lagers are more hop dominant. The best way to learn about a certain beer is to try it.
Lager tends to be higher on the sweet and smooth content because they have more malt in them.
However, the beer revolution going on at many places has become popular exposing beer lovers to some of the hoppier ales and lagers like IPAs, Pale Ale, Imperial IPA, etc.
Feel of the Beer
Many individuals will be surprised to know that there is an actual difference between how a good beer feels like and what a bad beer feels like. To know it, take a gulp, and the feeling of the beer is different from its taste. A beer’s overall viscosity and the way malts feel in your mouth can set apart a good beer from a bad beer.
Beers start out as either lager or ale, and their specific styles and flavours continue to evolve with time. However, under the broad category, it is simple to identify a good beer based on its taste, aroma, colour, alcohol content, and overall feel.