November 30, 2021

How to identify a good beer in 5 steps

Why is it important to know how to identify a good beer ? It has become increasingly popular to travel to brasseries or places where different beers are sold in jars, and finding the best becomes a work of tasting and curation. In general, the identification of a good beer follows pretty much the same steps as when we try to find out if a wine is quality or not. It goes beyond the unique taste, and is for those who want to become true connoisseurs (and not spend on bad beer).


If you have ever entered a brasserie, you know that smell is one of the main elements of the drink. Before you even taste it, the aroma of malt gives you an idea of ​​its flavor. Regardless type of beer, it must give off a pleasant aroma (which may vary depending on its production). In a bottle or jar, you only need to take a deep puff to smell the scent, but if you don’t smell anything or if the smell is bad, weird, or not pleasant at all, it is not of good quality.


The beer color is an important factor when it comes to quality. Either it’s about light or dark beers, the drink must have a clear and coherent appearance. If she doesn’t have a classic shade (unless it is a special flavored beer) the quality may be lower. It can be identified if the drink seems too light or too dark, or if, when shaken a little, its color changes a bit and does not stay the same throughout the bottle or jar.

Taste and aftertaste

There is not one taste of beer, and there are actually different categories, not to mention artisanal flavors, among others. It can be sweet, bitter, or have other types of flavors, but regardless of the type, the taste should be clear in the mouth, and while some say it should not leave an aftertaste, some brasseries specialize in drinks that leave a little extra. If the taste is light, or barely noticeable, it is not of good quality. Likewise, if the aftertaste is strange or it makes your tongue hot, whatever your taste is, it is not a good beer.


Another way to tell if you are drinking good beer is to look at the foam. A good beer generates a lot of foam of light consistency which takes a long time to dissipate. In fact, once you have drunk it, let it be in a beer or in a glass, it should leave a small trail of foam. If not, it is not of good quality. On the other hand, if you are talking about the ingredients of the beer, try to identify them by taste, and if the taste is not the same or if it is not as strong, the quality may not be as good. Some places specializing in beer offer a list of all the beers they have available, sometimes from other countries or places. In these cases, we can say that a selection is good if there is a balance between the pieces, if the curation is done in a way that includes the season or the products they are selling. Much depends on the curator and the location. Although everyone’s tastes are different, when it comes to identifying a good or a bad beer, some factors become very clear. Now that freelance and handcrafted offerings are so popular, it’s important to get a feel for what you’re drinking and whether it’s really worth the money. So think of every experience as a taste adventure, and treat every beer like a wine.

Via GQ Mexico and Latin America.