It’s beer week in Eugene! For the past four years, our wonderful city has hosted a weeklong celebration of craft beer, and it’s pretty awesome. All of the breweries, restaurants, bars and taprooms in town have special events, beer tasting dinners, special beer releases and more, all during the first week in June.
There are a ton of things to do if you’re a beer lover, so clear your calendar. For more detailed information and a complete list of events, I urge you to visit the Eugene Beer Week webpage.
Now, before you go breaking out your beer straw hats and beer bongs, I want to up you on some game.
First off, the point of drinking craft beer is not to get obliterated. That can be fun and all, but save that for your next frat party. There are many things to appreciate in a good beer, so you’ll need to know how to do it right.
Beer Advocate is one of the leading resources for craft beer enthusiasts and experts alike, and they have a great model for how to taste a beer.
First, hold your beer up in front of you and take a nice long look at it. Note the color, the head, the carbonation and appreciate the overall beauty of the masterpiece you’re holding in your hand.
Next, give it a little bit of a swirl in the glass. This will agitate the beer, stimulating carbonation and unlocking aromas and subtle nuances.
Now, give it a whiff. Much of the experience is in the aroma, so sniff it a couple times and see what notes you can detect. Depending on the beer, you might get anything from floral and bitter herbaceous notes to fruitier and sweeter citrus ones.
Ok, you’ve been very well behaved and patient, so now you get your treat. Take a sip, and let it slowly wash over your palate. Remember, you’re beer tasting. Note the way it feels in your mouth, the consistency of the liquid and see what flavors you can detect. Often the flavors will change considerably over just a couple of seconds, between the front end and the back end of the sip.
All right boys and girls, I know this information is very basic, but it’s incredibly important. Knowing how to appreciate a good beer brings you one step closer to being a more cultured adult. A lot of passion, creativity and hard work went into the beer you’re drinking, so respect the craftsmanship.
Now get out there and have fun, and here’s to the 4th Annual Eugene Beer Week.