I’ve fallen victim to this myself a million times in my excitement to try a new beer, but if you truly want to know what a beer tastes like it’s important to cleanse your palate before jumping into a new brew. Just like with wine a lot of different factors go into the taste of the beer. Left over tannins, off flavors, heavy flavors, acids and all sorts of other items could be hanging out in your face whole and can leave you with an unfair opinion of a new beer.
The easiest palate cleanser is some chilled water, it does a fairly good job at cleaning out your mouth if you give it a little swish around. Plus it’s typically free at the bar and it’s always good to hydrate if you’re going to go a little overboard with your “tastings”. But all the other norms are available to help clean out your tongue bin. Cheese, crackers and bread are mild and really help get the job done.
What really works is different for everybody so just experiment with fruits and other mild flavors between a beer to see what sets you back to ground zero. Just stay away from the salty, spicy and greasy if you’re hoping to get your tastebuds back in line.
Photo: Samuel Hansen