That’s right. 70%.
When it comes to flavor, there are two main things that work together to shape your drinking experience: taste and aroma. But a lot of people are never told that aroma plays the dominant role in that relationship.
Next time you’re out at a brewery, look around you and count how many people dip their noses into their glass before taking a sip. It may sound novel, but the science behind it is undeniable – we’ve got about 300 odor receptors in our noses that work with our perception of taste to allow us to detect more than 10,000 other possible aromas.
When you taste a beer, it gives off aroma vapors that create a unique chemical reaction in our brain that only happens when our nose and mouth senses meet. It’s been proven that around 70% of the flavor you experience in a beer is guided by its aroma.
Most of a beer’s aroma is stored in its foamy head, so when you drink a beer straight from a bottle or can, you’re missing out on a big part of the experience.
So what should you do?
If you want to truly experience your favorite beer the way the brewer intended, it’s incredible what pouring it into the right type of glass can do. Many brewers will even recommend certain glassware to bring out the defining characteristics of a certain type of beer.
Below is a guide to getting the most out your next pour.
Weizen/Wheat Beer Glass
Weizens and wheat beers typically have a larger head than a lot of other beers. That’s why this glass is much taller than all other glassware. The large opening at the top cups the head to help release the citrus aromas that characterize these types of beers.
Named after its unique shape, tulip glasses are longer at the top to pair well with effervescent beers like pale ales, Scottish ales, and imperial IPA’s. This helps maintain the life of the head. The stem also brings the added benefit of keeping the beer separated from the warmth of your hand, so it remains colder for longer periods of time.
These glasses are characteristically smaller in volume, as they made their way over to the craft beer scene from those that initially enjoyed them with brandy and cognac. A snifter is best reserved for stronger and specialty brews like imperial IPA’s, barley wines, and Belgian ales. The shape of the glass specifically maintains the volatile compounds in the aroma of the beer, which is what you want to experience in these specialty brews.
With all that said, go forth and enjoy your brews to the fullest. Share your new knowledge with friends, and even pour some of your favorite beers again to experience the difference for yourself. San Diego has a lot of choices when it comes to quality brews, and CraftHounds is here to connect you to it all. Cheers!