How do I get better at smelling, tasting, and describing beer?

      

How do I get better at smelling, tasting, and describing beer? I hear this question over and over. Often, it isn’t even a question, it’s a statement like: “I’m not good at tasting and describing beer (or wine), so I can’t do the BJCP or Cicerone tests.” Never say that again and correct anyone else who does, it’s just not true! Read on to see why.

I did an AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) on Reddit awhile back to promote my Beer Scholar Study Guides, answer questions about the Cicerone Certification Program, and to generally talk beer with some like-minded people (here’s the whole AMA on Reddit: I wrote a study guide for the Cicerone exams. AMA.). One of the very first questions I got and the one which the most people seemed interested in was about learning to get better at flavor and aroma analysis:

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Lagunitas Brewing Company creates a joint venture with Heineken

The Lagunitas Brewing Company of Petaluma, CA and the Heineken Brewing Company of Amsterdam, Holland today announced that they have entered into a powerful new partnership, which will allow Lagunitas to export the exciting vibe of American Craft Beer globally.

HEINEKEN and Lagunitas will form a JOINT VENTURE and Lagunitas will continue to operate independently in the US and abroad, maintaining the integrity of its brews and culture. Tony Magee, founder of Lagunitas, will remain at the helm, with the same leadership and staff, same brewers, same recipes and same suppliers and distributors helping to drive the brand forward.

Both companies will benefit from the partnership. HEINEKEN provides Lagunitas with a global opportunity to present its beers to new communities and Lagunitas provides HEINEKEN with the opportunity to build a strong foothold in the dynamic Craft Brewing category on a global scale, a category that is growing in popularity almost everywhere now.

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