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Beer Tasting
Written by Catherine Davis   

If you enjoy a pint but tend to stick to well known brands, beer and ale tasting could be the way to extend your knowledge.

Over 2,500 beer and ale varieties are brewed in the UK alone, each with its own unique character depending on the recipe and ingredients used. You don't need to be an expert, but tasting different styles will enhance your appreciation and help you discover those beers and ales that most appeal to your palate. The procedure is similar to wine tasting except that you don't spit it out.

Make sure the beer is served at the right temperature to bring out its qualities. Generally speaking, it should look clear and bright in the glass. Give it a swirl, take a deep sniff to savour the aromas, then swallow enough beer to wash over your tongue and consider the balance of malt and hop flavours. The after taste should be clean and pleasant.

Beer tasting takes place at pub events, visits to local breweries, regional and national festivals. The annual Great British Beer Festival is organised by CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale). Other notable events include the German Oktoberfest and the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), which is thought to be biggest in world.

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