There is no better and easier way to cover a lot of tasting ground than through a beer flight or two. Seeing the small glasses of beautiful nectar lined up is a beautiful thing! So sit back and let’s go on a flight together.
The glasses used in beer flights normally range in size from 2 ounces to 6 ounces. To help capture the aroma, the best beer flights are served in glassware that curves at the top and each glass is not filled more than halfway. The purpose of a beer flight is to dig deeper and reveal unseen properties of the beer. Aroma is a large part of that. Sniff first, think about impressions, then sip; let the beer warm a little before swallowing and note the way the different tastes build and fade.
Before consuming or serving a beer flight consider the focus or the intent.
- Scout out the nuances of a particular beer style by comparing and contrasting a flight of different examples of the same style from different breweries. Line up four IPAs and find which one you like best, or pick a couple of stouts and a couple of porters and try to taste the differences.
- Are you into beer/food pairings? Try a flight of several different beers with the same dish to unlock the power of food pairings.
- Or simply use the beer flight as an excuse to try several new-to-you beers to determine which deserves the space of a full pint and more attention.
The general rule is to sample beers from darkest to lightest. Generally the lightest beers have a gentler character and lower ABV than the darker beers. Drinking lighter beers first is ideal as you’ll be able to taste the subtle nuanced flavors still. If you drink a lighter beer after a strong, bold beer then your palate may not be able to pick up on the softer flavors. Another recommendation is to work your way up based on the IBU of each beer as the bitterness can fatigue your palate.
Beer flights are a great way to widen your beer knowledge or help a friend broaden their beer repertoire. We think the best way to experience a beer flight is with a friend or fellow beer geek. Talk about the beers as you drink them — what you like, what you don’t, what you agree or disagree about.
Most importantly, just go out and log those beer flight miles!