I think I failed my first blind beer taste test. The homemade set-up was as follows:
10 in total – 6 pilsners (Rostocker; M&O; Beck’s; Jever; Clausthalle alcohol-free; Oettinger Export), 2 dark lagers (Störtebeker; Köstritzer), 2 red/brown ales (Duckstein; Kilkenny) – from refrigerated bottles poured into numbered clear plastic cups.Each team was given a page with the beer labels and had to identify the contents of each cup.
My team didn’t perform all that well, but my inability to match taste to name was particularly embarrassing, especially since I consider myself to be halfway-versed in all things beer. Not so! While I could taste the difference between the beers, I couldn’t say which was which. That was especially surprising given how hoppy and bitter I find Jever relative to its pilsner peers and how malty I keep saying Duckstein is. From the ten, those are the two that I have imbibed regularly enough in the past to potentially identify blind – but I couldn’t. In fact, pains me as it does to admit this, I mixed Jever up with Beck’s *burns with shame*
So yeah, I was a bit upset at myself (and tipsy) that night, but in hindsight I’m glad my dismal performance took me down a notch of the beer-snob ladder I’d been quickly ascending. Actually more precisely, the beer-know-it-all ladder. A beer snob I am not: if you enjoy Beck’s, yay for you; I myself recently became Rostocker’s biggest advocate to everyone who keeps sh***ing on it. And though I probably do know more about beer than the average person, it doesn’t make much of a difference to our respective enjoyment of beer. Okay, except maybe when it comes to optimal serving temperature and serving style (above fridge temp and glass respectively).
My point is, drink what you enjoy drinking, and have fun discovering why you enjoy what you enjoy and why you don’t enjoy what you don’t enjoy. And remember, tastes can and do change! Go on, give Rostocker another chance…