Please note that this article is not meant to be taken seriously.
So, you’ve stepped into the craft beer world. You’ve stopped drinking out of the bottle like a hobo, started letting your beer warm up a bit before drinking, and you now use words like “snifter” and twirl your beer around in the glass like an idiot on a regular basis. Now you’re telling me that you want to be a beer reviewer? Alright, tough guy (or gal), I am going to lend you my expertise into this lucrative and glamorous world of beer reviewing. Below is a guide that I have developed over the past two years of super professional beer reviews that should help you get your feet (and lips) wet. Just look at my friend Gus up there. That is what a professional beer reviewer looks like.
Know what the hell you are reviewing
What the hell is beer, anyway? What makes a stout different from an IPA? Why do I feel differently after downing an entire six pack alone in my house on a Monday night? Do my parents really love me? Most of these are questions you ought to be able to answer before you even think about going to Beer Review Town. I’m not saying you need to be the Rain Man of beer, but you have to have some familiarity with beer. Learn it. There’s a book on the subject: it’s available at the bar.
Be better than everyone
Now that you know your beer, who do you think you are? What makes you think your palate is so much better than Joey Sixpack’s? Why should I even bother with looking at your reviews in the first place? These are questions that you should expect, and you should have an answer; “Because I am better than everyone”. You think beer is a game? It’s serious business, and you should treat it as such. Beer isn’t about relaxing or having good times with friends. It’s about proving to everyone that you know more than they do. Bill Jobs and Steve Gates didn’t make thousands (literally, thousands) of dollars by trying to be #2. Know what I’m saying? Only you can pick up on the subtle flavors and aromas from beer.
Throw in a little pizazz
You gotta sprinkle a little glitter on your reviews. Maybe it’s a cute sign off like saying “Prost!” at the end of your review (though, only turds do that. Don’t be a turd.). Maybe you like to use flowery language like “The appearance of this beer is reminiscent of the final vestige of a memory from my youth; the crest of the sunrise on a brisk summer morning in the foothills of New Albany.” Whatever you do, just make it your own. Or don’t. I don’t care. Is anyone even reading this?
Things to review
Probably the least important thing about a beer (there, I said it), the appearance is a factor of the beer-drinking experience. Your review should reflect that. First off, you have to pour it into something. Then, look at that beer. Just look at it. What makes it look good or bad? Does it look flat with no head (lololol)? Is it sparkling like champagne? Is it glowing neon green with chunks of oysters floating in it? Take time to get to know your beer’s beauty marks. Sometimes a beer looks OK until you realize it’s got something gross like toes for thumbs like that wretched Megan Fox. To put it in other terms, checking out how a beer looks is like scoping that fine shorty (read: shawty) at the end of the bar. You can’t just run in and start shouting “HEY GIRL!” with your eyes closed. That only leads to a black eye and a restraining order. Trust me. You gotta give her the eyes first. My personal opinion is that you don’t want to spend a whole bunch of time writing out the appearance part because, frankly, most people have a good idea about what beer should look like. Also, nobody reads that part. Or any other part.
Put your nose all up in that beer. Aww, yeah. Smell it. Keep in mind most of the “flavors” we perceive in beer come from smell, not taste. Pro tip – if you’ve never smelled beer so hard you got foam in your nose, you’re doing it wrong. Describe what you smell in familiar terms. If it smells like chocolate and raisins, say it smells like chocolate and raisins. Twirl your glass around to generate a little more head (lolololol), then bury your nose back into the beer. Some beers have more pronounced aromas than others. An IPA smell a lot different and stronger than a Hefeweizen, but all beer has some kind of aroma. It helps if you are familiar with the ingredients of beer. Take some time to smell some malted barley and hops sometime (I could smell hops all day long and be happy… OR SHOULD I SAY HOPPY HAHA). Read about the beer to find out what they put into it. Can’t figure out what a certain smell is? Maybe it’s a crazy ingredient that they added. Or maybe your nose just sucks, but it shouldn’t (see the “Be better than everyone” section).
After about two hours of smelling and looking at your beer, you’ll finally get to taste it. Do you know how to taste beer? Do you? Really? If not, you had better learn. Don’t just pour it into your gullet. Sip it, then let it explore your palate. Breathe after you swallow. Remember, you are going to awesome, so don’t be afraid to sit at a bar with your eyes shut while taking 20 minutes per sip and moaning quietly to yourself. People will know you mean business. They will respect you and probably love you. Trust me. You want to describe the beer in terms that are familiar to you. Or just copy and paste what someone else wrote, which is what I do most of the time.
This is where you talk about how the beer feels. Is it creamy? Is it dry? Is it chunky? If it’s chunky, you should probably not drink it. Mouthfeel is also hilarious to say out loud. Go ahead, say it. Describe whether or not it’s a party in your mouth, and whether or not everyone is invited. Some beers are refreshing, while others require you to slice it with a knife and serve it next to Thanksgiving turkey. This is also another section that nobody reads. Seriously, who cares about anything with a hilarious name like “mouthfeel”? Most of the time they just skim over that word, laugh a little, then move on to the next section.
The biggest thing to remember is that tastes are not subjective. You are right 100% of the time. If anyone disagrees with you, they are wrong. You are right. I am right. I am awesome. You are awesome. See how that works?
The other important factor is… uh. Hmm. I kinda forgot where I was going with this, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that I really hate Megan Fox. I know it’s sort of a roundabout way of saying it, but there it is. Her disgusting thumbs gross me out, and I think overall she’s just kind of a fake person. Your last name is Fox? Really, Megan? Pretty subtle pseudonym. Might as well just change your name to Boobs Boobs.