There's really no wrong way or right way to sample a craft beer flight as long as you are enjoying the beer. However, the way that beer connoisseurs sample a beer flight is likely quite different from the way casual beer drinkers sample a beer flight. If you're more of a casual drinker but want to sample your flight like a true craft beer connoisseur, here are some tips.
Try them in order from lightest to darkest.
Beer should be sampled the same way as wine. You start with the lightest beer in your flight and work your way towards the darkest beer in the flight. This way, you don't overwhelm your palate with the dark, roasted notes in the darker beers, which make it harder to taste the fruity or citrus notes in the lighter beer. Most craft beer bars will organize your flight in order from lightest to darkest for you, so you can just make your way down the line as you sample. If your beers don't come out in this order, it's often a good idea to re-order and rearrange them before sampling them.
Sip water between beers.
Ask your bartender or server for a glass of water along with your craft beer flight. Sip some water between beers. This will help cleanse your palate so you can taste each beer in its purest form. Sip the water from the glass, and not from a straw. This way, it will be placed directly on your tongue rather than towards the back of your tongue where it does less cleansing.
Smell before you taste.
Craft beer is as much about the aroma as it is about the taste! Before you take a sip, inhale and enjoy the scent of the beer you're drinking. As you sip, make sure you are breathing in through your nose. The aroma you detect will actually affect the way the beer tastes. You can do a little experiment to test the intensity of this method. Plug your nose and sip the beer. Then, unplug your nose and sip the same beer. You'll often find that the taste is much more potent with your nose unplugged.
With the tips above, you can do a better job of tasting craft beer to the fullest. The next time you are in a bar that serves craft beer, sample some beers and see what you think.
For more information, contact a company such as Daveco Beer, Wine & Spirits.