The Art Of The Tasting

Explored by Toby Wolfe Manager at BottleShop: Canterbury

In case you didn't know, here at BottleShop: Canterbury we run tastings once a month, the last Thursday of every month to be precise. If you haven't been to one yet, I would highly recommend it, whether you are the biggest beer geek or know nothing about beer ... we guarantee you'll enjoy can grab yourself a ticket for this month's tasting here.

To give you an idea of how much effort goes into a tasting, there are a few things you need to know, the first and foremost is preparation.

This is the most important tool in your tasting, it’s not just about pouring beer and talking about what hops they have used but it’s about knowing who the brewery are and why they decided to open, was it because they started brewing beer for fun in their kitchen and all their friends loved it so much that they realised they were on to something? How far they have come since opening, some funny stories of what has happened along the way, who they have collaborated with and who they plan to collaborate with.

For us, tasting the beers beforehand is very important. We go through them one by one checking taste, aroma and colour: all three are key to the experience. To make things even more enjoyable for you, we now provide you with your very own tasting sheet which gives you a description of the beers, from the look and the aroma to, of course, the flavour. It’s also a chance for customers to add their own notes, which most people do.

The great thing about tastings is that I'm learning as well, and to teach this to others is a great feeling. My first tasting was back in October, All Hallows Eve, and to mark the occasion myself and Mia Tunmore dressed up as Shaggy and Scooby-Doo which was a lot of fun. The tasting was presented as a quiz mixed with a blind tasting, so no one ever saw the can or bottle of beer. All the questions were related to the beers, so definitely one for the beer geeks as people had to guess the brewery, the style of beer and the ABV but regardless of beer knowledge, everyone loved it, proving that sometimes you have to jump out of your comfort zone and just give it a go.

Since then we’ve had a few brewery introduction tastings where we have showcased the best beers of one particular brewery or we’ve just hosted a tasting of our favourite beers. BottleShop Founder and MD Andrew Morgan presented a tasting evening on Rodenbach beers which was absolutely incredible! So you never really know what sort of tasting you are in for but you know you will always enjoy yourself, that’s our guarantee.
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