Forté’s Beer Tasting Tips

Subscribe to Forte Magazine

Forté’s Beer Tasting Tips

With the Great Australia Beer Festival edging closer (February 18 – save the date!), we at Forté thought we would put together some quick beer tasting tips to prepare you for the day and make sure you get the most out of your beer festival experience.


This is crucial to the beginning of your day. Make use of the delicious selection of food trucks at the event and eat before you begin tasting any beer. It’s a rookie mistake to drink on an empty stomach as it changes the way your body metabolises the alcohol. This will prevent you from feeling tipsy during your first couple of beer tastes, and allow you to savour (and appreciate) more of the beers on offer.

Take your sweet, sweet time.

When tasting a new beer and if you’re a little on the sceptical side, you may only feel like taking one sip. However, flavours can be quite complex and there can be a whole lot of aromas barring the actual taste of the beer. It is actually in your best interest to take more than one sip, and when you do take your first sip, try to resist swallowing immediately, and take your time with each beer. This helps you distinguish flavours and determine if you really do like the brew or not.

Use all your senses.

Our senses (taste, smell, sight, sound and touch) will all influence our feelings towards particular brews. The sound of the beer coming out of the tap has just as much effect on us as the smell of the brew before you even take a sip, or the texture of the beer in the mouth. When tasting a beer, pay attention to the whole process – the pour, the foam on the beer head and the flavours and aromas of the beer when you take a sip.

Think ahead about the order of brews.

There will be hundreds of beers to taste. Start with the weaker, mild, sweet beers first, then taste the richer and bitter beers later on, mixing in your favourite aromas, bitterness and flavour choices. This one is all about your taste buds – the last thing you want to do it overstimulate your taste buds too early and ruin your palate. In short – start with larger before moving onto porters and stouts and finish off with the pale ales. Just remember, light to dark, and less hoppy to more hoppy.

Rinse your tasting glass.

This one is an easy one. Occasionally you will need to rinse out your tasting glass (which you receive upon entry) with water when you are switching beers. There is nothing worse than having a concoction of five different brews in your trusty tasting glass. With lightly chilled water on hand, keep your hydration levels up and cleanse your palette which will benefit you for longevity at the festival.


Arm yourself with these tips, grab a crew, kick back and enjoy a few cold brews on a summer day for the fifth edition of the Great Australia Beer Festival.

When & Where: Geelong Racecourse – February 18 2017
For tickets and more information visit