Beer fatigue! In one form or another all craft beer drinkers will experience beer fatigue, it’s inevitable, it will happen. Whether you are at a beer fest on your second trip through the tables or you are at your local liquor establishment and are starring and a wall of IPAs thinking that cascade hops is just not what you are looking for today, we are here to help!
First off lets define beer fatigue. I define it (and have experienced) in two terms:
Beer Fatigue #1: When you are at a beer tasting event and all the beers start taste the same, or you are not picking up the details of the flavor you were when you first started the session.
Beer Fatigue #2: When you simply can’t decide what beer to choose because “they all sound the same”.
Today we will be tackling the first type of beer fatigue
- Eat Something to Cleanse the Pallet: Do you know those little necklaces of pretzels everyone is wearing at a beer fest? These are great to cleanse the pallet. They are light so as not to fill you up (i.e. room for more beer) and the salt help to reset your senses. Lately I have been seeing beef sticks and cheese on necklaces too, but I don’t recommend these as the oily processed cheese and the grease laden beef snack can linger on the pallet masking the more delicate flavors of complex beers. Personally when available I prefer grapes over pretzels, but this is probably more for your home experience, and not for the beer fest!
- Drink plenty of water: I can stress this enough. Water is the “universal solvent” for a reason. Not only that but the majority of your body AND beer are made of water, so guess what? They make a natural fit! Take it as a queue from nature and clean out your pallet with some good ole H2O
- Take a break: I know, with beer fests this can be tough. You want to get to all the tables before those rare one off casks are gone. But eventually you need to slow it down. At private tasting events this is a lot easier to do! Make some conversation, it doesn’t have to all be about the beer.
- Take small portions: Want to taste more beers before fatigue sets in? Take smaller sips. This is why I like to host beer parties with around 6 to 8 people. You can take one 12oz bottle, give everyone a little over 1oz of beer and your whole table can get though twelve bottle easily. Just remember spitting is wine drinkers, suck it up and swallow!
- Don’t Smoke: Who doesn’t love a good cigar with their beer? Well lots of people, but me I do enjoy a good stogy from time to time, and yes I have broken this rule on a number of occasions. Save it for the end of the night. Smoking will ruin your pallet!
- Drink from Light to Dark: Whenever possible drink from light to dark. The fresh citrusy hops that are more abundant with lighter beers will actually help keep your pallet fresh. Meanwhile the more earthy, thick stouts and porters will coat your mouth masking the flavors of the next beer.
- It’s okay to switch from analyzing to fun: My last bit of advice is something I learned while trying to marathon through a bunch of beers for my journal. Eventually even drinking 1oz pours gets to you. Your head starts getting fuzzy, and soon all the pilsners start tasting the same. It happens. It’s okay to say “Okay, now I am drinking for fun”. At this point if I am hosting I like to have something local on hand like Grainbelt of Summit EPA. Relatively well liked by most of my circle of beer drinking friends, and less expensive because at this point you don’t want to be drinking that $40 bottle of Fulton’s War and Peace you have been aging for a year.
So what are your tips and tricks for dealing with beer fatigue? Leave us a comment!
Oh what was I saying…well it seems like I am hitting some writers fatigue. But that is a story for another blog. Until next time! PROST!