Frothing to sink suds in a fancy new brewery? There’s no better way to savour the full gamut of flavours than a beer-tasting paddle.
This vibrant row of teeny-weeny glasses sees you quaff a solid selection of tasty drops, from heady ales to easy-drinking lagers and stomach-bloating stouts. But not every beer-tasting paddle hits the mark. Here are five must-haves that separate the wheat from the hops.
Even if you’re an avid IPA fanatic, a good beer-tasting paddle should offer more than hoppy British colonial-era ales. Variety is the spice of life, and this age-old cliché is an apt mantra for the beer connoisseur. Regardless of your personal preferences, aim for a tasting paddle with a diverse range of samples, from sours to stouts and lagers to ales.
Who knows? You might even stumble upon a new favourite.
This one is a wee bit subjective. If you just like the taste of beer (or its subsequent warm, fuzzy feeling), you don’t need to know where the barley comes from or how long the wort is boiled.
But if you’re a passionate aficionado with a penchant for all things beer, the smarts of the brewery staff can make or break a tasting session. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to fortify your fermentation expertise. Serious beer connoisseurs would be wise to take notes.
Presentation & Sequence
Appearances are important in hospitality, and the order of imbibition has a tangible positive impact. Savvy breweries present their wares from lightest to darkest—or lowest to highest alcohol content—to prevent heavier flavours from overpowering lighter sips.
Not only does this tiered presentation technique enhance flavour, but it also gives the paddle a satisfying aesthetic.
While not strictly essential, a thoughtful food pairing improves the beer-tasting experience by adding a satiating gastronomic element. Some breweries serve tapas-style dishes to cleanse the palate between samples, while others provide shareable nibbles to gorge while you sip. Of course, hearty morsels help line the stomach, too.
Pairing food with beer isn’t as common as wine, but it does make a difference. Ask your server for recommendations.
A brewery’s vibe has a massive impact on your beer-swilling experience. Again, this one is somewhat subjective as every drinker likes distinct atmospheres. Most modern Aussie breweries aim for chic, industrial-themed décor with wide-open spaces and a casual, laidback vibe.
Open-air beer gardens are a godsend when the weather’s nice, while live acoustic tunes can enhance a lazy afternoon session. Sustainable, eco-friendly breweries ramp up the atmosphere a notch. Look for a quiet table, especially when having a long overdue catch-up with mates.
Quaff the Ultimate Beer-Tasting Paddle with Kiff & Culture
Hankering to throw back top-tier frothies in Northern NSW or Southeast Queensland?
Then check out our eclectic range of decadent food and drink tours. We’ll whisk you between top gastronomic hotspots and pop in for a coldie at a renowned local brewhouse. Whether you’re in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, or Byron Bay, we’ve got an indulgent beer-swilling adventure for you.