by Malia Paasch
It’s amazing how much the world of craft beer has grown in just a few short years. The variety is endless as breweries hop on the latest trends to keep up with consumer demand. But one thing I’ve heard a lot lately is how people are getting burned out on certain types of beers.
Truth is, styles like IPAs and sours can wear you out. In the world of tasting coffee and wine, this phenomenon is called palate fatigue. Oddly, it has less to do with your taste buds than it does with your brain.
Imagine walking into a bakery and smelling all the wonderful breads. Then imagine staying there for hour after hour, day after day. Soon, you will not smell the smell anymore. Your brain gets desensitized.
So, how do you overcome palate fatigue? The easiest way is to mix it up a bit. If you’re ordering a flight of similar styles, order one that is very different and sip that in between the others as a palate cleanser.
If you want to explore a new style, find a beer that will bridge the gap between one style and another. From an IPA try a dry hopped Berliner Weiss into a sour. If you like sours, try a cider. Here are four beers to bridge the gap between styles and reinvigorate your palate.
Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel
Appearance: Ochre yellow with a voluminous ivory colored head.
Aroma: Herbaceous with notes of coriander and lemon.
Taste: Grassy with hints of Belgian candy sugar and candied orange peel.
Mouthfeel: This certainly has the bitter linger you think of when drinking IPAs.
Drinkability: This one is for IPA lovers looking to adjust their palates to Belgians. It is bitter on the front and then eases its way into the sweeter side of Belgian beers.
Food pairing: Mussels in a white wine garlic sauce.
Wit the Funk
Appearance: Hazy golden yellow with orange highlights and a quickly diminishing white head.
Aroma: Orange marmalade, papaya.
Taste: Lots of fruit, mango and lemon.
Mouthfeel: Refreshing, crisp and dry.
Drinkability: This is a fun sour that would be great for anyone looking to expand beyond Allagash White or Blue Moon to sours. It would also be great for New England IPA lovers, who are after the fruit but a little less sweet.
Food pairing: Teriyaki chicken.
Rocky Ridge Reserve
Blue Bee Cider
Appearance: Pours a blush orange with no head.
Aroma: Golden delicious apples and hints of vanilla.
Taste: Grape skins and juicy apples.
Mouthfeel: Silky smooth with a subtle linger of freshly cut apple slices.
Drinkability: Ciders are a great palate cleanser in between any beer as long as they aren’t super sweet. This would also be a bridge for any wine lover to get into cider, especially since this has been aged in Merlot barrels.
Food pairing: Cheese board with fresh fruit.
Legend Brewing Company
Appearance: Pours a reddish brown with a cream colored head.
Aroma: Biscuity with notes of caramel.
Taste: Slightly sweet with hints of honey and oats.
Mouthfeel: Crisp and light.
Drinkability: This is a seasonal beer that would be great for anyone who loves lagers and lighter beers but want to add some malt to their craft beer world. This could lead to a progression toward brown ales and stouts.
Food Pairing: Schnitzel, of course.