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International Relations & Beer Color by Ginger Johnson

Photo: Ginger Johnson of WEB
Photo:  Ginger Johnson of  WEB

Photo: Ginger Johnson of WEB

One of the ways to get a reaction from me is to talk about how you do or don’t like “light” or “dark” beers.

Lesson today: Get rid of those words in terms of beer. The only aspects light and dark describe are color – they are not flavor descriptors so throw them out with the compost!! While it’s true you can use them to lead into a descriptor like light-bodied or dark-colored, getting rid of them all together will force you to grow your knowledge and will ultimately serve the professional beer community better too.

Knowledgeable folks make the world go round. You can contribute to this heightened awareness and know-how by increasing your beer vocabulary.

Here’s how to be a smarter, more tuned in beer enjoyer:

Photo:  Ginger Johnson of WEB

Photo: Ginger Johnson of WEB

1. When examining beer, when tasting beer, when experimenting with beer – look at color for color sake only. While there may be some flavor contribution via the reason of the beer color in specific, generally, the flavor stands on it’s own. Give it the chance to do so without pre-judging based solely on sight.

2. Smell your beer before you taste it. I often teach a few techniques to smell your beer and it’s a big part of the sensory experience of everything we put in our mouths. When next you see me, ask me about these techniques.

3. Describe the colors you see. Is it copper? Amber? Black? Goldish-yellowish-orange? Increasing your beer savvy word arsenal will serve everyone better, starting with the beer.

4. Color in your beer comes from the ingredients. Some pale colored beers can be loaded with big flavors, of all kinds. Some deeply opaque beers can be medium bodied and delicate.

Photo:  Ginger Johnson of WEB

Photo: Ginger Johnson of WEB

Repeat after me: “I Promise / Not To Be / A Beer Racist.” No, snobbery isn’t an attractive thing nor good for the larger global community. You can increase and improve international relations by starting with the beer in front of you.

Good. Now go find a tasty fall beer to sip, cook with, or enjoy with friends.

Till the next glass –


Try This: Cooking with beer is a favorite pursuit and experiment for me. I encourage you to slow cook your way into fall: Use 6 – 12 ounces of a complementary flavored beer to cook down a venison roast, like a deep stout or porter to caramelize and tenderize.

Go Here: Your local butcher will have some wonderful choices for you year round. Pay her a visit and see what’s new. Look for economical cuts of meat to slow cook with beer, as it tenderizes while adding flavors to your dishes.



About Basil & Salt Magazine (827 Articles)
Basil & Salt Magazine is filled with recipes, cocktails, wine, beer and travel recommendations, focusing on the enjoyment of the gourmet lifestyle. Our first issue will print and be distributed in September of this year. ~Please join us and poke the 'subscribe' button on the menu to receive exclusive content found only on our printed pages.

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