Should You Be Swirling Beer Like Wine?

If you've ever been wine tasting, you know the drill. You are poured a taste of the wine, you smell it, then you swirl it. Then you smell it again and then finally you taste it. If you're new to wine tasting this might seem silly, unnecessary, or downright bourgie. Why not just drink the wine? The truth is there's a reason for the ritual, and it's not just to seem in the know about wine.

According to Wine Folly, the reason you smell wine is so that you can recognize the aromas when you taste it, and the reason you swirl it is to aerate the wine and open up the bouquet of aromas even more before tasting. Wine is a very complex beverage — it even changes flavor as it ages — so there's a complex method to truly appreciate it. If you're not a wine person and you're a beer person, should you also be swirling your beer to enjoy those aromas as well?

Sip, don't swirl

While beer does have very pleasant floral aromas from hops, it's not the same as wine and therefore should not be treated the same. According to Taste of Home, while swirling your beer will release aromas, it will also kill the carbonation that makes beer ... well, beer!

Not only that, but swirling will also kill the frothy, foamy head of the beer which is another element of what makes beer so viscerally pleasant to drink. Brew USA notes that the reason it's useful to have a head in your glass while drinking beer is that the head keeps the beer from going flat, while also allowing its aromas to be present with each sip. In other words, the head on your beer is providing the same experience as the swirl of your wine glass. So next time you're going to happy hour or enjoying a BBQ or dinner with friends or family, remember: swirl your wine, sip your beer.