Keeping a beer journal is a great way to keep track of all your favorite beers and what they taste like. If you’re a beer connoisseur, then you likely try several beers a month (or week, maybe even day?). It can get difficult to remember which ones were great and which ones were duds. A journal is the perfect answer to this problem.
When it comes to recording the beers you drink, there are few ways to do it:
- A plain notebook and a pen. This is obviously the easiest way to do it, and provides you with the most flexibility. You can record what you want and in whatever order you want.
- A beer journal made specifically for this purpose. There are a few available online that will serve this purpose very well.
- Printed sheets in a 3-ring binder. This may be the best option since you can type up (or download for free online) pages with blanks for all your criteria. You can organize it however you want and then print out as many as you desire.
It doesn’t matter what kind of journal you choose to use. The important thing is that you’re recording your tasty beverages somehow and are remembering what you like.
What to Record While Keeping a Beer Journal
This is the fun part! You’ve decided how to track your beers, now you just get to drink them! And record the results of course…
Here are a few things for you to consider keeping track of:
- Beer Name – This is an obvious one. A detailed record of the beer doesn’t do you much good if you don’t have the name.
- Date – You’re tastes might change over time, so the date the beer was consumed is probably important.
- Brewery – This is good bit of info to record since you may find that you like all the beers you’ve drank from one brewery.
- Style – This might be a good way to organize your journal.
- Price – If you’re someone like me (a poor college student) this can be a pretty important factor in whether or not I buy this beer again.
- Alcohol By Volume – Another factor that might play into whether or not I consume this beer on a regular basis.
- Packaging – Did you get this beer in a bottle, can, or on draft?
Those were all factors that are mainly just for recordkeeping. Here’s where you really get to pick the beer apart:
- Appearance – How dark (or light) did the beer appear? What about the head?
- Aroma – Did you like the smell? Did the smell correlate to the taste? What do you smell?
- Taste – You can either go with a simple “Yum!” or “This tastes awful!”, or you can get a little fancier. You can go into detail on the flavor of the hops, a floral taste, etc. It’s likely that as you try more beers and record your reactions that you’ll become better at picking out the subtle tastes of the beer.
- Notes – Anything else that might have struck you while sipping your beer. Maybe a plan for world peace, the cure for cancer, an invention – go nuts.
- Rating – This is perhaps the most important part. You can rate the beer on a scale of 1 to 10 or however you choose.
Ultimately, this beer journal is yours and you can record your beers however you like. Maybe you’re keeping a neat, bound journal. Maybe you’re scribbling notes on the backs of beer bottle labels. Who cares! The important thing is that you’re keeping a beer journal and enjoying yourself.