The International Beer Flavor Terminology was developed by the American Society of Brewing Chemists in collaboration with the European Brewery Convention and the Master Brewers Association of the Americas. These organizations, dedicated to the study of beer, felt that by providing brewers, researchers, judges, and marketing people with a simple and easily understandable terminology system, communication among beer industry professionals would improve.
The ASBC Beer Flavor Wheel design combines the original flavor wheel developed by M. C. Meilgaard, C. E. Dalgliesh, and J. F. Clapperton in 1979 with the updated, detailed terminology provided by experts.
Words are arranged in three tiers. The center circle allows you to classify the terms as they relate to odor and taste. You start with the odor and determine which term best describes the first smell you experience. Is it aromatic and fragrant, for example? Then move on to the next level which contains common descriptive terms that allow you to expand on your initial reaction. For example, is fruity the most appropriate term, or is floral or hoppy more accurate? The third tier makes it possible for you to pinpoint the flavor more specifically. If you have decided that the odor is initially fruity, then you might also be able to specify whether it is more apple-like, banana-like, or both. You can then move on to secondary odors or work on the tastes.
This tool will enhance your ability to identify and remember beer flavors and odors. As a result, you will be able to enjoy and appreciate further the wonderful world of beer.
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