Drinking beer can be as simple as chugging it down after opening its can. But in order to really taste beer, gulping it down is not enough. You don't get to enjoy it. You won't be able to distinguish the flavors and the feel of it in your mouth. In order to do that, one has to take it slow.
Step 1: Pour
Beer is best tasted in a glass. Drinking from the bottle or the can does not do the beer justice. It has to be released from its container in order for you to be able to smell it and to see it. While you can pour the beer in the glass in any way you like, there is a recommended way. Let the beer run gently along the side of the glass. Try to make the head or foam have a two-finger width. There are actually different beer glasses that exist, but let's avoid the complication and use a regular glass.
Step 2: Check The Looks
Good food tastes good. Really good food tastes good and looks good. Same with beer. You have to observe the characteristics of the beer. What's the color of the head? Does it evaporate immediately? Is the liquid clear or cloudy? Traditional brewers always bring a candle in order to check the clarity and color of beer through it. Holding it up to the light will do for us, regular folk.
Step 3: Take A Good Whiff
Many people don't think much of smell but it is one of the most important of our senses. Our sense of smell directly affects our sense of taste. Not smelling the beer would rob us of one of the joys of beer. Check if the smell is dominated by hops or malt. Also, check if there is a skunky smell. If the skunky smell is present, the head doesn't look healthy, and the liquid is turbid, watch out! You might have been sold beer that's gone bad.
Step 4: Drink
Some beer snobs would recommend that you take sips. But, come on. This is beer! Take a drink and let it wash over your tongue. Make sure that your tongue can taste the sweetness and the bitterness by sending the beer to the different places in your tongue. Or by taking a nice gulp.
Step 5: Feel
Your mouth cannot only taste, it can also feel. Mouthfeel is one of the important characteristics of beer. Does it feel like it has light body? Or a heavy one? Is it silky or thick?