A “beer lineup” is when you have a mix of beer styles at a session and drink them in an order that helps the flavour of one lead into the next by a good transition, if you were at a wine tasting you wouldn’t start with a shiraz and work your way down to a pinot noir. Let’s say you have a varied beer lineup such as a red ale (eg.Porterhouse red), a porter (eg.Founders American porter) and a Belgian quad (eg. La Trappe quadrupel). With these beers, if you were to drink the red ale second or last, it would taste weak, even dilute after the richness of the porter or the powerful flavours in the quad.
Think of this as comparable to a big concert with a main act, a support act and a local band. If the main act went before the support or local band, they might show them up and take all the crowds attention, they would be tough to follow seeing as it’s mostly their fan base at the gig. In the same way a quad would definitely show up a red ale and would even be tough for a porter as rich as Founder’s to follow. However the red ale is a great one start with, better than a most beers because it is smooth, sessionable and has a balance of bitters and velvety malt to wake your palate. Then you would be ready for the roasty, chocolatey, liquorice and robust flavours of a porter which would in turn pave the way for intenseness and complexity of the quad.
The General rule is to start with the beer with the lightest body and move into the heavier ones from there. The other school of thought is to start with the mildest flavour and transition towards bolder flavour for example to start with a brown ale both mild and medium body and to move onto an IPA which will have intense bitterness from the hops and also a medium body.
What’s your epic lineup? Comment below.