Beer tasting is big business, with major annual award meets in North America, Australia, and Europe. And there is a definite protocol as to how to taste beer. When analyzing a beer, you can't just swill it down, burp and say "it's great" or "it's crap." Even though tasting is an individual art, there are a few steps, which if followed, will take your beer tasting to a blissful level.
People are entitled to their own opinions about beer. Don't force a beer on someone - what's good for you may not be good to the next guy.
Take a pause and marvel at the greatness before drinking. Raise the beer in front of you, but don't hold your beer to direct light as this will dilute its true colour. Describe its colour, its head and its consistency.
Use a coaster. If your bartender or server doesn't give you one, ask.
Smelling beer is one of the most important steps in beer tasting. If the beer has no discernable aroma, agitate it by swirling it around in the glass. This will release some carbonation which will carry the aroma to your nose. Things to note: How intense in the aroma? Is it sweet (malt), sharp (hop) or a balance of different notes?
The flavour of a beer should be a natural continuation of the aroma. There are a few added dimensions that will appear, most notably bitterness. Swirl the beer around your mouth before swallowing it. Take a note of any flavours you taste, compare these flavours to other flavours you know.
Try tasting the beer after it warms a bit. Really cold beer tends to mask some of the flavors. As a beer warms, its true flavors will pull through, become more pronounced.
Push your chair or barstool in after you get up!