Looking for a new tradition to start with your family or friends… we suggest a beer tasting party! You may be asking why exactly we think hosting a beer tasting party such a fabulous idea. Well, did you know the Beer Advocate features reviews and ratings of more than 32,000 beers?!? There is SO much beer to try! How will you ever have the time to try them all without enlisting the help of your friends? Gather your friends, follow these tips, and let us know how it turns out.
- Pick a style: Every year, brewers compete in the World Beer Cup in more than 90 categories divided into sub categories according to geographic origin. Keep it simple and select just 1-2 of these categories.
- Enlist the Guests: Depending on the number of guests, have each guest bring a large bottle or several smaller bottles of a beer in your selected category. You basically need enough for each person to be able to sample 4-6 oz of each beer. Encourage them to get creative!
- The Setup: Display each beer in a different area with enough small, disposable beer tasting glasses for each person to taste each beer with a fresh glass.
- The Judging: If you search the interwebs you find countless beer tasting score sheets, formatted beer tasting notes, beer tasting journals – ignore all of that! This is a party, for goodness sakes! Get out your poker chips (we know you have some). Give everyone the same 3 denominations and have them place the highest chip by their number one pick, second highest chip by their second favorite and so on. Include the caveat that they can’t vote for the beer they brought. We know they are your friends, but this is not about tooting your own beer selecting horn! The beer with the highest points wins. Winner receives bragging rights until the next beer tasting party.
- The Food: Serve simple, light appetizers such as cheese, crackers, and nuts during the actual tasting along with plenty of water. After the tasting, feel free to ramp up the food offerings and allow everyone to finish off their favorite new beers.
Also on the interwebs, you can find cute, crafty beer-shaped invitations, decorations, and tablescapes. If that is your thing, we say go for it! If not, just know that it really can be as simple as creating good times with good friends and good beer. And maybe you will even find a new favorite!