How to Host a Beer-Tasting Event
Posted by admin | Uncategorized | Posted on June 4th, 2012
Beer tastings are easy and fun to host, and generally draw a larger crowd than your general, run of the mill “party.” If your tasting is well-planned, you can expect a safe and fun-filled evening.
Try to give your invitees at least two weeks notice of your event. This gives parents adequate time to line up babysitters, and also gives your guests time to plan for transportation. Be sure to recommend that your guests designate a driver or use public transportation to and from your event. Be proactive about the safety of your friends!
Also, describe how many beers you plan on tasting in your event, and include information on what types or specific brands of beer you will be tasting to get people excited.
Depending on the focus of your tasting, you may want to taste 2-3 brands of up to 5 different categories of beer, or you may decide to offer a large variety of beers in the same category. For example, you may decide to offer 15 different stouts during a winter tasting.
Offering this great a variety of beers is not as expensive as you might think. You can always buy one bomber-sized beer of each kind, or can even visit a liquor warehouse that sells single beers. For a small group, buy one small beer of each kind, or for a larger group buy a bomber or buy two beers of each type. Try to select rare and seasonal beers to add to the fun.
In general, your beers should be tasted in order from least to most strong-tasting. Don’t obsess too much over the order, but in general your beers should be served in groups within their own categories (pale ales with pale ales, reds with reds, stouts with stouts) and should go from lightest to darkest. The only exception to the color rule might be India Pale Ales, while are often served near the end because of their strong hoppy taste. The reason for this deliberate ordering is so the drinkers’ palates aren’t influenced too much by the lingering aftertaste of the last beer tasted.
Serve 1-2 ounces of each beer, and serve snacks in between beer sets. For example, sample 2-4 pale ales, then serve some hot pretzels. Then, move on to taste 2-4 brown ales, etc. If you have a decent budget for your tasting, invest in some small tasting glasses, which hold up to four ounces and look like miniature brandy snifters. Or, if your budget is smaller, serve each beer in a small, clear plastic cup.
Because you will be serving food, pouring small amounts at a time, and announcing each beer in between tastes, the amount of beer consumed is naturally regulated, which means no one is likely to get too drunk. It also means that your guests will constantly have something to do and talk about, making for a fun and conversational event.