It seems that Wine Tastings are all the buzz, but we know so many people who love beer, especially all of the new craft beers, IPA and other specialty beers on the market, so why not a Beer Tasting Party. If you are looking for creative ideas for you next neighborhood get together, party with friends or an excuse to have everyone over, consider trying one or a combination of the following beer tasting ideas. We love that our new Vino & Ale line makes it easy to add simple creative touches that will make your tasting event a hit.
Here are 10 clever ideas from our team that we hope will get the creative juices going and the beer flowing.
1 – BLIND BEER TASTING – Choose 6-8 different craft beers from around the country or around the world (you pick the theme) and wrap them in a burlap sac for a blind beer tasting and mark each bottle with a number. Pour each guest a taste starting with number 1 and have them rank on our Tasting Cards, when each of the beer has been poured and tasted ask your guests to add up each of the rankings to see which beer receives the most votes, you may find a clear winner or a variety, but you will have introduced your guests to a new variety of craft beers. You can use our Recipe Cards or the back of the Tasting Cards to list out the beer names and where they are made so that guests will have take take with them.
2 – BEER PAIRING TASTING – Like wine, beer takes on a different taste when paired with a variety of foods. Choose a variety of beers from Lagers, IPA, Pale Ale, Stout, Extra Stout, Blond Ale, Red Ale, Pilzner or Wheat for example. You will want to choose a variety or choose a range of the same variety and see how they stand up to your food selection. Choose foods that are salty, sweet, savory and salty, bite size foods like pretzels, popcorn, small cookies, chocolate, hot peanuts, etc. are great choices. Ask your guests to pick the perfect pairing with each beer or simply rank each beer variety favorite to least favorite. These boxes were created with an Accucut Die – Popcorn die with an assortment of our Beer themed papers.
These boxes are so easy to make, simply die cut them with your favorite box shaped die on a rotary or electric die cut machine. If you don’t have one, it is a great investment if you throw a lot of parties, cater events or for your bar or restaurant. Fill with finger foods such as popcorn, peanuts, pretzels, chips, snack mixes and more.
Here are a few websites with some great pairing ideas:
3 – BEERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD – choose beers from countries that specialize in beer making, including the USA. Choose beers ranked top in each county you choose to give your guests a touch of what tastes are like around the globe. Mark each bottle with a number or the country and see which region has the most fans. To add a food pairing, serve a bit size appetizer from each region. You can share a bit about each region and when beer making began and if the process is different across the world, for example beers of Pausa Café an Italian craft beers and coffees that are made in a prison in Italy where they are teaching a trade to prisoners and producing a top rated beers and coffees that is becoming internationally known.
4 – LOCAL BEER TASTING – many craft beer makers have sprung up across the USA, with little pockets of different breweries near by. Support you local craft beer makers by hosting a tasting that features as many local varieties as possible. Learn a bit about each of the breweries, how they began, how they choose their varieties and share that with your guests. Offering small bit size foods that are easy to eat during the tasting or create hand crafted pizzas with the same local feel, using local ingredients. We have great breweries that are producing amazing craft beers in our area (NW Arkansas) such as Core Brewing, Apple Blossom Brewery and Saddlebock Brewery, feature local beers or consider having a tasting at a local brewery.
5 – BEST AND WORST BEERS – choose a few cheep, a few mid-priced and a few expensive beers and wrap them in a burlap or canvas sac, marking them by number. Choose similar color beers so there are no true give aways. Let each guest taste and rank each beer, make sure not to start with one and end with the other, mix them up. Add all the scores and see which beer and price point wins with your group.
6 – BEER OF WEEK CLUB – like a supper club, start a beer club and meet weakly, monthly or anytime. Choose a different beer or two each time and create a card for that beer keeping track of the name, region, variety, ranking, etc. You can even remove the label and place on the back on our card, Our index cards are a perfect place to jot down your notes. You will be driven to try new beers vs. order your favorite each time and pick up some new favorites. Keep you cards in order of best to worse or in alphabetical order.
These Blank Tasting Cards are a perfect touch not matter the beer tasting style you choose.
7 – LIGHT TO DARK BEER CHALLENGE – there is a misnomer that light beers are easy to drink and dark beers are strong and that is simply not the case. Beer tastes change based on the way the are made and this is a great way to “force” those skeptics to try something new and who knows they might be pleasantly surprised. Since it is just a sip, it is not like they are wasting an entire beer if they don’t care for it.
8 – THE IPA CHALLENGE – IPA’s and the such are very popular right now and while you may think they are similar in taste they are distinctly different. Choose a selection of IPA’s and let your guests try for themselves. You can blind wrap them, but since they are all similar this is not mediatory. Have them rank each one and see who comes out the winner.
9 – BEER MAKING PARTY – making homemade beer is part art and part science and a great party activity. Make the guest list, making sure to invite your favorite chef, lover of science and an artist and then recruit your helpers. Follow the recipe and create your beer, with your chef and scientist at the helm and enlist your artist to create the perfect label based on the creative name your crew comes up with. Bottle our beer and then you must wait. Plan your tasting party when the beer is ready to be unveiled, just a thought, grab some other libations, just in case the beer does not turn out just the way you planned.
10- BEER DINNER PARTY – magnificent wine parties are had around the world, why not create a Beer Tasting Dinner Party. Choose your meal with foods that pair well with beers, you can choose a region or food variety or simply choose foods you love that pair well with beer. Choose an appetizer, soup or salad, main dish and of course dessert. You may think there are no beers to pair with your dessert, but you would be so very wrong, try Framboria from Belgium, it is available in 3 different flavors (we think the Raspberry is the best and it is pink too) pair this with a fruity dessert such pie or cobbler.
Now it is time to decide your beer tasting theme and to start all the fun creative pieces from invitations and tasting cards to boxes of salty snacks and fun placemats. The creativity can go on and on and our Beer Inspired papers make it so easy.
Leave the papers as they are or use Tattered Angels Glimmer Glaze (a crafty kind of nail polish) and add touches of color. So easy and so cool.
Here is a simple invite you can put together for your next beer or cider tasting. For more invitation inspiration check out our You’re Invited Blog Post. Leave them as they are or add a little color like we show above.
Happy Weekend Everyone!!!