As an event coordinator in the brewing industry, it’s no surprise that I know a thing or two about how to plan a successful beer tasting event.
In this blog I’m going to scale it down a notch and share some fun and easy tips for hosting your very own beer tasting party at home. You can even make it a monthly gathering with a small group of friends. Each month a different person can host the beer tasting in their home. Drinking craft beer, and beer tasting in itself has evolved into an experience. Hosting a tasting at home is a great way to introduce yourself and your friends to different kinds of beers, and to learn a little more about the beer and the breweries they came from.
Invite some friends
Even though you may want to invite all your friends, a smaller group is recommended for an at-home tasting party. I’d say a maximum of 6 people. This is because the host is supplying the beer for the whole group and the more people the more $$$ you’ll be obligated to spend on craft beer. Not to mention you may have a hard time trying to keep the attention of a whole house party.
Choose your beers
There’s really no rulebook to this. You can choose one style or different styles. I recommend getting a plethora so you and your friends can be introduced to as many new beer styles as possible. Some might come to find they really enjoy a style of beer they would have never thought to try on their own. That’s what makes this fun! Use this as an opportunity to support some local breweries and purchase some crowlers. I heard Dual Citizen has some of the best beer in the twin cities!
Amount of beer
I recommend 4-5 different beers to try. The same as your average beer flight. Also, a good sample size for each guest is about 4 oz. Keep this in mind when purchasing your beer based on your number of guests. And just to make it easy because math is hard…A standard can will serve 3, a crowler will serve 8, and a growler will serve 16 samples. And it’s always good to buy extra! This is so everyone has the opportunity to have another pour of their favorite once you are done with the initial tasting portion.
You’ll want to arrange a space where everyone has a seat and space to line up their tasting glasses. Go all out and decorate or just keep it casual. Other than the beer the main thing you’ll need is the tasting glasses. These tasting glasses from amazon look like the real deal and are sturdy enough to handwash and reuse! Keep in mind, depending on what beers you chose, some beers are more overpowering than others. So, stick to a certain order when you begin tasting. Make sure you go from your lightest beer to your darkest beer to avoid ruining your palate early on in the tasting. And if you have sours in the mix, put them at the end because they’ll definitely affect what you can taste.
Part of the fun of a tasting is figuring out what you like and don’t like. Taking notes are a great way to encourage guests to really think about what they’re drinking, plus it gives them something to go back to in case their memory is a little fuzzy. These tasting cards from amazon are a great way to align the tastings and keep everything organized.
But you don’t have to take tasting notes just because you’re doing a tasting. Some of the best events are a laid-back gathering of friends! Like I said before, you can go all out or make it as casual as you’d like.
I hope these simple tips encourage you to try out hosting your very own beer tasting. Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or new to the brew, just have fun with it. If you choose to treat your guests extra special make sure to include a gift bag and get some custom swag from our friends at Sticker Mule. It’s hard to have a party centered around beer and not have a good time, right? And lastly, if you do decide to host one, don’t forget to invite me!