Do you want to learn more about craft beer but are unsure where to start? Here’s and idea…host a beer tasting party in your home! It is a great way to learn what you like and what you don’t. You certainly don’t have to be an expert in beer tasting to host a fun event like this, but you will need to provide some educational tools. Similar to “group” cooking class, this should be the same…learn by doing.
#1. Pick a theme:
For example “we’re comparing IPA’s” or, “we are selecting a line-up of beer from Lagunitas Brewing”. You can choose to sample a wide range of beers, or something narrowly focused.
#2. Build your guest list:
Start by selecting guests that know each other. And, you’ll want people to be able to discuss and learn without one person dominating. Smaller tastings are easier and can be a bit more serious and intimate while larger groups can turn into a party. My personal favorite number is 8.
#3. Know your guests:
Is this tasting party going to be purely fun or will it be more educational? Do some of your guests have prior beer knowledge? Take people up on their strengths. This tasting party is meant for an over-21 crowd, But if kids come along, set them up in their own space with assorted root beers, so they can have their own tasting party.
#4. Plan your Beer:
Once you know how many people are coming, estimate that each person will get a 3 oz. sample of each beer. I would also buy extra for those who may want to sample more afterward. You can decide to purchase the beer or have your guests bring a certain beer. We recommend you get three bottles for each style. A rule of thumb is to pour 3 oz samples for your guests. This means you’ll get four samples per bottle (with some left over for you after the tasting). It’s important to learn about each brand/brewery/style. Look for some background information on each brand such as brewing history, brewer’s tasting notes and where it’s actually brewed.
If you don’t have some already, purchase clear 5 oz tasting cups. A clear cup will let you appreciate the beautiful colors in all of your selected beers. I personally like these 5 oz tasting glasses from Anchor Hocking.
#5. Plan for food:
Have guests bring food pot luck-style, or plan your party around your own food inspirations. As always, have plenty of water on hand. Need some food ideas? How about tasty soft Ballpark Pretzels or Swiss Cheeseburger Sliders?
The plan is to have fun. You’ll learn by tasting, listening to what others are saying about the beer, and relying on your own personal taste. To help get you started, we are giving you our Beer Tasting Mat for your party. Just click here and print one up for each guest.