Wine tastings have always been popular but what about beer? Send out personalized party invitesfor a beer tasting! Let you and your friends expand your appreciation for brewed barley and hops. Or seize the opportunity to open others up to the world of beer. There are several ways to host a tasting. Here are few, tips for hosting a great beer tasting party.
You’ll want to tailor your beer selections to the palates of who will be attending. Are they beer neophytes? Or long lovers of ales and lagers? For guests who are just getting introduced into the world of beer start with lighter styles of beer like lagers, pilsners, golden blonde ales,light pale ale or even a dry Irish stout. You don’t want to serve hoppy and high alcohol beers to beer neophytes. You can keep a few bolder choices on hand just in case after a few beer tastes, they are open to trying something a little stronger.
For those who may have a more seasoned or adventurous palates the sky is the limit! Consider creating a theme for your selections. Themes ideas:, “Oktoberfest”, “Taste of Belgium” (Belgian beers), “Beer Bash” (hearty, high alcohol beers), “A Winter Warmer” (seasonal winter brews or spiced beers), “Summer Chiller” (summer seasonal brews), “Wheat and Fruit” (fruit infused beers).
Handling and Storing the Beer
Just like with most alcohol, beer needs to be handled and stored carefully and appropriately. Beer should be stored in a even, consistent environment. It’s best to store it away from heat and light because extremes of either could spoil your beer. The most optimal conditions for beer storage are in the fridge upright between 45,ºF and 55,ºF.
You can break serving temperatures into three general, temperature ranges, for everything that falls into those two categories: 55,ºF-60,ºF range for bold beers like dark ales, 50,ºF-55,ºF range for standard ales like bitters, IPAs, dobbelbocks, abbey ales, and stouts and finally the 45,ºF-50,ºF range for lighter beers like lagers, pilsners, wheat beers, milds, etc. A basic rule that applies is the higher the alcohol, the higher the serving temperature and the lower the alcohol, the lower the serving temperature.
Glassware is can be an important part of the tasting. If it’s too difficult to provide the appropriate glassware for all the guests, just serve it in whatever you have. The key is to serve the beer in GLASSware, no plastic cups! The plastic can change the flavor of the beer.
Cheers! Tasting the Beer
While you are tasting, encourage your guests to share their thoughts. Ask them to describe what they are tasting. Since beer is essentially as hearty as food, use food tastes and textures to describe what you are experiencing. Words like citrus, coffee, chocolaty, woody, spicy, etc are all terms that can describe the full flavor of various beers.
When setting up the order you’ll be sampling the beers, keep two things in mind: alcohol content and hop levels. Keep your hoppy and high alcohol beers towards the end so you dont overpower your palate early in the tasting.
Don’t forget to cleanse your palate. Its highly recommended that you have some water as well as bread, crackers and even popcorn. You’ll want to avoid salty or spicy foods or anything that could overpower the senses. Think bland and basic.
Have fun, share your thoughts and opinions. Explore your likes and dislikes. A beer tasting is a great party theme and a fun way to get more familiar with all things hops and barley. It’s also a great idea for a bachelor party. Be sure to check out PurpleTrail’s cooking with beer and beer 101 articles for more brew inspiration.