Enjoy some Suds with Friends with This Guide
Beer used to be thought of as a lesser choice of beverage, one that was drank out of convenience, but not usually known for its taste. But the microbrewery movement and the popularity of craft beers has spurred a revolution, and it’s time you got your friends involved and in the know with this fun party.
First, you’ll need to learn a little about beer, but don’t be intimidated by it. You can buy some great books that will tell you all about the beer-making process and the history of beer. It might even be a good idea to purchase one of these books and have it out during the party so that your guests can educate themselves. You don’t have to be an expert, though: your knowledge of beer can be surface-level and you can still have loads of fun trying out different beers.
Choose a Variety
Locate a specialty beer store (they’re more common than you think!) or order beers online that you think your friends might like to try. An interesting spread of different types of beers will feature different varieties of beers (porters, lagers, ales and stouts) and beers from different regions of the country and the world (the Pacific Northwest and Belgium are beer-producing areas that offer a lot of selection).
Lay out Your Spread
It’s important when tasting beer that you leave all the beer in its bottle; some of the bottles are impressive or different or showcase a unique label, and you want your guests to see that. Think about assembling a spread either geographically or by the color or variety of the beer. Then you’ll want to provide small tasting glasses – coffee shot glasses work well since they’re a little larger than those used for hard alcohol, and you definitely want clear glass so that you can compare the color and clarity of the beer. But remember to keep the glasses small – this isn’t a kegger!
Even if your guests aren’t really familiar with brewing or a wide variety of beers, they can still enjoy talking about what they’re tasting. Encourage them by starting a non-fussy conversation about how it tastes, whether you like it and where it’s from. Be armed with a few facts from your research, and soon everyone will be joining in with what flavors they taste, which is their favorite and more. Be sure to remember where you bought the beers, because people will want to write down their favorite to get some.
Throw in Some Food
No party is complete without food, of course, so you should serve some snacks. Try serving snacks with a variety of tastes, like sweet ones and salty ones, and then ask your guests how the beers combine with each of the foods. There’s no real science to it, but some fun foods to try matching with different beers are chocolate, meats, cheese, fish and breads. Go wild!
Tasting beer can be an enjoyable way to get together with friends and learn about a new culinary sensation. With a little effort, you can bring the joy of beer to your friends and have a great party, too.