You’ve attended plenty of cocktail parties, holiday parties and big bashes that you might feel it’s your turn to host something great—something different. You don’t want to break the bank, but you want to serve your guests what you like to drink—something that make you geek out and get excited. We’re here to help guide you though hosting a homebrew and craft beer tasting party.
Here’s are eight easy steps to hosting a beer tasting:
1. Keep it Simple
You don’t want to lose your guests’ interest by packing everything homebrew and craft beer into your party. Keep it simple by comparing two different beer styles (American IPA vs. English IPA), beer from a particular region (Belgium) or your favorite beer from your local brewery and your homebrew clone of that beer.
2. Send the Invitation
Invite your guests to bring a large bottle of beer (bomber or growler) of either their homebrew (if they know how to brew beer), or a commercial bottle that’s in line with your chosen theme.
3. Prepare Your Event
You’ll need a tasting glass that hold four to six ounces for each of your guests. These can be glasses you have, or you can buy recyclable ones. You’ll also need to establish some way for your guests to rank beers they’ve tried–we’ve heard of hosts using everything from Jelly Beans, buttons or bottle caps. These will be used to rank the beer and keep your guests interested.
4. Make Them Blind
Take all the bottles and brown-bag them (keeping a master key using numbers or letters). Place them around a large room so everyone can mingle and move around to different tables. It’s also a good idea to have a little snack to munch on like pretzels, chips, cheese or charcuterie. And don’t forget to have water available for guests!
5. Get Competitive
You could also add a competitive component to your beer tasting party by adding prizes. Guests will rank their top three favorite beers using your established ranking system. Put small glasses in front of each beer so your guests can rank their top three beers. The owners of the three most popular beers would then win the prizes.
6. Keep Your Guests Interested
Motivate your guests to describe what they’re tasting rather than just speeding around the room tasting everything. Create funny superlatives like “Most Verbose”, “Most Brazen”, or “Hardest to Impress” to hand out at the end. This will keep it fun and entertaining throughout the party.
7. Announce the Winners
As the beers begin to disappear, make a toast and reveal all the beers. Announce the winning beers by counting which have the gotten the most votes.
8. Hand Out The Prizes
A beer tasting party should be fun. Give out prizes to the top winners like bottle openers, homebrew shop gift card, pint glasses, etc. It could also be fun to award a prize to person who brought the least favorite beer (keep it light hearted!).