If you and your friends have ever gotten together for a beer, you’ll notice that there are so many different types to choose from. Whether you are celebrating something or simply just enjoying some brews, the best way to get to know each type of beer is with a beer tasting party.
But, what is a beer tasting party? A beer tasting party is a fun gathering where you rate different types of beer on a scorecard. You do not need to be a beer expert to enjoy different aromas and taste and vote for your favorite one.
Tips for throwing a beer tasting party
1. Choose a theme
Whether it’s a birthday party, a milestone or simply just for fun, you’ll want to have a theme. Is it casual or formal? Do you have any specific colors in mind? Is it a summer or fall party? Whatever you decide, make sure you incorporate the theme throughout such as in your banner, scorecards and overall decor.
Build a guest list and keep them in mind while choosing your beers. If your guests are not beer savvy, you may want to include tasting and aroma note ideas on your scorecard to guide them. Luckily, we’ve already prepared a downloadable beer tasting scorecard with all this in mind.
The goal of a beer tasting party is for guests to learn about the differences in beer while ultimately choosing their favorite. Don’t forget to provide pencils.
3. Provide a variety of beers
There’s no set number of beers one should have, but there should be enough for comparison, at least two. You can choose to have guests bring in different bottles or growlers. Don’t forget to add tasting cups.
A good sample size for each guest is about 3-4 oz., so a standard 12-ounce bottle will serve three. Keep this in mind when purchasing your beer based on your amount of guests. After the end of the tasting, make sure you bring out full bottles of the beer for that guests can enjoy.
4. Blind tasting
Label your beers with numbers or letters to keep the party a little more mysterious and competitive. Try to include a light, pale, amber and dark beer for variety. Download our number printables for a quick and easy label.
5. Feed your guests
Snacks such as pretzels, popcorn or a charcuterie board are the perfect accompaniment to your beers. Be creative with your display and make sure to have something for everyone.
6. Cleanse palate
Don’t forget to include water to cleanse the palate between beers or for a refresher. Pro tip: sparkling water cleanses the palate much better than still. You’ll want to keep your guests hydrated regardless.
7. Announce winners
Once the scorecards are filled out, make sure you announce the group favorite. This will spark up a conversation about the contest in general and allow your guests to compare notes. No matter what the winning beers are, make sure you have enough of each for guests to enjoy full glasses.
8. Provide keepsakes
If your budget allows, have a beer + treat for each guest to take home. For a unique idea, make cupcakes or baked goods with delicious stouts or porters.
Having a beer party is undoubtedly fun because it provides all the right things: your closest friends, a variety of delicious cold ones and party food. If you are celebrating a special occasion when throwing your party, personalize beer steins with the person’s name, a special date or phrase to go along with your theme.