Sunday, August 15, 2010

The beer-tasting party

Is it too soon to already be planning the next-beer tasting party?

Brent and I had a blast, and I'm proud to say that our first annual beer-tasting party was a success.



Because of the lack of information I found on the Internet about beer-tasting parties, I’m going to try to provide as much detail as possible. (You have been warned).

For the set up, we had 3 stations in different areas of the house: ales, lagers and stouts. Each station had a beverage tub, bottle opener, napkins, cups, notepads, pens and a place for bottle caps.



THE FOOD
The downstairs snack bar:


The appetizers:

I wanted to stick with mainly bar-type food so the menu was jalapeno poppers, beer dip, black bean and corn dip, buffalo chicken dip, sun-dried tomato spread, Italian sausage, BBQ meatballs, steak taquitos, pinwheels, cheese & crackers and chicken enchilada dip.

My main concern was finding food that would taste just as good at midnight when guests were on round 2 or 3.

As for pictures, I can’t believe I didn’t take any of the appetizers. Once the food was all out, the guests started to arrive and I didn’t give it a second thought. The pictures below are actually some my dad took, but he didn’t take pictures once all the food was out either – so you’ll have to use your imagination.


Desserts:
I had the lady who did Brent’s and my wedding cakes do the majority of the desserts. The bottle cap cake was rocky road with cookies ‘n’ cream filling. Then there were 4 types of mini cupcakes – carrot, peanut butter, lemon and strawberry.

And of course, my grandma had to make her amazing cream cheese brownies.


THE BEER
Each couple was asked to bring a chilled 6-pack of an ale, lager or stout. After much debate, I decided it’d be easiest to assign these genres. To make sure the categories were even more even, I actually divided the guest list into 9 groups – those we knew would come, the maybes and those who couldn’t – and then we divided the yeses, maybes and nos accordingly into the beer categories. Because stouts are a more acquired taste, I did assign fewer beers in this category.

As for the varieties, we easily had 60 different types of beer – especially when you factor in the build-your-own 6 packs a lot of people did. With all the beer choices, most people stuck with the tasting cups so they could try as much as possible, but toward the end of the night some people ventured toward taking a bottle.

I’m not quite sure how much beer there was, other than a lot. To give you a better idea though, here’s several pictures after the guests started to arrive:

Brent and one of his friends have a Bud vs Miller battle going on, so as a joke his friend brought him some Miller Lite. Gross.



I easily tried 20 beers last night, but I have my top 5:


And Brent’s:

And to put the amount of beer we had into further perspective:

Yeah, and that doesn’t account for the beer people were drinking out of the tap or the wine some people stuck with.

It was definitely a good time. And yes, we really already have talked about the next beer-tasting party – the plan is to make it an annual event in October in honor of Octoberfest starting next year.

39 comments:

  1. What a cool party! I love the concept and all the cute signs and tags! How neat!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very well done! All the touches are great. My head is throbbing looking at all the empties!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such a cool party. I might have to do this for my husband's birthday next year!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a success! Thanks so much for providing such detail!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is such a great idea! Looks like you had a great turn out.

    ReplyDelete
  6. that looks like such a blast, and i LOVE brent's bottle top cake. so great!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. WOW ...LOVE ALL GREAT DETAILS YOU PUT INTO THIS ...YOU INSPIRE ME . :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. This was such an awesome idea. I wish I liked beer. But I just might have throw a tasting party someday anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  9. we're having a beer-tasting anniversary party in two weeks, unvieling our home brew! wow, this is awesome. completely awesome. i will be stealing many of these ideas.
    --Heather

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks everyone! I had a blast planning this party.

    Heather – Happy I could help out. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love this idea :) When we built our bar we had a "Stock the Bar" party - everyone brought a bottle of liquor, we provided beer, wine and food and our bar was stocked for YEARS (and since everyone brought their favorite liquor, we always had everyone's favortite drink on hand when entertaining later) ....Such a great time - looks like your beer tasting party was a success - which doesn't surprise me - you put a LOT of effort into that party to make it great. Congratulations on a successful evening!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Deb – Thanks! And your stock the bar party is a great idea. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Everything looks amazing! What a fun idea for a party too - sure looks like it was a smashing success!

    ReplyDelete
  14. What cool idea! I will have to keep this on my list to do...also, I love your blog!

    xo,
    Sara

    ReplyDelete
  15. The party looks like it went great!! I love all of the details!!

    http://theramblingsofahousewife.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  16. Where did you get the cup labels and napkins made? My husbands 30th is coming up and I wanted to do a Playboy style, because he admires Hugh Hefner, but not sure I wanted all those um, potential outfits. hahaha, so thinking he will just bein the ole slipper and robe and then have a different style. ANyways, not sure why I told you that, hahaha, I would love to order those things.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hurricane – I got the napkins printed at foryourparty.com. As for the cups, I just bought some labels at Office Max and then printed off the design and stuck them on the cup. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks, I did not have access to an Office Max. Miltary and overseas, but thank you for the info on the website.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow! What fun! My husband brews his own so it's safe to say he loves beer. lol He would love this party! Everything looked so good! :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. um, WOW. This has my husband's name all over it. This post is really inspiring to someone who loves to entertain! (oh, and loves booze ;)) I'd love to see more of all you did in the bar area, as that is going to be our major project next year.. I love what you've done with it and keep showing my hubby pictures =)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Love the bowls and scoops with the popcorn and other snacks...where did you get them?

    ReplyDelete
  22. I LOVE this idea!!! I'm planning my husband's 30th Surprise party and now I know what I'm going to do. Thank you for the wonderful ideas... where did you get the note pad and invitations from?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks so much for posting this! You did an absolutely fantastic job and like Megan loved the Snack Bar! I'm not sure where Ashley bought her Brandy Glass Vases but if you're searching for them, here's a link to a vendor online: http://www.save-on-crafts.com/giantbrandy.html

    Also, Craftbeer.com also has a great ideas and recipes for anyone who wants to have a beer tasting party: http://www.craftbeer.com/pages/beer-and-food/host-a-tasting

    Thanks again Ashley - Beautiful job!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Please excuse the lovely typos above. :-( I can USUALLY type grammatically correct sentences - LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi, where did you get the mustache glasses? They are great!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Where did you get the invitations?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Replies
    1. i'd love to use the invties/glass images for my husbands party in april! are you selling them anywhere? would you be willing to email them so i could use them too?

      Delete
  28. One of my friends actually made the mustache glasses for us. But I know you can get them on Etsy, if you don't feel like making your own.

    ReplyDelete
  29. You did such a fantastic job, so creative and the perfect theme. Do you still have the format in file for your invitations, signs, etc.?? Am planning my boyfriend's 30th Birthday and would love to use your printables.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Yay! This party is seems so fun! Got to try this beer party by weekend, and would love to invite lots of friends for a social time perhaps.

    Beer, Cheese and Chocolate Tasting

    ReplyDelete
  31. Ashley, what program did you use to design the labels & invitations?

    Thanks!

    -Megan

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hello,
    I was also wondering about the beer designs/labels for the different types of beers. Did you make them yourself or order them? i am having a beer tasting party next weekend and am looking for some printables. thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'm happy for the both of you, Ashley. I'm glad that your beer tasting party was a total success. :) When it comes to coming up with a menu for a beer tasting party, it would be best if you consider a buffet-style menu that complements what you are serving. Ask the liquor store employees to help you with this.

    Rob Feckler

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rob has a point. It's okay to try out new dishes, actually. However, looking for your favorite dishes would be the best option. You see, you’ll never know if you'll like the new dishes. Well, it wouldn't be bad if you researched or asked what would be the dishes that’ll best match the beer. :)

      Jessie Henn

      Delete
  34. Hi Ashley,
    I know another reader already asked, but are you selling the invitations and/or printables?
    Thanks!
    Jessica

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am! I have paper packages here: http://decoratingobsessed.blogspot.com/p/paper.html

      I can also do individual items as well. Just email me at ashleylind@gmail.com, and we can figure everything out. Thanks1

      Delete
  35. Wow, lots of gorgeous beer ideas, that cake looks like a beer cap. Now, that's beer party :-)

    2 smooth Entertainment

    ReplyDelete