Sunday, August 15, 2010
The 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 downstairs snack bar:
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.
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.
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:
I easily tried 20 beers last night, but I have my top 5:
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.