Our second annual beer-tasting party was a success (and yes, beer party: the trilogy is already in the works for next year).
The guest count was a lot smaller this year, which I was originally nervous about, but I have since decided that 30-40 people is a fabulous size. It let me socialize with everyone. The 70-80 people we had last year was, well, a lot.
Since I kept a lot of things the same, I didn't take as many pictures, but here's the overview...
The save the date:
We still had the sign (picture from last year):
As well as the beer-tasting notepads (picture from the first party):
I also used the same food label design, but had a slightly different menu:
The pigs in a blanket were a game-time decision. I woke up from my power nap 3 hours before the party and decided I needed lil' smokies like it was my job. My father-in-law was nice enough to honor my craving and make a grocery store run for them and crescent rolls.
We also had a snack bar downstairs:
Because of pregnancy exhaustion and not taking off of work the day before the party, I decided to tone a few things down – one of them being the snack bar. I went with 4 snacks instead of 5, and cut the one that takes me the most time – the spicy nuts. This, of course meant I had several people asking if I made them again this year. Sigh.
Now on to the fun part...
Like last year, we had 3 stations. Last year, we were newbies and kept with the basics: ales, lagers and darks. This year, we went more specific and took advantage of Octoberfest with flavored, seasonals and classics.
We had each station scattered throughout the house (living room, kitchen and man cave) to help with the flow.
The napkins weren't as awesome as last years. But considering this party wasn't in honor of Brent, I figured a napkin discussing Brent's probable hangover the next day wasn't ideal.
(In retrospect, Brent did have a massive hangover the following morning, so those napkins would have been extremely appropriate).
And yes, we did have beer on tap this year as well. But it's main function served as some weird drinking game involving holding a pitcher of beer. I didn't ask questions, I just went back upstairs after witnessing a few minutes of craziness.
We had a huge variety of beer. The weirdest one being a seaweed beer. I had no idea that sort of thing even existed.
And since this is an annual event, Brent and I are toying with making a wall of shame and keeping track of who brought the worst beer each year. My dad won that honor at last year's party, and people were still making Vanilla Porter a year later. Yep, that beer was that bad.
I'll admit, watching everyone try my favorite pumpkin beer (O'Fallens Pumpkin Ale – seriously, try it – it tastes like pumpkin pie), was a tad difficult. But one of my friends brought me a build your own 6-pack of flavored ciders, so I got to have my own tasting (and feel cool holding a bottle). It was the sweetest thing ever.
And now our garage smells like beer, but it was totally worth it...even though I didn't get to partake in the beer fun.
For details and pictures of the first beer party, click here.
For supply details, click here.