Image by Emily Lewis via Flickr
I’m sure all of you have either been to or at some point in your life, heard of a wine tasting. I have to admit that this concept never really appealed to me for most of my life. After getting married, I was forced to attend one of these “wine tasting” events. Even though it wasn’t as bad as I had pictured, my protest that a beer tasting would be much better continued on. Whether it was to prove my point or simply as excuse to have people over and drink beer, the birth of the beer tasting nights was achieved.
In no way am I suggesting that you have a beer tasting at a tailgating event. My experience has taught me that a beer tasting/BBQ is a great way to keep the cobwebs off during the off season or perhaps a long road trip of your favorite team. After all, for me the beer nights are for the most part, a tailgate party in my backyard. So next time you are faced with an away game or that long bye week, just replace the parking lot with your backyard and sell it to the wife as a beer tasting.
Here’s how you do it. First, you’ll need to establish a quest list. My first thought was to have this be a boys night only and send the girls off to do… well whatever it is that they do when I’m not around. When the word got out that a beer tasting was around the corner, I was shocked that the ladies were not only okay with it but a few were really into the idea. When it comes to number of quests, that all depends on the amount of work and space you want to put into it. Next item is the food. My preference is to have a BBQ which not only is easier on the host, but once again allows us to try out our perfect tailgating menus. Along with the BBQ, it is important to provide snacks while you are sampling the different beers. This can usually be taken care of by having everyone bring their favorite beer drinking snack as a contribution. My suggestion is to have each guest bring enough of a new beer that each person at the tasting gets at least a quarter beer to sample. In addition those bringing beer should also bring enough for themselves for what we call “independent drinking”. Our rule is that any beer you bring and enters the cooler is open season and is to be shared by all. Having tasting glasses makes the dividing up of tasting beer easy. Lastly, get a list going of the types of beers to be sampled so as to escape duplicates.
Beer tastings are a great way to try new beers as well as enjoy an evening with your buddies. Often times after the beer has been sampled a poker game has been known to break out. A friendly game, perhaps a cigar and a trip back to the cooler to enjoy a new favorite beer is all a part of it. Hope this inspires you to host a beer tasting of your own when the parking lot is closed.