How To Host A Beer-Tasting Party This St. Patrick’s Day

Learn how to throw a beer-tasting party (Photo: urbanlight/Shutterstock)
Learn how to throw a beer-tasting party (Photo: urbanlight/Shutterstock)

You’ve got more beers than you can name that you want to try, so why not use St. Patrick’s Day as a reason to hold a beer tasting party? After all, the day is associated with drinking – the story goes that St. Patrick who was served a meager glass of whiskey told an innkeeper that his dishonesty was feeding a devil that lived in the cellar. The next time the saint visited the inn, the innkeeper was pouring overflowing glasses, and with him having learned his lesson of generosity, St. Patrick banished the devil from the inn’s cellar and declared that everyone should have a drink on St. Patrick’s Day.

Not sure how to host one? Some tips on how to get the most out of your beer-focused party.

Count on serving about a half-bottle of each beer

Once you know how many guests you’ll have, you can calculate how many bottles of each variety you’ll need. Include a couple extra of each type so that your friends can enjoy a full bottle of their favourite from the evening. As for how many different beers to include, four or five is sufficient.

Buy some inexpensive glasses or clear disposable cups

You’ll want your cup to be clear so you can appreciate the different colours of each type of beer. Get some inexpensive glassware from IKEA or rent some from a party supply company as you’ll need many glasses since each guest will need a fresh glass for each new beer.

Before the party, make a some notes about each type of beer

Such as the history of the brewer and where it’s brewed.

Provide water to drink

Your guests will want to cleanse their palates between each beer so have a pitcher of water and extra glasses available so guests can serve themselves. This’ll also help your guests from drinking too much alcohol.

Serve some munchies

Cheese (and of course everyone loves classic pub snacks) will go well with beer, but you’ll want to try to complete your beer tasting before digging into food as it will affect everyone’s palate.

Give your guests a brief tutorial on how to taste the beer

Look at the beer’s colour and head; swirl it in the glass and smell it; take a sip but don’t swallow it right away (you’ll want to note how it feels in your mouth) and exhale as you taste it as this’ll enhance the tasting experience.

If you want to colour one type of beer green in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day

It takes about three drops of green liquid food colouring at the bottom of a glass to colour a bottle of beer. For the purpose of the tasting, however, you’ll want to enjoy most of your beers in their natural state (besides, you can only colour light-coloured beers, which would limit the types you could include at your beer tasting).

Encourage your guests to come by public transit or taxi

Alternatively, there should be a few guests who are designated drivers.

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Flare, Elle Canada and ElleCanada.com, Glow, Metro, Huffington Post Canada, Travelife and Travel + Escape. She also runs her blog, HealthandSwellness.com, where she writes about health, beauty, fitness and lifestyle.

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