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How to Throw a Beer-Tasting Party

Dazzle your friends with your beer knowledge and let them test their sophisticated taste buds while throwing a beer-tasting party.


  • : Don't drink unless you're of legal age. Drink responsibly, and never drink and drive.
  • Step 1: Invite friends and pick themes Invite friends who drink beer. Buy your sampling beers using a seasonal theme, or pick an array of types, like imported beers versus domestic.
  • Step 2: Designate drivers Designate drivers for guests and make your home available for sleepovers. Confiscate keys if you are concerned about someone’s sobriety.
  • Step 3: Display beer Display bottles with labels exposed. Enlighten guests with your knowledge of beers or beer history as they evaluate what to try.
  • TIP: Resist the impulse to try lighter ales first, moving toward porters and stouts. Save your palate and let hoppy and high-alcohol drinks wait until the end.
  • Step 4: Score the beers Give guests sheets of paper and pencils for scoring beer by taste, texture, and finish. If the party is a success, discussion of beer debates afterwards may be unfocused.
  • TIP: You could invite home brewers to bring their concoctions.
  • Step 5: Set out sample glasses Set out three-ounce sample glasses for tasting and lager beer glasses for those who want more of one kind. It’s a party – don’t try to force anything on them.
  • TIP: Ask guests not to wear colognes or perfumes that can interfere with the bouquet and therefore the taste of beer.
  • Step 6: Provide snacks Provide snacks such as crackers, mild cheeses, fresh fruits, and pate to clear the pallet between beer tasting.
  • FACT: Did you know? In 2007, organic beer sales in the U.S. jumped to $25 million, a 29 percent increase from 2006.

You Will Need

  • A group of friends
  • Designated drivers
  • A variety of beers
  • Paper and a pen
  • Beer glasses
  • Snacks
  • Home-brewed beers (optional)

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