You don’t have to be a craft beer expert to host a tasting at home. In fact, home beer tastings are a great way to learn the ins and outs of craft beer. Best of all, it's cheaper than going out, and you get to choose what to try.
Here are some tips on how to get started:
Choose Your Approach
Two easy ways you can go about selecting your beers are:
Set up a “brewery tour” and sample a selection of different beers from the same brewery. This will give you the opportunity to enjoy a range of styles and flavors. You could also expand this to a specific region or state (e.g. beers from New Jersey).
Sample one particular style across different breweries. This will allow you to pick up on more subtle nuances from one beer to the next.
Tasting with friends? Share your approach, and have each person bring one beer to try that fits within your theme.
Arrange the Beers in Order
Keep stronger flavors and higher ABV selections (think: strong hoppy flavors and any beer with the word ‘Imperial’ in the name) towards the end of your tasting so you don’t blow out your palate right off the bat.
Taste the beer first, write down some notes, then share your thoughts with the group. Taste is very subjective, after all, and being able to form your own opinions without outside influences makes for a more lively discussion because it allows everyone to compare and contrast.
Plus, by jotting down tasting notes as you go, you can refer back to them throughout the night, and you won’t forget the name of your favorite brew when you head to your local liquor store to buy it.
Don’t Forget The Snacks!
Some foods seem like they were made to be enjoyed with beer. Cheddar, mustard, pretzels, nuts, etc. are all great options for a beer tasting night at home! Sure you can pair each snack with one of the beers, but we prefer to simply arrange our favorite beer-friendly snacks on a platter and nibble as we go.