As scientific as wine or whisky tasting- without quite the same hangover- here’s how to host a beer tasting evening.
Beer tasting is a serious business, if you don’t want it to turn into a ‘session’ and want to get the most out of a fun evening with friends, then follow Loddon’s advice on how to throw an beer tasting evening!
Select a Theme
To keep a sense of order and differentiate the evening from a normal night of drinking, it can be a good idea to choose a theme.
You can set a theme for your evening based on the type of beer- stout, IPA, pale ale etc. Or you can select based on alcohol content: high volume (8%) or session beers (4%).
Selecting seasonal ales can work incredibly well too. Such as tasting only Winter warmers at a Christmas tasting session.
You don’t want guests getting hungry and we all know the hunger a few ales can bring on!
Whilst your picking up your Loddon beer to taste, you could also raid our brewery shop and throw in a few packets of ‘posh’ crisps and pork scratchings to give the evening a proper pub-like feel.
If you’re feeling really adventurous, why not attempt to make a classic recipe with beer as an additional ingredient. A great blog called the Beeroness has plenty or recipes such as IPA Sriracha Chicken Wings and Caramel Apple Brown Ale Cake (perfect for Halloween) that could be delicious additions to your evening.
The best bit is the fact that you could use our Forbury Lion in the Sriracha recipe and the Hocus Pocus for the Caramel Apple Cake and still have enough left over for an independent tasting session before your guests arrive…
Serving the Beer
Prior to serving the beers make sure they’re all at the temperature the brewery suggests. Generally, ales aren’t served cold as lower temperatures depresses flavour. As Esquire suggest:
“The whole it’s-cold-enough-when-the-mountains-turn-blue thing is just a big conspiracy propagated by mega-brewers to mask the poor taste of their watery lagers.”
So don’t be afraid to serve as suggested.
The order you serve the beer in is also important. Conventional wisdom suggests you should taste in order of bitterness, trying the least bitter first. This rule also applies to the strength of a beer’s taste, start with the weakest taste before progressing- you don’t want your palate masked by your first beer!
It’s also worth: ensuring you store the beers upright, giving everyone similar glassware (if possible) with an equal amount of each beer and washing each glass out between servings.
Tasting the Beer
And finally you get to taste your beer! Let everyone describe the beer and maybe even rank the beers. You can do this in secret and reveal at the end of the tasting to remove prejudiced decisions!
You could get everyone to bring a bottle that matches your theme. If you fancy buying some Loddon beers for your tasting or for any other reason, then feel free to purchase online or visit the shop.
Enjoy and drink responsibly!