Beer Is For Everyone: A Party Theme
Summer is rapidly hurling towards Fall, and your barefoot in the backyard days are numbered, it’s time to actually host a party instead of just saying, “we should” until the moment passes. It’s that moment. The one that you usually let get away from you, and then wonder why.
Here’s how you do it, step by step:
1. Invite people. This is the first step because it forces you to take the rest, you’re locked in. Plus it only takes a second (unless you’re like me and you prefer to hand-make invites. Which would make you a crazy person, and you’re not. Be grateful.) Choose a mix of people, and don’t let the “doesn’t drink beer” designation deter you from inviting anyone. They will like something, and it will surprise them.
2. Beer selection. You want a huge variety of beer, not just the beer you like. Go to a large bottle shop, the bigger the better, the selection will be the best and the knowledge of the sales people will likely be the most broad. Hit several major categories, and a few out of the box beers, like this: a wet hopped IPA, a double IPA, a balanced pale ale, a cream ale, a saison, a wheat beer, a brown ale, a porter, Belgian dubbel, sour beer, a fruit beer (like one brewed with peaches—perfect for summer), a spicy beer, a smoked beer and a craft cider. Sounds like a lot, but a bomber of each beer will give everyone a taste, just enough to know if they want more. Try to get 2 bombers (22 ounce, large bottle)of beers per person. Err on the side of more, you can always keep what you don’t open.
3. Glassware. There are often things we do that are just to wallow in our own craft-beer-geek-infatuations, this isn’t one of them. Glassware makes a huge difference. Have you ever drank wine out of a coffee mug? That’s the difference between proper glassware and a shaker pint. For a beer tasting, get half pint glasses, perfect for sampling. I use these ones.
4. Food. It’s important. It’s a way to balance the flavors and explore pairings. More importantly, eating is essential when drinking as a way to stay on the controlled end of the drunk/sober spectrum. You want to serve a few things that pair well with a variety of beers and that can sit at room temperate for a while. A few to consider: Porter Caramelized Onion Flatbreads with Smoked Gouda and Roasted Tomatoes, Goat Cheese Crostini with Beer Pickled Jalapenos and Mangos, Beer Braised Pulled Pork Sliders with Chipotle Beer Cheese Sauce, Grilled BBQ Beer Chicken and Apricot Flatbreads, Beer and Bacon Dip.
5. Judge away. Save all those judgmental thoughts that you want to pour inappropriately onto your Facebook friends and strangers at the market, for beer. It’s ok to judge beer, just reserve your feelings until after you’ve tasted it. Here are beer-judge rules for people new to beer: before tasting you can only state facts not opinions (it’s dark, it smells like fruit, it’s more carbonated that the other beers), once you’ve tasted it state three observations, decide if it makes you want more even if you don’t know why. Let your guests decide what they like best, and what they like least, even if they can’t explain why.
Now you’re ready to throw a craft beer party, and prove that beer really is for everyone.
- 2 tbs honey
- 1 tbs sririacha
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
- 1/3 cup wheat beer
- In a small bowl stir together the honey, sriracha, salt, and pepper, set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet, add the Brussels sprouts, cut side down. Cook until just starting to brown.
- Lower heat to medium low, drizzle with sriracha mixture, then pour the beer over. Simmer until sprouts are fork tender and beer has cooked off, about 8 minutes.