I recently spent a lovely weekend exploring the gorgeous town of Portland, Oregon with a couple of my girlfriends. During our time there, we ate at some amazing restaurants, took advantage of the tax-free shopping, and totally fell in love with their craft beer culture. For a trio of girls who try never to be too far from a glass of wine, our beer affinity came as a total surprise to us. And, of course, no better place to satisfy that affinity than in Portland! We were able to try so many interesting, unique, and delicious beers, which inspired to carry on the fun back home by hosting a beer tasting party.
We have a great booze shop here in San Francisco, where you can buy single cans or bottles of beer. When selecting beers for this tasting party, I did what any die hard beer lover would do…I picked those with the coolest looking cans…very scientific process.
I also happen to have about 40 of these small glasses that worked perfectly for this party. A few friends and I actually pitched in to buy these glasses for another party several years ago, and they ended up being the best investment. We keep passing them around whenever each of us has a party. I don’t think we ever could have guessed how much use they would get over the years! However, if you’d rather not splurge on real glasses, small plastic glasses work perfectly fine as well.
To keep things interesting, I kept the names of each beer a mystery. I made these numbered grids (which you may download here for free) to keep track of each beer. Only I knew the beers each number corresponded to, and I kept that to myself till all had been tasted.
Everybody got a small taste of each beer, and, similar to wine, they were tasted in order of lightest to darkest.
We kept track of our opinions on tasting note sheets (which you may download here for free), and everyone shared their thoughts as we worked through the tasting. Obviously, there were no right or wrong answers, and it was interesting to see how everyone’s opinions differed.
Ultimately, we each discovered some new beers, picked a few favorites, and had a blast while we were at it.
Melissa is the blogger behind Serving Seconds, a food blog dedicated to the yummy and the beautiful. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her wandering the aisles of the craft store, instagramming at the dinner table, or exploring every foodie nook she can find in her beloved city of San Francisco. She’s got a penchant for anything mini, modernized comfort food, and stellar hospitality. In her “Setting the Table” series, Melissa will share unique and creative ways to add a little fun to your table and make your guests feel extra special. From a weeknight dinner to a girls’ night in, there’s always a reason for theme parties, signature cocktails, and gathering with friends.