Celebrate Sac Beer Week with a Tasting Party!
By Maria Hill
This Thursday Sacramento will kick off it’s annual eleven day celebration of craft beer. Sac Beer Week (Feb 26-Mar 8) boasts two main events, the Brewers Showcase and Capitol Beerfest, as well as 100+ tasting events in between.
The Sacramento craft beer movement continues to grow with 30+ breweries operating in the region; and it is not just for dudes with beards. According to the Brewers Association, women ages 21-34 represent fifteen percent of all craft beer drinkers in the United States.
As a part of that fifteen percent, I am always excited to share the world of craft beer with my friends. Recently, to prime my palate for all of the tasting during Sac Beer Week and to introduce some of my friends to local brews, I threw a beer tasting party. The following is a breakdown of everything you need to know to throw your own tasting party!
I am all about making life easier so I was psyched to find a beer tasting kit from Semi Sweet Press that included everything I would need from invites to tasting mats, to score cards. It encouraged everyone at the party to compare notes during the evaluation process, which led to some fun conversations.
When you are shopping for beers to taste I would encourage you to follow the mantra of “drink local” and pick up brews from any of the local Sacramento breweries (if you need advice on what to get they can help with that too!)
I wanted my party to be a blind tasting so my friends could concentrate on the smell, flavors and look of the beer instead of the label. I wrapped them in brown paper bags, tagged them 1-6, and set out tasting mats (all included in the beer kit). Last but not least, do not overlook the importance of snacks! I went with the classic bar snacks of chips, nuts, and pretzels.
Once your guests arrive get to pouring! The point is to taste, not guzzle, so pour small.
Now for the fun part, getting judgy! The score cards walk your guests through some basic beer evaluations including aroma, appearance, flavor, and mouthfeel (yes it is okay to giggle when you read that). This is when the fun discussions happened; my guests talked about the specific flavors they were tasting and why they did or didn’t like the beer.
After everyone is done tasting and comparing notes reveal the beers they tasted so they can pick up their favorites for home. I had a couple friends who originally proclaimed that they were “not really beer people” , who left the party with a new found love for craft beer.
And that’s it, its easy fun and a great way to kick off Sac Beer Week!
For more information on Sac Beer Week events visit: www.sacbeerweek.com
All photos by Madeloni Photography (hyperlink: http://www.madeloniphotography.com/)