Throw a Beer Party to Beat the Winter Doldrums

I’m not talking about a raging kegger, I’m talking about a clever, themed “Better Beer Party”. There are plenty of options for themes: beer and cheese pairings, beer and chocolate pairings, traditional beer tastings (especially fun if you have friends who aren’t yet converts, so you can really teach them about beer) or you can get extra creative like Josh from BrewsAndBooks.com, a mutual blog-less, Twitter-less friend and I did this most recent Saturday night. We threw ourselves a “beers you can’t otherwise get here” party (for lack of a more creative name).

This kind of party of course requires some pre-planning — I had been saving some beers I got during my trip to Washington D.C. in November and Josh traded for some of his beers from away — since securing brews for this type of event takes a little more effort than running down to the local Packie. But, if done correctly, it’s a great way to try some new beers everyone involved might not otherwise get to try and it makes plowing through some 22 ounce “bombers” much more manageable than if they were a one-man job.

Here’s a picture of the haul we slowly worked our way through, throughout the evening. A Lagunitas 2009 Correction Ale, a 2009 Three Floyds Dark Lord (!!), a Pretty Things Baby Tree quad, Otter Creek Imperial Stout, Troegs Java Head, Deschutes Red Chair NWPA (Northwest Pale Ale), Deschutes Cinder Cone Red, Bashah (the Stone/BrewDog collaboration), and the Brew Free or Die IPA and Watermellon Wheat ales from 21st Amendment Brewing. Needless to say, not an easy task (but a damn enjoyable one).

Especially ’round these parts where the winter doldrums are extra long and sticky — although these days, the whole country is gripped by cold, so you know what I’m talking about regardless of where you’re reading this from — throwing special themed small beery get-togethers like this one are a great way to beat cabin fever and a great alternative to another night at your local watering hole (even the best beer bars in the country need some at-home alternatives from time-to-time). What themed beer parties can you think of?

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3 comments

  1. Two themed beer parties I have thrown are “belgian beer theme” and “ipa beer theme”. Not overly creative I realize, but I got some friends into good beer because of them. The belgian beer theme was a hodge podge of different belgian beers. No real rhyme or reason to it, I just mainly stuck with beers I enjoyed. It was probably with 5 or 6 different beers.

    For the IPA beer theme I put a little more thought into it. I started off with a British IPA and described it as the “origins” for the rest of the beer people would be tasting. I then moved on to an East Coast (Dogfish 60 Minute), and West Coast (Stone IPA) IPA, and then moved on to a IIPA from both coasts (I would have to consult my notes for which beers I used).

    Anyway, people had fun during both occasions and I definitely helped turn a few friends on to good beer.

    NB When I saw the beer bottle photo, before reading the post, I recognized the Pretty Things beer right off the bat. Dann just posted about their soon to be released beer (February): http://www.prettythingsbeertoday.com/site/node/80

    Ron (http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/) describes it as an Imperial Mild: http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2010/01/whitbread-doctors-and-family.html (in the comments).

  2. We just threw a beer tasting party last weekend. Counting the 4 homebrews we had 19 beers to taste – the pours got smaller as the evening wore on. Served with some homebrew braised brats, homemaded pretzels and homemade IPA mustard. Beers ranged from Paulaner Hefeweizen, to some Stone, Desuchtes, a few wet hopped beauties, a Rochefort Belgian, domestic abbey style, IPAs and Pales, some winter browns, a dry and a chocolate stout and some porters. Good times were had. I haven’t posted the full line up yet, but will soon.

  3. WoW! Thank you very much for that enlightening article

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