Radeberger Pilsner Bottle and Glass

Holding a Beer Tasting

Whether you’re new to craft beer or an experienced drinker, a beer tasting is a simple and fun way to broaden your horizons. As with any event, planning one is sometimes overwhelming. With so many brews to choose from, how can you decide which ones to feature? Luckily, you don’t have to plan it alone. Located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Banko Beverage Co. is a beer expert that distributes products throughout the Greater Lehigh Valley. Here, we offer advice to help you put together a fun, lively, crowd-pleasing beer tasting.

Choose Your Beers WiselyMagners Irish Cider Bottle and Glass

You may be tempted to draw a list of your favorites, but that’s a good way to unintentionally assemble a lot of clashing flavors. Instead, keep it simple and pick a theme for your beer tasting. Here are some of our recommendations:

  • Stick to one style or region.
  • Choose two styles and compare them.
  • Focus on a single brewery.

Of course, it helps to know your audience. If most of your guests prefer a sweet, smooth stout, for instance, don’t plan a tasting around hoppy IPAs. Choose a menu based on what you know your guests like to ensure everyone has a great time.

Lil’ Squeezy Juicy Ale Can and GlassSet It Up like a Pro

First, make sure you have the right glasses for a beer tasting. Different styles of beer taste better with different glassware, so do your research on what works best with your selection.

Next, decide how you’ll present the beers. Some prefer tasting beers blind, which encourages guests to truly focus on the flavor, smell, and mouthfeel. To host yours this way, place beer bottles in brown bags, assign each one a letter, and keep the master key to yourself. At the end of the tasting, reveal the beers you’ve been pouring. Alternatively, you can display each beer bottle so your guests learn more about the brewery and type of beer they’re experiencing. Add some creativity by designing some index-card-sized fact sheets for each brew to hand out as you move through your tasting menu.

Whichever setup you choose, don’t forget the palate-cleansers for between beers. Sparkling water and saltine crackers are common ways to successfully clear competing flavors from one’s tastes buds, but anything plain and bland is also suitable. Additionally, ensure there’s a way for your guests to rank their favorites, and stock up on each variety so everyone can sip on the ones they like best afterward.

Get Advice from a Local Expert

If you’re not sure where to start or feeling overwhelmed by the range of possibilities, don’t hesitate to ask for help. You can get ideas by attending a professionally run tasting at a local brewery, distributor, or bar, as well as searching websites like Pinterest for inspiration. Plus, our beer experts at Banko Beverage Co. are always here to help with advice on where to purchase the brews for your beer tasting. To learn more about our beverages, contact us today.

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