Shortly after Anna and I hosted our wine tasting party a few months ago, Adam decided he and I should throw one as well only it should be a BEER tasting party. We decided that since there are so many fabulous fall beers, why not have that be the theme? And so the Fall Beer Tasting Party was planned.
In our evite we asked everyone to bring a six pack of their favorite fall beer. I had everyone let me know what they were bringing before they purchased it so we would not have any repeats. In the days before the party Adam and I picked up the supplies for the party and out together a tasting kit for each guest made up of a piece of autumn-y scrapbook paper for notes, a pen, and a tasting glass from Crate and Barrel.
I went a little nuts in the sticker section of Michaels, what can I say? They had autumn leaves AND beer stickers. It's like it was meant to be.
Anyway Adam and I spent most of Saturday shopping for and preparing the snacks which consisted of a veggie platter with a bread bowl of dip
Manchego and Chorizo mini skewers, Smoked Gouda + Crackers,
Baked Brie with Mango Chutney on top and a few bowls of dried fruit - all things that pair prety well with spicy fall brews. We also picked up a selection of "cool, weird beers" we found at Old Colony (local liquor/beer store) to give away as the prize for whoever brought the best beer. Rewarding beer with more beer is how we roll.
Our guests began arriving around 7PM on Saturday and as the line of six packs on the counter grew and grew I got psyched. Not only were there no repeats but there were quite a few beers I had never heard of. All in all we had about 13 six packs of such autumn-y beers as Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, Jack's Spicy Pumpkin Ale, Harpoon Octoberfest and even some some cider thrown in for good measure (not to mention some Old English 800 to keep it real). Since this was a blind tasting, we had all the guests hang out in the living room with the food and Adam and I took turns pouring three beers from each six pack into a pitcher for each round and then yelling into the living room ROUND ONE!! Then, everyone would come in for a sample and we would all go back into the living room for a few minutes to sip and comment and then back in the kictchen for another beer and so on. We had thirteen rounds!! I guess it is a good thing that each round was only about 3 oz of beer per person (uh unless I was pouring…I have a bit of a heavy hand).
The brie and the Manchego +Chorizo mini skewers were a HUGE hit and were so simple. For the mini skewers just slice up some Chorizo and grill in a pan for about 10 minutes, then skewer a piece of Manchego on top of each slice with a toothpick. Then stick it in the oven on LOW (about 250 degrees) for about 10 minutes just to soften the Manchego a bit. Delish! And the baked brie is a cinch – just spoon on a few tablespoons of mango chutney (or whatever chutney you like!) onto a wheel of brie and bake at 350 degrees for fifteen minutes. Serve with crackers or french bread. It's a GREAT fall-y snack.
In any case the beer tasting was a success! Everyone participated in the discussions and had a good time and at the end when everyone voted on their favorite which ended up being the Paulaner Octoberfest brought by Jenny and Matt and so they got the prize of "Bag of Weird Beers".
I learned that I do in fact like hard cider, and I do, in fact, like blueberry ale. So the party was both fun AND educational.
And what's better than that?
(And stay tuned this week for Adventures in Odd Meats: Volume 2, Skirt Steak with Onion Marmalade, and Apple Stuffed Pork Chops)