Who To Invite And How To Get Them There
Who should you invite to your beer tasting party? If you live in an apartment building, it’s easy: Everyone! Make up flyers with all the info (especially the date, time, and location) and post them in the lobby and tape them to the doors. Find out if the building or complex has a newsletter and put a notice in. Some buildings have group chats and Google Hangouts to post in. You can even change your Wi-Fi name to “BeerTastingPartyApt123May18”. Get creative!
If you’re renting in a community, the plan isn’t too different. Tape flyers to cluster mailboxes, staple them to telephone poles. Canvass attendees at neighborhood events and yard sales. If you feel comfortable, knock on doors and hand them out.
Worried about cost? Feel free to ask for a dollar or two donation from attendees at the door, or have everyone to bring a food item with them (or their favorite beer, even homemade). Be sure to request RSVPs via text or Facebook Invite; you’re going to want an idea how many people are coming.
What To Serve And How Much To Buy
Once you know how many people to expect, it’s time to buy the beer. For a true tasting party, assume each person will sample about four-to-eight different beers (a flight or two) and about four ounces or so of each, so do the math.
Head to your beer store and grab variety of styles, including a few IPAs and other ales, some stouts and porters, and a good selection of wheat, dark, fruity, and pilsner beers, depending on your budget. Since you’ll have a range of tasters, grab some interesting craft beers (especially local breweries!) based on the season, as well as some familiar names like Bud and Miller.
Hold Your Tasting
The best way to spend time getting to know your neighbors rather than running the event is to keep it simple.
Set up a serving area in an open part of your apartment or home with room for everyone to mingle and also have easy access to the beer. On the side of the table closest to the room entrance, set up a pile of blank “Hello My Name Is” stickers and a few markers so you know who everyone is (after all, you’re doing this to meet your neighbors!).
Along the rest of the table, place a selection of two-to-four ounce glasses or cups (small-size Solo cups from dollar store do the trick) for sampling. Beer should be tasted from lightest to heaviest flavor, so line up your beer in sampling order, and don’t forget the bottle openers. You can either let your guests pour their own samples, or – if you have a friend willing to lend a hand – use a bartender.
To complete the mood, set up some finger food for people to nosh on and have Spotify or Pandora play some background music. Let everyone grab what they want, and mingle! If you want to get fancy, print out voting ballots with the beer names and at the end of the party, name a winner. But that’s up to you; remember, the goal here is to get to strike up conversations and get to know your new neighbors.