Want to celebrate Oktoberfest but avoid the crowds? How about throwing a get-together with some friends and host a beer tasting party? We’ve got some great tips for you to help you plan something that is simple, yet fun.
Start with planning your guest list. This will help you figure out how much food and drink you will need to provide. Once you’ve figured out your list, it’s time to send out invitations. An evite will usually suffice in today’s technology driven society, but if you prefer stationary, you can print custom invitations at Zazzle.com.
SET THE THEME
Transport your guests to Germany by recreating that famous big tent feel. Set up the party in the backyard where you can enjoy the last days of summer and turn up the polka station on Pandora radio. You can find plenty of Bavarian flag printed decorations online or at your local party store. Choose blue and white table settings to stick to the color scheme. Don’t forget to include beer tasting cards for your guests to help everyone keep track of their experience. Also, if you want to provide an optimal beer tasting experience, you might want to think about glassware. Beer Advocate charts out which beers go with which glass to optimize the taste of each varietal. If you prefer to stay low-key, plastic cups will do – however we recommend going with clear cups so you can see and appreciate the difference in color. Be sure to encourage guests to come in costume!
Plan a meal that will fit this festive occasion. Since it’s a tasting and your guests will likely fill up on beer, you can serve a small variety of food that will satisfy their appetites and help to absorb some of the liquor. Bratwurst and beer are always a great combination, especially during Oktoberfest. Soft pretzels are also a popular Oktoberfest food and can help cleanse the palate between tastings. It’s also good to add a bit of sweetness into the mix. Chocolate cake (think German or Black Forest) or brownies are common desserts for Oktoberfest and go great with bocks, stouts or porters.
Now it’s time to figure out your beer menu. Create a beer flight that has variety by serving different styles of beer. Since it is for Oktoberfest, you might want to explore a variety of German and Belgian beers. If you want to broaden your selection to include a more unique variety, you can include seasonal releases like pumpkin beers or even styles that have gained popularity in the last few years like IPAs or hard ciders. (Anyone up for some moonshine?)
With these easy tips, you’ll be sure to throw a great bash. Do you have any experience in hosting a beer tasting party? If so, we want to hear your tips and tricks which you can share by leaving us a comment below.