If you follow The Thirsty Giraffe on Facebook or Twitter, you have no doubt seen us find a reason to celebrate any occasion at least once a month with a bottle share. Thirsty Thursday, New Brew Tuesday, Sunday Sips, or you know, FRIDAY; all good reasons to gather your friends and pop open some bottles you have been wanting to try. There are many versions of sharing, here are some ideas for ways to conduct your next bottle share.
This is a great way to introduce those who aren’t into the craft beer scene either because they are intimidated or they just don’t know any better. (The latter need your help most of all!) The instructions to guests should be bring a six pack of a beer you enjoy and think others would too OR grab a sixer of that beer you keep seeing on the shelves but have been afraid to buy because you didn’t want to be stuck with 5 beers you may not like. When the guests arrive grab one or two bottles from their sixer and open up for tastings. Everyone should have at least a 2 ounce taste of each beer that is brought. At the end of the party, mix up the remainder of the beers from the sixers so everyone goes home with 4-5 new beers!
This is when your group graduates from grabbing a sixer at the grocery store to visiting a local bottle shop. Have each guest bring one or two bombers (the large 22oz bottles some might mistake for wine bottles). Again, everyone should get at least a 2 ounce pour (or more) to get a taste of everything on the table. This time guests don’t go home with anything other than what they brought that might not have been opened.
Ahhh, the whales. What’s a whale? That would be a beer that has high trade value, or is rare or is a limited release and/or all of the above! Any beer from the other side of the country or world from where the party is happening is also always a popular choice. Many times these are also aged beers that have been sitting in a cellar waiting for the day it gets to show off what it has turned into over time. (More on that in the future.) Just like the bomber bonanza, guests bring one or two of these whales to share among the guests. For true beer nerds, it usually turns into a game of who can top who and a fantastic opportunity to try some amazing beers.
Of course you don’t have to follow the above to a tee. You can have mix sixers, some bombers or a mix of all, whatever suits you and your group best. You can have the group make tasting notes as they sip and have long drawn out discussions about the beer or everyone can just enjoy while trying to collect the most untappd badges.
Some other tips for a successful bottle share:
- Have multiple tastings glasses available. People may want to do side by sides if you have more than one of a certain style.
- On the same note, make sure the tasting glasses are rinsed out between beers to get rid of any lingering favors. Pouring a stout into a glass that had a puckering sour will make a difference in the taste.
- Have water on hand just for people to keep palates clean and of course hydrated.
- And finally have some snacks! They serve salty snacks in bars for a reason, goes great with many beer styles but also think of cheeses, chocolate and fruit as great beer pairing foods as well.
Happy sharing! Your Mom would be so proud.