Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Pumpkin Beer Tasting Party

You guys remember when Dan and I tried all the single pumpkin beers from total wine? There are so many pumpkin beers (and harvest, and summer, and winter) that it is hard to decide which one to buy. You don't want to get 6 or 7 six packs, that's way too many holiday beers.

We had our friends over to come try a bunch of pumpkin beers, so they could go into fall knowing their favorites. The rules were simple: only pumpkin, no fall or harvest. We had to include the winner from Dan and my date night: Dogfish head. And we had to include all the beers with 90+ points according to Total wine's ratings. 

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We had a tasting sheet for people to take notes. After the third or fourth, it becomes hard to keep them straight.

The dots were to signal 90 or more points. The 'ranking' section was anything goes. We had some interesting, and very effective rating systems.

I racked my brain trying to figure out how to keep the beers cold, but remember which one was which. I wanted people to be able to taste in whichever order, and come and go all evening. I knew I couldn't afford 9 cute beverage bins from Target. When I was in ikea, I saw they had their trashcans for $1. Done. The line up of fierce competitors.

Each bucket held one type of beer. And the little chalkboard signs from the Target dollar spot labeled them.

Everyone had their own glass. You can't taste expensive beer in a solo cup. So washi tape came in handy to not get our glasses confused.

We made pulled pork sliders and everyone else brought a side or a dip. I didn't get pictures of the actual food - because we devoured it.

I painted a few letters on some Target dollar spot burlap banners to keep up through Thanksgiving.

With 7 two year olds, we had to have something for them.

Water, obviously. My drink of choice these days.

And the smores that we never made because it started raining. Oh well. I had a hershey bar for breakfast. Just as good.

The Unita punk'n and the dogfish head were clear winners. With a couple people loving Cottonwood and Bluemoon. I only tasted two of them, but loved the Unita Oak Jacked. It's made in whiskey barrels and too strong for many apparently ("did someone lace my beer with liquor?"). Maybe its too much if you are drinking a whole glass, but I liked the flavor. 

This was an absolute blast. The kids loved getting to play together and run and scream and jump and slide in the backyard. I think Olivia thought it was her birthday and talked about it all weekend. She stayed up way past her bedtime, but was in such a good mood. 

This almost makes me want to do it for Christmas blends ... even though I can't drink those either!


  1. What a fun party!! I love the way you set everything up and labeled them. I'm going to pass on your favorite pumpkin beers to my hubby. Genius idea with those trash cans turned beer buckets. Great idea to label drink cups and the rating system was really fun. I want to go out and buy some pumpkin candies now and some pennant banners for Fall. Your house looks great and I'm sure the littles loved their buffet of snacks too. Hope you can reschedule your s'more night ASAP!

  2. you're a good woman (or maybe just crazy!) to do this when you can't even participate!! hah I love pumpkin beers and adore this set up!

  3. This is amazing and such a great idea for a party. I'm a big fan of pumpkin beers. I recently tried Leinenkugel's Harvest Patch Shandy and it's my new favorite. I highly recommend. And P.S. it's fun to see Weyerbacher on here as it's a local brewery - I actually had no idea their beer was sold nationwide!

  4. Wow, I am just in love with the Pumpkin Beer Tasting Party. The decorations are so beautiful. I have saved this webpage for using these ideas in my son’s upcoming birthday bash. I will be throwing this party at the outdoor Chicago event space.