Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Beer Tasting Party

Jason's birthday was last Friday.  And before you read any further you should know 2 things: (1) he turned 29 and (2) he's not big on birthdays.  When I say "not big," I cannot remember a single birthday party.  I'm sure we did something for his 21st birthday, but I'm not sure what.  This year I decided he needed a birthday party.  It is, after all, the last year of his 20's.  *We upgraded a little for Jason's 30th Birthday - lots of other fun ideas.

I've decided that planning any party/gathering for a guy is difficult.  They just don't seem to appreciate matching plates and napkins and frilly drinks as much as girls seem to.  But I still wanted to do something nice.  So after some awkward Pinterest searches, I do not recommend searching "adult male birthday parties," I randomly stumbled across a beer tasting birthday party.  Eureka.  I looked at several ideas to get a good feel about what I did and did not want to include and the fantastic party below came into existence.

Not only was I thrilled with how everything turned out, the boy was very happy too. 


The biggest problem I ran into was planning the actual beer tasting itself.  Several of the parties I looked at simply had different types of beer placed in different ice buckets depending on type (ales, pales, etc).  But I wanted this to be an actual tasting, where everyone was drinking the same thing at relatively the same time.  Initially I planned on just buying enough six packs for everyone.  But, after some serious googling, I discovered that a Whole Foods near me has 18 beers on tap (which are conveniently listed online)  that you can buy in a growler.  I tentatively picked 5 from the online list, but had to make some last minute changes when I actually purchased the beers.  Fortunately the beer guy at Whole Food was super nice and helped make sure that I had a good balance of beer types and flavors.

I wanted to keep the food and decor fairly simple.  I resisted the urge to buy actual glass tasting glasses (but will inevitably do so when I have a house), and instead found the smallest plastic cups I could find.    I made the chalkboard table runner by spray painting (with chalkboard spray paint) a roll of white contact paper.  This was super cheap and super customizable.  The tablecloth is a linen/canvas blend piece of fabric that I picked up at Wal-Mart for $2.50 a yard.  I bought the golf pencils for the tastings, which I think added a fantastic little element.  I stored extra pencils and chalk in shot glasses around the table.  I used my always handy jars to display leaves I ripped of a tree in my backyard, which was enough flowery-like things for Jason.  I also placed a "dump bucket," which was actually a vase, on the table in case anyone really hated a beer.


For food I served pub type food, but kept it fairly light because we planned to have dinner at a BBQ place.   Food included chili lime pistachios, beer chips, cocktail sausages, soft pretzels and various mustards, and sopapilla cheesecake for the birthday boy.

I downloaded the beer bottle printable and changed the "cheers to you" part to "Happy Birthday Jason" using photoshop.  I designed an invitation, which I texted to everyone and gave to Jason in a sealed envelope with strict orders that he couldn't open the envelope until he was in our driveway.  The actual tasting party was a complete surprise for him.  

I also designed tasting cards and hanging tags for the growlers on photoshop.  The tasting cards listed each beer and had a place for notes and scores.  One of my favorite parts of the party was listening to everyone read their scores and notes.  Some of the responses were pretty hilarious.  The hanging tags contained the brewery (or the beer)'s logo and information about the beer.  We read these at the beginning so that everyone had an idea of what each beer would taste like.  


Below is what the tasting sheets actually looked like and because I love you all so much, I uploaded blank ones (sized to fit 4 on a regular sheet of paper) for you! (I think, if it doesn't work let me know.)  And if you use the tasting cards, please link back to me.  Those things took quite a while to design.  Thanks.  Due to some unscrupulous copying and attempted sales of my beer tasting cards, I've taken the link down.  If you'd like a blank copy of them, just shoot me an email and I'll gladly send them your way.

And that's the beer tasting party in all its glory!  Thanks to everyone who came; I hope everyone had as much fun as we did!


For more beer related party ideas check out Jason's 30th Birthday!

49 comments:

Abby said...

Again, your party planning skills are amazing! What a fun birthday party idea~

SummerBreeze said...

Thank you!! It was a really great party for him!

Rebeka said...

Ok, I don't know how I missed this, but what a GREAT idea. You totally win! I hope that he loved his surprise beer tasting party.

Also, I had no idea you guys had been together for that many years, props to you :) that's so sweet.

SummerBreeze said...

Aww thank you! I was such a fun "guy" party! I highly recommend it, especially with the number of craft breweries in your area!

DeAnn said...

Sorry I'm not very computer friendly. How did you change the beer sign to say Happy Birthday. I would love to use the sign for my husband Dave and couldn't figure it out. Thanks!

SummerBreeze said...

Hi DeAnn, I edited the sign in Photoshop, which is an editing software. Without Photoshop, you could possibly use a text box in word to cover it up and then type into the text box? Hope that helps!!

Monica said...

Hi! I can't find your email address on your blog but I'm a chapter leader for Girls' Pint Out (girlspintout.com) for Philadelphia and I'm having a tasting tomorrow. I've been desperately searching the internet for beer scoring sheets and I found your blog. I would love to use the card you used just for tomorrow night if you want to email me at MonicaLy17@gmail.com. Thanks!
~ Monica

Erin Bower said...

I'm planning a beer-themed 30th birthday party for my husband. You had stated you used photoshop to edit this. Is there any other way to edit it. I just want it to say Happy Birthday Matt. Any suggestions would be appreciated as I don't want to spent $700 on photoshop.

SummerBreeze said...

Hi Erin,

You could try opening the document in Word and using a text box to cover up the words you don't want. If you have a Mac you could also use the text box function in Preview. Gimp is a free program that is supposed to work similarly to Photoshop so maybe you could give that a try. I don't use Gimp so I'm sorry I can't provide any ideas on how it works.

Hope this helps! Good luck on the party planning!

Trisha Hilberry said...

My husband and I host a Beerfest party with our friends every September. I would love to use the beer tasting cards this year.
My email is trishbro79@gmail.com
What a great find, thank you!

SummerBreeze said...

Trisha, I emailed you the tasting cards! Hope they work out for you!

Anonymous said...

I love this idea. Would you mind send me your beer tasting card? I would love to throw this party for my boyfriend who is really into craft beer. Thanks!

blakeleycozby@gmail.com

SummerBreeze said...

On the way blakeleycozby@gmail.com! Enjoy!

Kate said...

Hello,

My husband & I are hosting a beer tasting party this coming Saturday but I have yet to find cards that I love - would you mind sending yours? Kedmckee@gmail.com

Thanks! :

SummerBreeze said...

Kate, they are on the way! Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Hi! My husband and I are hosting a tasters and sliders night and these rating cards are perfect! Can you please email it to me: jess_bcuz@hotmail.com

Thanks in advance!

SummerBreeze said...

Jess, en route! Enjoy!!

laurielou said...

I would love to have your tasting cards! could you email me at Laurielou73@msn.com

SummerBreeze said...

Laurie, on the way! Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I would love to have your tasting cards! could you email me at stephkelm@yahoo.com

SummerBreeze said...

On the way Steph!

Anonymous said...

Hi I am currently planning my husbands birthday bash which is in two weeks. I would love to use your tasting cards... great idea btw. foxygirl15622@aol.com.

SummerBreeze said...

En route!!

Anonymous said...

Hi- I am having a bottle share party next weekend and I am sooooooo inspired by your blog! I could not find any cute ideas until now! I love how you used a chalkboard table runner! Everything is so stinkin' cute and clever! May I please use your templates? Anything you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I am hosting 16ppl next Saturday. Yikes! email: sengy00@gmail.com
Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Ps- a dump bucket is genius! thanks again!

SummerBreeze said...

Thank you so much for your kind comments! I'm glad I gave you some ideas! The tasting cards are on their way and I'd love to see photos from your event!

Anonymous said...

Will do! I would love to share pictures! I am so excited! The party is tomorrow! Thanks for sharing your template!

Sara@iSass said...

I would love the beer tasting cards. Hubs just wants to throw out a bag of pretzels and a bottle opener and call it a party, I, on the other hand, though I don't even drink beer, need to at least put some effort into decorating, planning and giving an over all more thought out party!
Man!
Parkercox74@hotmail.com
Thank you so much!

SummerBreeze said...

One they way Sara! I'd love to see pictures!

Heather said...

What a neat idea! I'd love a copy of your beer tasting cards please! holsen85@gmail.com

SummerBreeze said...

Heather, on the way!

Casey Waldman said...

Love it! would you mind emailing me your tasting score sheet. Having my husband thirsty third on Saturday. :) going to try to figure out how to do the word beer bottle..?! Caseywaldman10@gmail.com

SummerBreeze said...

Casey - on the way!

Anonymous said...

Hi, could you email me your printables. Planning a beer tasting 40th for my husband. I especially love the word beer bottle! Thank you!
Jill
mcintoshcarnes@yahoo.com

Being Brinkman said...

Planning a party for the hubs, I would love to use the beer printable scoring sheet!
christinecbrinkman@gmail.com

SummerBreeze said...

Christine - on the way! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I am not sure if you emailed me copies of your printables, but if you did, I think I must have emptied it in my SPAM. Sorry! And thanks!
Jill McIntosh
mcintoshcarnes@yahoo.com

Kirby said...

Great ideas!! I am hoping to plan a similar party for my husband in a couple of weeks. Would you mind sending me a copy of your beer tasting cards? I was also wondering if you would mind sending me a non-PDF file of your beer bottle word art that I would be able to modify? Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you!

Kirby
adach.kirby@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

So impressed by this! amazing job. I am planning a surprise 35th for my hubby, a beer tasting of course! I would LOVE to use your blank beer tasting cards, but I am having 7 tastings. I wonder if I would be able to add to your card. Would love to try. THANK YOU so much for all of the great ideas!

Courtney

courtneysteinfeld@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Love this! Is there any way you can email me the copies of the printables PRETTY PLEASE?
Thank you!
Olivia
oliviacamacho1212@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I'd love to get a copy of your beer tasting notecard if you're willing to share...thanks!

Shelly
shelyfirebaugh@sbcglobal.net

Amanda Eckenrode said...

I'm hosting a tasting party like this for my husband this weekend! I would love a copy of the tasting cards if they're still available my email is eckenrode.amanda@gmail.com

Thanks

Anonymous said...

I would love it if I could be sent a copy of the beer tasting cards! Hosting a beer dinner!
dgackle27@gmail.com

Alana Jain said...

Hi! I'm throwing a beer tasting party for my boyfriends 28th birthday! your beer tasting cards would work great! mind sending a copy my way!
alana_jain@hotmail.com :)
Thanks!

Claire said...

Could you send me over the link for the beer tasting cards? I am having a birthday party for me and my hubby tomorrow--we are 2 days apart. It's a beer and chili tasting party and I would love to share these cute tasting cards with my guests! My hubby went to get growlers of diff beers at Whole Foods, and I can't wait to taste them!

Claire said...

clairelmclain@gmail.com btw ;)

hello said...

Would love to be able to use your beer tasting cards for an upcoming party--they look great. Thanks so much for sharing. lpricebennett@gmail.com

Kristie Willms said...

Hi, Hoping this blog is still active, I would LOVE to use your beer tasting card.
Is is possible you send to me?
paulkristiewillms@gmail.com

Unknown said...

Hello! Love this post and this party! I am planning a similar event for my hubby and would love to use your beer tasting cards if possible. Are you still able to send them to me? couchcd@yahoo.com - Thank you so much!

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