Are you planning a beer or whisky dinner? A tasting of some sort? A social or business event with a beverage hook? I may be able to help, no matter where in the world you might reside.
I’ve been hosting beer dinners and beer and food pairing sessions since the mid-1990’s, so I’ve a fair bit of experience under my belt…both figuratively and literally. Truth is, planning a beer event is easy, but planning a successful beer dinner or tasting that will have your clients or customers talking about it for days after is quite a bit tougher. Whether it’s consulting with you on the menu or flying to your location to host your event in person, I’m only too happy to help make your dinner or tasting an experience that will live on in memory for months after it’s done.
I confess to being borderline obsessive about the elementary level of beer knowledge regularly put on display in bars and restaurants across North America and around the world. Operators who wouldn’t dream of charging a server with selling wine when they didn’t know the difference between Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay often seem to have no problem asking those same people to sell $8 pints or $15 or $20 bottles of beer when they haven’t even grasped the difference between lager and ale. This, I think you will agree, is wrong.
If you’re a bar or restaurant operator looking to expand your beer program, I can help, from recommending or writing beer lists to hosting staff seminars and creating full, proprietary beer education programs. I’ve worked in the past for clients large and small, from single unit operators to the ESPN Zone chain of sports bars and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and was in 2009 twice rewarded for my efforts at the Beverage Excellence Awards in Miami, both indirectly through the Best Chain Beer Program Award given ESPN Zone and directly through the Raising the Bar Award.
6 responses to “Beer Tastings, Dinners & Events”
I am going to host a Beer Tasting Evening for our Wine Club in the next couple of months. I am looking at doing this just to be different. I have never done this before and need to get some nice ideas … something simple yet effective.
I live in Johannesburg, South Africa ….. would need to do the tasting based on beers that we can buy locally (not necessarily local beers though). Some of the ladies and a couple of the guys of our Wine Club members will probably HATE the idea of beer as they do not drink it … nonetheless I think it will be fun.
If you can assist with some ideas and a good hearty meal to serve at the end of it … fantastic. I was thinking of a meal of Beef and Yorkshire Pudding … good ol English Pub Food.
It sounds like a basic introductory tasting is what you need, Marianne, and so I’d suggest starting light with something along the lines of a Belgian or German style wheat beer, proceeding through a good Bohemian or German pilsner followed by a dunkel or schwartzbier, heading from there to a best bitter or pale ale, and finally ramping up the final three or four selections to sample from the relative fringes of brewing, along the lines of a dubbel, a tripel or strong golden ale, a fruit beer of some sort — a traditional lambic would be great, but this would go at the start of the tasting rather than the end — perhaps a chocolaty Imperial stout and/or a smoked malt beer to finish.
A couple of points to bear in mind is that beer needs to be swallowed to be fully appreciated, so try to keep your wine friends from spitting, and so the oenophiles will better understand things, try to create parallels to wine whenever possible.
As for your meal, don’t be afraid to steer clear of cliches like the British roast or German sausage and sauerkraut and present an elegant meal along the lines of what you might prepare for a wine tasting. Then sample a few of your beers to find complementary flavours, so that your guests can continue drinking beer through the dinner.
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Whenever you are in Belgium Mr. Beaumont,… here’s a little suggestion. Visit Ypres (Ieper)! Renowned for it’s WWI-history, remembrances and memorials… but also for its café The Times, with its 9 beers on draught and other tasteful drinks and colorful people. Cheers!