A Thoughtful Place: Beer Tasting Party


Beer Tasting Party

A month or so ago when I flew to Austin I picked up a Martha Stewart Living Magazine. There was a great article on throwing a beer tasting party. Did any of you see that? It definitely peeked my interest and the hubbs and I knew it would be super fun to do with our group of friends. We honestly had a blast and plan to throw this event annually. We stuck with pub type food and kept things casual and easy





……………………..… the pub feel


I have to tell you the story behind the Guinness sign! I wasn’t leaving out my husband with the “Courtney’s Bar”. When I was in college I lived in London for a while and was able to travel to Ireland. My roommate and I stumbled up on an Irish pub called “Courtney’s”. After hanging out in there for a bit, I somehow convinced the owners to take down the posters and give them to me! I brought them all the way back from Ireland and have saved them in a poster tube all these years. Our beer tasting even was a great time to bust out the old Irish pub posters. Thank you, Courtney’s Bar!!!!


Here is Courtney’s bar in Killarney, Ireland where the poster is from. The pub first opened in 1891 and is still run by the Courtney family today. Such a fun memento from my travels to Ireland.

Courtney's Bar in Killarney - a very traditional and well known Irish pub - Click for larger size image


The tablecloth was a giant chalkboard which made if fun for writing messages and creating the beer tasting stations. I could also easily label different food items on the table. You can see the tutorial on making the chalkboard table cloth here.




To help make things feel more pub like and authentic, I ordered a few items from Breadbasket.com. I was thrilled with how fast they arrived and the quality of the products. I bought six condiment cups, two cones for fries, one wire basket for pub chips, and the food-safe newsprint liners.


………………………… the menu

Jack Daniels Pulled Beef Sliders

Strawberry & Walnut Salad with a Gorgonzola Champagne Vinaigrette

Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Stacks

Cocktail Meatballs

Potato Wedges with Ketchup & Cilantro Ranch

Pub Chips from Selma’s

Carrots & Celery

Assorted Snack Foods {popcorn, pub mix, etc}

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars {YUM!}



All of our guests helped with something to make the preparation and night so much easier! Thanks, ya’ll!




………………………….the tastings

We ended up using plastic cups for the tastings. We realized it’s really important that each guest have the four pours in front of them in different glasses as opposed to using just one tasting glass. It made it much more manageable. We also kept the party small . . . six couples. I would not go over that number as it made it much easier to stand around the table and enjoy the tastings together.




While the menu and the d├ęcor were easy to pull off, the planning of the actual tastings was much more time consuming. And I can take zero credit as my husband pulled it all together. He spent a good month gathering amazing beers as well as information about them. He presented each flight {four small tastings at a time} to our guests at the tasting stations. For each flight, he placed the beers in a stand next to the table to make it easy to pour. Of course we had tons of water on hand as well! It really was fun to see what all of the guests thought about each beer and which ones they liked best. To make things easier, I have seen people host beer tastings where they offer light, mediums, and darks. That would be another way to do it if you are thinking of hosting your own.



……………………after the tastings

Once the tastings were done, guests migrated to the garage for ping pong and darts. And let me tell you, there are some serious ex-tennis players in this crew and things get competitive! So fun.





…………………….. thanks for coming


We are excited to make this an annual event. You can look here at Martha Stewart’s beer tasting party for more ideas and inspiration. It really was a laid back, casual and fun party to host. We are so lucky to have such fantastic friends to share nights like this with. We have known all the couples that attended for years and have been through countless life events together. Always nice to relax and enjoy a night of laughter and good times together. And thank you to my wonderful hubby for planning and hosting all of the tastings. You rock!


  1. It looks perfect Courtney and again, what a great idea. Did you purchase the tablecloth?

  2. This looks like such a fun idea. I love the Courtney sign!!!

  3. What a fun idea! I am sure your guests would love for it to be an annual event.

  4. Courtney--You guys did such a great job. The idea is so fun--and the decor is awesome. I have no doubt that the beer he chose was great too. I'm sure your guests are excited that this will be an annual event.

  5. I saw this idea in Living magazine but yours looks even better! LOVE that the pub in Ireland gave you their sign!

  6. Love your classy take on everything, Courtney! Such a fun idea!

  7. I love this idea Courtney! The pictures are all so cute - I actually just showed my hubby and would love to host a beer tasting some time! Looks like alot of fun - I love that it is a party that men can enjoy too :)

  8. Okay, I so want to be invited next year! Ha! Seriously, this is so so so cute! I really love everything that you did! You absolutely thought of everything! I am really considering hosting our own! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Sounds like a great time was had by all! Love the chalkboard on the table and all the other lovely details too!

  10. Oh my goodness!! You nailed this! What a fun party...love all the details and touches!! Amazing job C! :)

  11. What a great idea! You got every little detail in there...I'm impressed!! Chalkboard table is perfection.

  12. That looks like so much fun!!! Everything looks amazing, and I'm sure tasted divine! Love the pic of you two cuties at the end of the post! great party, girl! Cake time, now!

  13. I love your creativity and style Courtney - it looks like you had a lot of fun!

    Beth @ www.designyourdwelling.blogspot.com

  14. So fun! Love me some beer! And love how it's all set up with the chalkboard!

  15. How fun! I love the chalkboard tablecloth idea! It looked like a great time! :)

  16. how fun! awesome souvenir from europe! the menu sounds amazing. Are you sure you don't mean beer pong?? ;)

  17. This sounds like such a fun night! It looked absolutely adorable (c: I will use pretty much any excuse to have a party...especially one with great food like that! I need to try these tomato, basil & Mozzarella stacks, stat!!

  18. Amazing party with perfect details to pull it all together! Martha herself would be very proud!

  19. Oh how fun! Love the chalkboard tablecloth. How cool to have those bar signs! What a gorgeous couple you are!

  20. What a fabulous, fun idea! Love how you pulled it all together.

  21. What a fabulous party! Sounds like a fun evening spent with great friends. You and your hubby are a beautiful couple.

  22. Great party idea! Thanks for sharing. Would love to see a tutorial on the chalkboard tablecloth.....Please!!!

  23. oh how fun! everything looks amazing and delicious. love the chalkboard table cloth--such a great idea. i think we are going to have to have an annual tasting too.

  24. This looks so fun!!!! What a great idea.

  25. Courtney - y'all are such a fun, cute couple! As usual, your party looks right out of a magazine. Love it all! Wish we lived closer - this is our kind of party! ;)

  26. Your party could be right out of Martha's magazine!! You did a fantastic job. Seriously, everything is perfectly done. Such a fun idea. Love that photo of you and your hubby!

  27. Dang you and your awesome parties. Seriously. Move to Charleston.

  28. What a wonderful idea. I am definitely going to keep this idea in mind for my wine and cheese sampler party. xo

  29. I'd like to know the results of the beer tasting - was there a solid winner? :)


  30. I. LOVE. IT. So cute and so creative.....perfect!

  31. Nice post.I like the way you start and then conclude your thoughts. Thanks for this information .I really appreciate your work, keep it up

  32. I'm extremely impressed with your creative skills as well as with the layout on your blog.Awesome Post......
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  33. Thanks for a wonderful post! It has been a great change of pace for me as i am always on the lookout for a whole new perspective on different subjects. Keep up with your hard work and dedication.
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