Hosting & Toasting || Craft Beer Tasting

In keeping with this week’s Hosting & Toasting theme, I thought I’d share an idea that is perfect for both an evening of chilling with friends or a Sunday of watching football. In fact, say you are like Falynn and haven’t made Halloween plans… Get a few friends together and celebrate like the beer and cheese loving adults you are! Costumes optional?


Where to begin:

Pick a date and a time that works for you and your guests and send out an evite!

When creating the invite, be sure to let your guests know what to expect in the way of activities, what to bring, getting home safely, and if necessary, what to wear. For this particular event, its important each guest know to bring a six pack of craft or microbrew beer. Encourage them to choose something they haven’t tried before.

Now that the invites are out, here is what you will need in order to pull off the perfect beer “tasting” — complete with gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.


What you will need:

  • a couple of beverage tubs filled with ice
  • a bottle opener
  • bread
  • cheese
  • butter
  • 1-2 panini presses or electric griddles
  • a killer tomato basil soup recipe (see below)
  • crockpot
  • paper plates, napkins, spoons, and disposable bowls
  • snacks

Football Sunday|1| Beer Tasting Set |2| Beverage Tub |3| NFL Pint Glasses |4| Cheese Board |5| Bottle Opener |6| Salad Bowl |7| Toaster |8| Crockpot |9| Panini Press |10| Bottle Cap Collector |11| Serving Tray |12| Bread & Butter Board |13| Beverage Dispenser


Setting up:

In order to make things easier for myself, I decided ahead of time that we would be serving the beer in their original cans and bottles. If you’re feeling ambitious or have awesome pint glasses you’d like to use, set those out next to your beverage tubs of ice.

For this party I provided all the food as it was easier to prep it all before the party versus as guests arrive. I bought three types of bread – French, focaccia, and sourdough – and pre-sliced them. As for cheese, I wanted to have a few different varieties that would mix well together and be able to stand alone. I chose a sharp cheddar, a pepper jack, a Gruyere and brie. For the hard cheeses I pre-sliced a few slices and placed the remain blocks on cheese boards with cheese knives to allow my guests to continue cutting their own. And for the love of grilled cheese, do not forget the butter. I set out a plain salted butter and a garlic butter. Make sure to label all breads, cheese and butters so your guests know what they’re eating!

Again, my lazy streak prevailed and I decided to let my guests cook their own grilled cheese sandwiches. I have an electric griddle and I was able to borrow a panini press from a friend. I set out a plastic spatula by each grill so no one was tempted to use a fork (aka my husband).


I pre-made my tomato soup that morning and put it into my crockpot on warm so it would remain so throughout the party. My favorite tomato basil soup recipe can be found HERE.

As guests arrived I placed their beer into the tubs of ice and got the griddles warmed up. Then I sat back and enjoyed trying new beers, eating epic grilled cheese and chatting with our guests.


These are a few of our favorite beers from our tasting.

small-town-brewery-not-your-fathers-root-beer__11481.1432215075.1280.1280via Small Town Brewery in Wauconda, ILomw-can1via Ribstone Creek Brewery in Ribstone, AB

bottle-364via Big Rock Brewery in Calgary, Alberta

JalapenoAlevia No Label Brewery in Katy, TX




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