One of our favorite things to do with our beer-drinking friends is host a beer tasting. We’ve tried Christmas ales, pumpkin beers (Beard’s least favorite), summer beers, specific brewery tastings etc. But the one type of tasting we haven’t tried yet was a domestic beer tasting. So we decided to get extra creative with this one. Sidebar: this was probably the worst (best?) idea we’ve ever had.What is a Domestic Beer?
Think the Big Beer companies (macrobrews), the cheap beer you can find anywhere from a gas station, supermarket, beer store, etc. Top brands include, Miller Lite, Budweiser, Coors Light, Busch, Keystone, etc. Traditionally, domestic beers were brewed here locally in the states, but that’s started to change. Budweiser is owned by InBev (now AB InBev), which is currently based in Leuven, Belgium. Miller is owned by SABMiller, based in London, England. Coors is owned by Molson/Coors, with dual headquarters in both Montreal and Denver. Each of those monster companies have brewing facilities in the United States, but they are technically headquartered in foreign countries. Calling them “domestic beers” could be cause for great debate, but that’s beside the point for this tasting. Essentially, for the purpose of this event, domestic beer is the cheap, crappy beer you drank in college and played beer pong with.
Why have a domestic beer tasting?
If you’re a beer drinker, I bet you believe you can tell the difference between your favorite cheap beer and others. For beard, he figured he’d at least be able to pick out Coors Light, High Life and Budweiser. For Broad she thought she would absolutely know the difference between High Life, Coors Light (her faves) and at least Miller Lite. She is convinced Miller Lite has a very distinct weird taste and can pick it out anywhere. Our friends also feel the same about the cheap beers they love and hate. We decided we just had to have a blind beer tasting and put everyone to the test.
How did we do it?
This took a little bit of thought. First, we sent a Facebook invite out with a poll to all of our beer drinking friends to pick a date that worked best. We expected about half the people we invited to make it because that’s usually the case with our events. Not this time. We had 21 people respond and 19 participants! That is a lot to handle for a beer tasting.
We had 11 beers to try (we were supposed to have 12 but one couple had to bail last minute). Broad came up with a scorecard and we decided to have 4 rounds with 3 beers in a round. We gave everyone a key with the beers we’d be trying.
The two people that weren’t drinking volunteered to pour the beers each round in a separate room. Each participant received three cups (marked 1, 2, 3 and with their name). You could drink them in whatever order you wanted. You could chug it, sip it, do whatever to figure out what it was. After everyone drank (or poured out their remaining beer) we moved onto the next one. At the end, one of the pourers read the answers.
To our surprise, most people could not guess their favorite cheap beer! Broad did not guess Coors Light or High Life. Beard didn’t guess Coors Light, but did pick out Budweiser (he hates it). A lot of people scored zero, while a bunch scored 3 (Beard and Broad both had 3). One person scored 4 and one person had a perfect score. Yes, you read that right. 11 horribly cheap and terrible beers that damned near all tasted the same, and this guy got all of them right. Didn’t even cross out any answers. No guesses. Does he have a problem? Is he a savant? Both? It’s still under investigation.
- This was definitely different than our previous beer tastings but it was equally as fun!
- If you’re a cheap beer drinker then this is for you. If you’re a beer snob, you should still definitely do this cause it’s fun to relive what all your college beers tasted like, and try and pick them out of a line up. Everybody wins!
- Have plenty of food for everyone. As per usual, we made an array of good drunk foods for people to nosh on and friends brought over snacks to share too.
- Plan accordingly, you will get tipsy/drunk. As with any beer tasting, even though you’re trying a small amount it is still alcohol and you will feel the effects. For god’s sake, hydrate.
- Keep your event on the smaller side. It somehow worked with all 21 of us but we advise keeping your numbers a bit lower to manage the group.