One of my favourite forms of therapy for the last year or so has been the so-called “Beer Night”. Getting together with some friends and enjoying a few different brews (even Erin has been known to enjoy a nice lambic now and again!) is a perfect wind-down to the week. It used to be an almost weekly thing, but has recently been bumped down to an occasional night here and there due to conflicting schedules. The formula is rather simple: buy some craft beers, preferably ones you’ve never had, and share them amongst a group. You can buy beers that you’ve already had, but ideally they’ll be completely new to everyone. I’ve had the opportunity to try some amazing stuff during these evenings, but it’s also about the social aspect. It’s easy to sit down with a drink and chat with someone. It builds camaraderie, and sparks interesting topics of conversation. It allows you to vent about a difficult week, or celebrate a good one.
You don’t necessarily have to choose a theme, nor do you have to go from lightest to strongest beer, you can just crack open whatever and have a blast. Recently, I had a night that started out with a Stone Ruination 10th Anniversary IPA, one of the most intense beers of the evening, but because it was the most unique beer available that night, I wanted to be able to taste it before I began to get too sauced.
Feel free to throw some food in the mix, as well, offering cheese or another appetizer, a entire multi-course meal or having everything in float form with ice cream. Personally, once I have a better grasp on pairings, I’d like the opportunity to do a full-on meal with a beer for each course.
These nights aren’t limited to beer, of course, but it’s a decent way to get those who might be unsure of what they like a chance to try something unique. Give it a shot and tell me what you think. Just a quick note: try not to have a night of just barley wines and imperial stouts…