Recently, my fiancé and I made new couple friends. We invited them over for drinks, snacks, and board games, a classic millennial game night. Me, being the person I am (too involved with craft beer), took it upon myself to snag some beers that won’t just taste good, but help foster conversation, hit all palettes favorably, and, of course, create an enjoyable night.
Entertaining with craft beer can be difficult. You need to take into account the food you’re eating, the preferences of your guests, and the type of night you’re looking to have. I figured it could be fun to share with you all my experience with entertaining new friends, and how to win them over, simply with some well thought out beer choices and good conversation. Some say the conversation part is more important, but they’re wrong and I am ready to fight about it!
Now, time to drink, eat, converse, and win all the board games.
And Now, the Brews
|Fulton | Tanager | Barrel Fermented Brett IPA|
|Since most of you live in Minnesota, it’s always good to start with a local brewery when entertaining new friends. Fulton is pretty much a household name thanks to Sweet Child of Vine, Lonely Blonde, and a slew of other delicious beers. But you’re making new friends, you can’t go with just any Fulton beer. This Brett IPA is something special. It’ll please both the IPA fanatic and the more traditional Brett beer believer. Primary fermentation of Tanager took place in red wine barrels with Saccharomyces Bruxellensis Trois which has many characteristic similarities to Brett. Once the primary fermentation was complete, they added 12 more strains of Brett, which they allowed to condition for about three months. Once complete, they blended several of the barrels into a stainless-steel tank and dry hopped the beer with Equinox hops. The art of making this Brett IPA resulted in aromas of a blend of tropical goodness and a Brett farminess that somehow complement each other. On top of all of that, there are fantastic flavors of fruity hops, a touch of earth, a bit of funk, wood, mango, and tangerine. Rounding out with a dry finish, Tanager has everything you would want from a unique beer such as this one! If you’re looking to impress someone, craft beer nerd or not, this is the beer. Pair it with some chips and guac, buttery popcorn, and another glass of Tanager.|
|750 ml | 6.7% ABV | 50 IBUs|
|Boulevard | Rye on Rye | Barrel-Aged Rye Ale|
|Now that you’ve got your new friends’ whistles wet, time to bring out the big guns. Rye on Rye is a Rye Ale aged in Templeton Rye barrels for an undisclosed amount of time. This tawny-like Ale is warm and mellow, just the feeling you want to leave them with. There is an abundance of Rye Whiskey, vanilla, brown sugar, and a touch of oak hitting the back of the nose. As sipping commences, the senses are hit with a large amount of rye malt, toffee, caramel, dark fruits, oak, and a warming whiskey heat. Even with all of these flavors, the overall body of Rye on Rye doesn’t seem too heavy. A good medium body. The finish lingers on your tongue with sweet molasses and caramel. Making it easy to take your time drinking this beer. The longer it takes to drink, the more conversation you need to have with your new friends. If you’re pairing this beer with some bitter dark chocolate or a nice peppered steak, you’ll turn those new friends into life-long friends.|
|750 ml | 12% ABV | 33 IBUs|