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Old 01-24-2010, 06:19 AM   #1
IHateMayonnaise
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Default So.. I am throwing a beer tasting party

You heard me. In a few months (on my birthday) I will be throwing a beer tasting party for me and all my friends, featuring the best (and unique) beers in the world. I would like to get at least one beer per category, and I will try to hit as many as I can. As of right now my beer list is coming from what I have found to be the most comprehensive list of top rated beers available (http://beeradvocate.com/top_beers).

I am throwing this party in April, so I have plenty of time to plan. Food, order to drink, etc. will be planned later. Right now I am working on which beers to get, and that is the purpose of this thread.

EDIT: Subjecting all my friends to all these beers is neither responsible or wise; my plan (as of now) is to pick one beer to represent a category and have everyone try a bit of it, and if they like it they can try some of the other beers in that category. The representative beer will be denoted below with a *. Please help me with this.. many of these beers I have not actually tried

EDIT2: I have combined the beers I have and the beers I want/might want into one list, including all catagories. The catagories are roughly placed in the order they will be served in.


* = The opener for the catagory.
Red = I already have it. Don't both telling me not to get it.
Green = I will tentatively purchase closer to the date of the party. Open to discussion.
? = Should I include this?
??? = Anyone have any ideas?
(nothing) = Pending availability


Czech Beers/Pilsners
-Pilsner Urquell (if I can find it)*

German Beers/Hefeweizens
-Franziskaner Weissbier (Hefeweizen)*
-Reissdorf Kölsch

-Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier

Belgian Ale
-Hoegaarden*

Ale
-Highland Gaelic Ale*
-???

Bitter
-Fullers ESB
-???

IPA/Pale Ale
-Sierra Nevada Pale Ale*
-Dogfish Head 60 Min IPA


IIPA
-Pliny the Elder *
-Dogfish Head 90 min
-Dogfish Head 120 min


Special IPA
-Dogfhish Head Burton Baton (Oak-aged IIPA)*

Belgian Strong Ale
-Trappistes Rochefort 6*
-Trappistes Rochefort 8
-Trappistes Rochefort 10
-Trappist Westvleteren 12

Strong Ale
-Double Bastard *

Porter
-Highland Oatmeal Porter
-???

Smoked/Oaked Porter
-Alaskan Smoked Porter*
-Rogue Smoked Porter?

Dopplebock
-???

Stout
-Sierra Nevada Stout*
-Guinness Special Export (Stout)
-Beamish (Irish stout)

Imperial Stout
-Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch (Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Stout)*
-The Abyss
-Dogfish Head World Wide Stout


Russian Imperial Stout
-Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout*
-Stone Russian Imperial Stout?

Barleywine
-Rogue Old Crustacean Barleywine*
-???

Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels:
-Goose Island Bourbon County Stout*
-Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout?

Weird/Strange Beers
-Dogfish Head Midas Touch (Ancient Ale)
-Rogue Chipotle Ale?



Most of my friends are ignorant to beer, and to be honest it's likely that many will not like some, if not most of the beers I will provide. Nevertheless, it will offer me the opportunity to taste some of the beers I've always wanted to try and to (at least try) to culture-ize my friends.

I have family in Oregon and North Carolina, friends in Tennessee, and I am in Kansas. I can get relatives and friends to send whatever is available, or I can get it shipped from another country as long as it's reasonable. I am quite poor,as a graduate student, but I really would like to splurge on this. I would relish any advice or critiques on beer selections.

Note: Unfortunately I cannot afford (or find) Samuel Adams Utopias, so mentioning this is not necessary.

Cheers!

IHateMayonnaise



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Old 01-24-2010, 06:41 AM   #2
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Wow, thats huge undertaking. Might I suggest limiting it to 3-4 styles? ****, you could limit it to one style, and hit up all the substyles. You say your friends are pretty beer ignorant. Thats even more reason to limit it. Also think of limits. If you are drinking that much beer at a party, your are going to end up drunk. Especially with all of the high gravity beer you have listed. Don't worry about Utopias unless you are willing to drop some cash. Its $150 at the store, if you are lucky enough to get any. Its not something you just pop in and pick up. Check out ebay if you are serious about it though.

From the looks of it, I'd stay away from BA's list of beers. The Westy 12 might be pretty hard to come by (and expensive).

I suggest the BJCP guidelines. It lists all the styles, substyles and commercial examples of each.


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Old 01-24-2010, 06:47 AM   #3
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Wow, thats huge undertaking. Might I suggest limiting it to 3-4 styles? ****, you could limit it to one style, and hit up all the substyles. You say your friends are pretty beer ignorant. Thats even more reason to limit it. Also think of limits. If you are drinking that much beer at a party, your are going to end up drunk. Especially with all of the high gravity beer you have listed. Don't worry about Utopias unless you are willing to drop some cash. Its $150 at the store, if you are lucky enough to get any. Its not something you just pop in and pick up. Check out ebay if you are serious about it though.

From the looks of it, I'd stay away from BA's list of beers. The Westy 12 might be pretty hard to come by (and expensive).

I suggest the BJCP guidelines. It lists all the styles, substyles and commercial examples of each.
Thanks for the reply Edcculus! Yes, quite an undertaking indeed. As I said I will not be getting the Utopias -- one day yes, but right now no. I already bought the Westy 12 (two actually), they are en route.

My idea is that there will be about 15 people coming, some will not want to try various styles, and if they do it will be just a sip. Sharing a 12 oz bottle between 15 people (even for the 120min IIPA @ 18% ABV) isn't a lot. I WILL try every one, but it's going to be at my apartment, so that's alright with me As a responsible adult I will provide sleeping arrangements and allow for designated drivers. I will check out this list and edit my first post

EDIT: Based on the BJCP guidelines, I think I have all the categories I want. I am not including any lagers/pilsners/light ales. Maybe Ill throw in a bud light for comparison but that's it.
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:04 AM   #4
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Wow, that's an impressive list of beers you've got so far; your friends are lucky to have a party host with such good taste! Every one of them is a kick in your tongue's teeth though; after a few different ones it's going to be hard to distinguish subtleties.

I agree with Edcculus; I'd either go for one of each style (to compare styles) or all from one style (to compare beers). If your friends are not beer aficionados, I'd try to expose them to a wider array of styles, colors, strengths, etc. Your average Bud Light drinker's face will explode just looking at an IIPA so expecting them to enjoy (or try) three is not too likely. If there are enough different kinds of beer, they should be able to find *something* they like.

If there's one beer there that your friends may not like, they'll surely try it to be sporting and for the experience. 10 is probably asking too much.

I think the general rule for tasting is to go from light to dark in color which *tends* to go to a stronger-tasting beer. Make sure there is food and other beverages available for people to cleanse their palates and/or rinse if they don't care for the teaspoon of hops in their sip of the DFH 120 :-).
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:13 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Scotty_g View Post
Wow, that's an impressive list of beers you've got so far; your friends are lucky to have a party host with such good taste! Every one of them is a kick in your tongue's teeth though; after a few different ones it's going to be hard to distinguish subtleties.

I agree with Edcculus; I'd either go for one of each style (to compare styles) or all from one style (to compare beers). If your friends are not beer aficionados, I'd try to expose them to a wider array of styles, colors, strengths, etc. Your average Bud Light drinker's face will explode just looking at an IIPA so expecting them to enjoy (or try) three is not too likely. If there are enough different kinds of beer, they should be able to find *something* they like.

If there's one beer there that your friends may not like, they'll surely try it to be sporting and for the experience. 10 is probably asking too much.

I think the general rule for tasting is to go from light to dark in color which *tends* to go to a stronger-tasting beer. Make sure there is food and other beverages available for people to cleanse their palates and/or rinse if they don't care for the teaspoon of hops in their sip of the DFH 120 :-).
I appreciate the compliment if only I can make beers that can compare with the ones in my fridge..

The DFH 120min IIPA and World Wide Stout surpass what I would call a beer, you can quote me on that. It will come last (or close to it), due to it's overwhelming intensity. Generally yes, I will start with the lighter and end with the darker. Ales first, then hefeweizens, then belgians, then strong ales, etc.. the beamish will most likely kick off the stouts, although it can hardly be compared to what others I have.

How about this: I choose one beer from each category, and have some subsidiary ones behind it for those who like that particular kind of beer. I will put an * in my original post by the beers I feel will be representative of a particular category (PLEASE help me on this!)
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:00 AM   #6
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So far the *'d beers look ok. If you wanted to pick some ales, you could go for an ESB (not sure what's local to you) and a Mild to cover the whole range (mild -> ESB and IPA -> IIPA). Goose Island's Mild Winter may be available in your area but the rye gives it a little extra kick not normally found in a mild.

If you wanted another take on the malt-focused, stronger beers (since strong and hoppy is covered), you could choose a scotch ale or dopplebock. I've had some scotch ales I really like but I don't care that much for the smoked malt in some of them. My favorite is Scotty Karate by Dark Horse Brewing. For the DB you can't go wrong with Optimator or Salvator; Celebrator is a little more over the top but for a small sample would be good.

You could also have some beers for the Junior Circuit (for children, old ladies, and Light American Lager drinkers). Find a wit (Hooegarten is widely available and a classic example, Celis white should be good, I know New Belgium's Mothership is good, or make the Austin Homebrew kit), a real pilsner (which is a wonderful style despite the crappy "pilsners" sold by BMC), a low-test lambic (you can probably find Lindeman's, although that is not a real hardcore lambic because it's so sweet and fruity), and the hefeweizen. None of these are so dark as to scare people or so strong as to leave them wrecked, but four different flavors to try.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:32 PM   #7
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...a real pilsner...
+1 My suggestion here for a "*" beer would be Pilsner Urquell, a darn fine example of the style.
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:43 PM   #8
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+1 My suggestion here for a "*" beer would be Pilsner Urquell, a darn fine example of the style.
* As long as you can find it fresh and not skunkified.
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:52 PM   #9
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Pilsner Urquell should be bought only if you can find cans or an unopened case that you can take a six pack out of, same for Bitburger if you want a German Pilsner. I think both have best by dates on the packaging, make sure that is in the future.

Before you go putting too much stock in Beer Advocate, consider that you need no qualification to rate there (not that there are not qualified ratings there). Also the placing of beers in to categories is sometimes just flat out incorrect and there seems to be no policing of this.

At least for classic styles from the old world, consider Michael Jackson a better source of information. Alternately, choose classic examples from the BJCP guidelines (which are heavily derivative of Jackson's work, but more up to date).

Now, if you want a list of beers that are popular in the US (with beer geek types), Beer Advocate is the best source of that information.
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IHateMayonnaise View Post
... Maybe Ill throw in a bud light for comparison but that's it.
It's good for swishing and spitting between good beers to clear the pallet.


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