This was a private tasting that a friend hosted for some business colleagues and I brought the basics to navigate through a beer 101 course. I included four beers in the actual tasting but as you can see in the picture below a few people brought their own beers which made the experience even more fun.
For the guided tasting I brought Boulevard - Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, Westbrook - Gose, Stone - Enjoy By 12.25.2015 and AleSmith - Speedway Stout. Below is the summary of people's reaction to what they tasted and a few comments on the additional beers we consumed.
Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale: Usually saisons are an easy intro beer for a tasting and for people who generally don't drink a ton of craft beer. I love this particular beer, it's more complex than a lot of saisons but think it was a bit too complex with the long yeasty finish proving to not be wildly popular for most the guests. I'll likely keep this as a recommendation for people looking for new saisons or for people who already have experience drinking farmhouse ales.
Westbrook Gose: As with anything on the sour end of the beer spectrum this was polarizing with the group. One taster said that this would be the perfect beer to drink mowing the lawn, while another who has an aversion to milk and dairy couldn't get over the funky smell from the lactobacillus and refused to actually taste the beer. If you can get your hands on this beer drink it, it's great any time of year but especially once it warms up this beer is perfect for warm weather.
Enjoy By 12.25.2015: This is a very dank Double IPA that is meant to be consumed fresh as stated by the beers name. I was actually surprised that this beer in particular was such a big hit. I had selected it to stress the importance of drinking IPAs while they're super fresh but I also had a hunch that it would be too over powering of a hop-bomb for most people. I was however, proven wrong, as I expect to be many times throughout this journey. Just about everyone loved this beer and one guest who I was told typically refuses to drink anything but Bud Light said that they would willingly enjoy a pint of this without any kicking any screaming. Honestly, this beer scares me, at 9.4% ABV it's incredibly easy to drink and something I would seek out at least every other time it is released.
Speedway Stout: While there were a few people in the group who didn't like dark beers and just couldn't appreciate it regardless of how drinkable this is for a monstrous IRS, those who did like it couldn't get enough. I love this beer, I have a few bottles in my cellar and I love how easy this is to drink for such a big beer and can't recommend it enough
Along with the formal tasting a few people brought some additional beers to consumed for the remainder of the evening. I usually avoid Imperial Pale Lagers for no good reason but I loved the Kiwi rising from Jacks Abbey and I've heard even better things about the Mass Rising. I can't say enough good things about Maine Beer Company. None of the beers pictured (Zoe, Mean Old Tom and Peeper) are their most sought after brews but I would drink any of their beers at any given time. Mean Old Tom is definitely a touch more carbonated compared to most stouts but it tastes like a much bigger beer coming it at only 6.5% ABV which isn't quite sessionable but light enough that you don't feel awful if you drink a whole bottle solo. I'll save my comment for Sip of Sunshine for another post but if you have access to this beer never hesitate to purchase a 4-pack.