Friday, March 16, 2012
Happy Hour Friday: Light Beer Tasting Party
At Christmastime, at the annual Carol & Crawl, an idea sparked. This year's C&C was a wine tasting party, focusing on pinot noirs. A few people wondered, why do we only taste wine? What about beer? What about light beer?
Fast forward a few months, to last weekend, when much of the same crowd found itself in Bill's newly redecorated (thanks to Alicia!) dining room, facing down a selection of 10 light beers. The job was simple: vote for your favorite.
It was a great party with good drinks (margaritas in addition to the beers) and great beer-drinking food (sausages, soft pretzels with mustard, chips and salsa and queso courtesy of Chili's). But most of all, it was kind of hilarious. Everyone took the task at hand somewhat seriously - I took notes! - but it was completely low key.
Even among our very unpretentious friends, wine tasting can get a little pretentious. How can't it? Even a few glasses in, you're swirling and sniffing and talking about tannins. With beer, especially light beer, well, it's not quite that involved.
And the winner? Well, that's the best part of the story. Bill and Jeff were responsible for pouring the beers into pitchers, far from our prying eyes. They had eight beers to pour (including two sets of Red Stripe Light) and they decided to throw in a couple of old standards, just because no one brought them. So they added Miller Lite to the batch. Just as they were about to add Coors Light, Jeff had an idea: why not mix a few beers, just to get a reaction.
So that was how pitcher #10 ended up as a combination of Miller Light, Red Stripe Light, Becks Light and Busch Light. And it won!
My only note about pitcher #10 was that it had "some flavor" - which really did set it apart from most of the other options. On its own, the Becks had a strange skunky smell, but mixed with the others, the smell was distinctive without seeming off. The Miller Lite and Red Stripe were just about flavorless, though actually, the Busch Light, with it's high level of carbonation, drew some praise.
Hilarious, though, we thought. Of course the beer that's not really a beer would be the big winner.
[Photo credit: Alicia Barger]