Learn more about best beer for guests.
Choosing the perfect beer for your guests at a party can be quite a challenge, given the varied preferences and palates. Opting for a range of beers to accommodate everyone can make your event enjoyable and memorable. You don’t have to be a beer connoisseur to select the best ones for your party; with a little guidance based on taste, drinkability, and affordability, you can cover all your bases.
One strategy is to offer an assortment of beers to cater to multiple tastes. By picking options that range from lighter lagers to aromatic IPAs and rich stouts, you can provide a selection that pleases the majority of your guests. Additionally, consider the party’s location and theme, as these factors can influence what beers to choose.
But what is the best beer for a party? It’s important to keep in mind that no one-size-fits-all answer exists, given the unique nature of each gathering. However, if you focus on striking a balance between popular crowd-pleasers and the preferences of your attendees, you’ll be well-equipped to ensure a successful event for all beer enthusiasts present.
Table of Contents
Understanding Your Guests’ Preferences
When serving beer to your guests, it’s essential to consider their preferences in terms of tasting notes. Beers come with a wide array of flavors, from bitter and hoppy to fruity and sour. Understanding the different tastes of beers such as IPAs, lagers, pilsners, sours, fruit beers, and brown ales can help you cater to your guests by offering well-rounded options. Keep in mind that stronger beers have more powerful aromas and should be served slightly warmer, while lighter beers and lagers are better served colder at around 38-50°F.
Here are a few common tasting notes to consider when choosing beers for your guests:
- Bitter: IPAs, pale ales, and some stouts
- Malty: Brown ales, doppelbocks, and Scotch ales
- Hoppy: IPAs, double IPAs, and certain pilsners
- Fruity: Fruit beers, Belgian ales, and some wheat beers
- Sour: Lambics, goses, and sour ales
Craft Beer vs Traditional Beers
Craft beers and traditional beers are both popular choices, and there’s a vast selection of flavor profiles between them. Craft beers typically have higher ABVs and contain unique, experimental flavors, while traditional beers like lagers and ales offer reliable and classic tastes that cater to a wider audience.
When determining which types of beers to offer, consider the preferences of your guests. For those who enjoy trying new things, a selection of craft beers showcasing diverse flavors and styles might be the best option. On the other hand, if your guests prefer classic choices, go for traditional beers such as lagers, pilsners, and stouts.
It’s always a good idea to have a mix of both craft and traditional beers to accommodate guests’ diverse tastes. By offering a variety of beer styles with different tasting notes, ABVs, and hoppiness levels, you can ensure all your guests find a beer they love. Just remember to serve them correctly, and you’ll create a great experience for everyone.
Choosing the Right Beer Styles
When hosting an event, it’s important to consider your guests’ taste preferences. Below are a few beer styles to consider offering.
Pale Ales and IPAs
Pale Ales and IPAs are popular choices, known for their hoppy flavors and aromas. These styles exhibit a wide range of flavors, from hoppy bitterness to fruity and citrus notes, such as grapefruit. Options include American Pale Ale, India Pale Ale (IPA), and Double IPA (DIPA). Some guests may prefer a more balanced option like the Pale Ale, while others may opt for the bolder flavors of IPAs and DIPAs.
Wheat beers are brewed with a significant amount of wheat in addition to barley, which lends a lighter, more refreshing taste. They can have fruity undertones and are often cloudy due to the yeast used during fermentation. Some common styles within this category include Hefeweizen, Witbier, and American Wheat Beer. Wheat beers are a great option for guests who prefer a less hoppy drink with a smoother mouthfeel.
Pilsners and Lagers
Low ABV pilsners and lagers are popular choices for their light, crisp flavors and drinkability. These golden-colored beers, like the well-known Corona Extra, are great for guests who enjoy lighter, more refreshing options. Pilsners originated in modern-day Czech Republic and Germany, offering a pleasant balance between hops and malt flavors.
Stouts and Porters
Stouts and Porters are dark, rich, and often exhibit roasted flavors like coffee and chocolate. They can range from dry to sweet and have varying levels of alcohol content. Common styles include Irish Stout, Oatmeal Stout, Imperial Stout, and Baltic Porter. Offering a darker, fuller-bodied beer like these can appeal to those guests who appreciate robust flavors and a velvety mouthfeel.
Fruity and Sour Beers
Fruity and sour beers are perfect for guests who enjoy something slightly off the beaten path. Fruit beers are usually brewed with fruit additions, either during fermentation or as an infusion after fermentation. These can impart flavors like cherry, raspberry, or even tropical fruits. Sour beers, on the other hand, use specific strains of yeast and bacteria to create their distinctive tangy, tart flavors. Examples of fruity and sour styles include Fruit Lambic, Berliner Weisse, and Gose.
By offering a variety of beer styles, you’ll be able to cater to your guests’ diverse preferences and make your event a hit.
Popular Beer Brands for Parties
When hosting a party, it’s important to have a variety of beer options to accommodate different tastes. Here are some popular beer brands that will surely please your guests:
- Budweiser: Known as the “King of Beers”, Budweiser is a classic choice for any party. This American-style lager is brewed by Anheuser-Busch and has a smooth, crisp taste that appeals to a wide range of palates.
- Heineken: This Dutch brewery offers a refreshing and well-balanced lager with a mildly bitter taste. Heineken’s distinct green bottles and recognizable branding make it a popular addition to any party.
- Corona Extra: This Mexican beer is a great option for those looking for something light and refreshing. Corona Extra is best served with a lime wedge, and its easy-drinking quality makes it ideal for hot weather and outdoor gatherings.
- Blue Moon: Brewed by the Blue Moon Brewing Company, this Belgian-style witbier is known for its citrusy, wheat-based flavor profile. Blue Moon is often served with a slice of orange, which enhances its fruity notes.
In addition to these well-known brands, there are also some excellent craft brews that can elevate your party’s beer selection:
- Sierra Nevada: This American craft brewery offers a wide range of beers, from their classic Pale Ale to more adventurous brews like Hazy Little Thing IPA and Tropical Torpedo.
- Boston Lager: Produced by the Samuel Adams brewery, Boston Lager is a full-flavored, smooth amber lager that is both rich and balanced.
- Yuengling: As America’s oldest brewery, Yuengling offers a variety of beers, including their flagship Traditional Lager, which has a rich amber color and a smooth, malty taste.
- Stella Artois: This Belgian pilsner is a crisp, easy-drinking choice that can be found at most events. Stella Artois pairs well with a variety of foods and is widely enjoyed by party guests.
Remember to offer a range of options to cater to your guests’ preferences. By including a mix of popular and craft beers, you’ll ensure a great selection that everyone can enjoy.
Craft Beer Selections
Staple Craft Breweries
When it comes to selecting craft beers for your guests, it’s essential to consider a variety of breweries that offer well-rounded and diverse taste experiences. Some key craft breweries that consistently produce high-quality beers include:
These breweries provide a wide range of tastes and styles that can cater to various preferences and make your event memorable.
Crowd-Pleasing Craft Beers
Here are some crowd-pleasing craft beers that guests are sure to enjoy:
- Victory Prima Pils: A crisp and refreshing pilsner with a bright hop presence, perfect for sipping on a warm day.
- Abita Turbodog: A smooth and rich dark ale with notes of chocolate and toffee, ideal for those who enjoy darker brews.
- Shiner Ruby Redbird: A light and tangy summer lager with grapefruit and ginger flavors that refresh and delight the palate.
- Sweet Action Cream Ale: A smooth and velvety cream ale with a hint of sweetness, making it a universally enjoyable option.
- Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: An American classic, this hoppy and well-balanced pale ale is always a hit among craft beer enthusiasts.
- Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA: A bold and flavorful IPA with a rich malt backbone, perfect for hop lovers.
- Pliny the Elder: A legendary and highly sought-after double IPA with explosive hop flavors and a smooth finish.
- Allagash White: A quintessential Belgian-style wheat beer with delicate flavors of citrus and spice, perfect for those who enjoy a lighter brew.
- Lagunitas IPA: A well-rounded and accessible IPA with a solid malt presence and piney hop notes.
- Fat Tire: A popular amber ale with a perfectly balanced blend of toasty malt flavors and subtle hops.
- Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale: A thirst-quenching and unique sour brew, perfect for those who enjoy something a little different.
With this selection of staple craft breweries and crowd-pleasing beers, you’ll be able to satisfy the diverse tastes of your guests and make your event an unforgettable experience.
Lighter Beers for Easy Drinking
When hosting guests, it’s important to offer a variety of beers that cater to different tastes. Lighter beers are perfect for easy drinking, as they are generally lower in alcohol content and feature refreshing flavors. In this section, we’ll explore some popular options within the categories of Light Lagers and Pilsners, Blonde Ales, and Low-ABV Craft Options.
Light Lagers and Pilsners
Light Lagers and Pilsners are some of the most popular choices for easy drinking. They are known for their crisp, clean flavors and low alcohol content. Some top choices include:
- Bud Light: One of the best-selling light beers in the world, Bud Light is a go-to option for many due to its smooth, refreshing taste.
- Pabst Blue Ribbon: A classic American lager, Pabst Blue Ribbon has a light body and a subtle hoppy flavor.
- Corona Light: A great choice for non-light beer drinkers, Corona Light offers a flavor-forward experience without tasting watered down, at just 99 calories per serving.
Blonde Ales are another excellent choice for lighter beers. They often have a subtle fruitiness and a gentle hop character, which make them great options for easy drinking:
- Hefeweizen: This German-style wheat beer is known for its banana and clove flavors, offering a unique and refreshing option for your guests.
- Kölsch: A German blonde ale originating from Cologne, Kölsch is characterized by its soft maltiness and delicate balance between hops and malt.
Low-ABV Craft Options
For those who prefer to explore more unique flavors from smaller breweries, there are many low-ABV craft beers that are perfect for easy drinking:
- Night Shift Brewery Nite Lite: Touted as the best overall light beer, this craft light lager from Massachusetts offers notes of citrus, bread, and corn with a 4.3% ABV.
- Session Beers: These beers, such as Anchor Steam Beer, are designed for long drinking sessions, typically featuring an ABV below 5% and lighter, refreshing flavors.
By including a variety of lighter beer options in your offerings, you ensure that all your guests have something they can enjoy while mingling and relaxing. Light Lagers and Pilsners, Blonde Ales, and Low-ABV Craft Options each provide unique choices that can cater to a wide range of preferences.
Tasting Notes and Pairing Suggestions
When selecting the best beer for your guests, considering the tasting notes and pairing suggestions is important. Here are a few suggestions based on different beer profiles:
- Spice: Beers with spices like coriander or orange peel pair well with dishes containing similar flavors, such as Moroccan chicken or citrus-infused dishes. A popular beer with these notes is the Belgian witbier.
- Cream: Creamy beers like stouts and porters complement rich, hearty dishes like beef stew, BBQ ribs or chocolate desserts.
- Citrus: For beers with citrus notes like lemon, lime, or grapefruit, consider pairing with lighter fare like fish, chicken, or salads. Examples of citrusy beers include American pale ales and IPAs.
- Tropical fruit: Beers with tropical fruit flavors like mango, pineapple, or banana pair well with spicy dishes or seafood. Look for options like fruit-forward IPAs, wheat ales, or Belgian tripels.
Thoughts on Serving Temperatures
To enhance the overall beer tasting experience, serving temperatures should be taken into account. Here’s a quick guide for common beer styles:
|Beer Style||Serving Temperature|
|Light lagers||40-45°F (4-7°C)|
|Wheat beers||45-50°F (7-10°C)|
|IPAs, Pale ales||50-55°F (10-13°C)|
|Porters, Stouts||55-60°F (13-16°C)|
|Belgian ales, Tripels||55-60°F (13-16°C)|
In summary, considering the variety of tasting notes and pairing suggestions for different beer styles, as well as serving temperatures, will help you provide a well-rounded and enjoyable beer experience for your guests.