This past weekend I had the privilege of being invited to my first bottle share. It was a whole lot of fun and I thought I might suggest to others, particularly those who may be new to craft beer (but seasoned veterans should also get in on the action), that they might host their own.

bottle share beer selection

This is only a partial selection. There were so many to try!

First, I’m grateful that I was invited so I wanted just to say a huge “Thank you!” to those friends who invited me out and welcomed me. You know who you are!  Not only was I welcomed, but everyone shared their knowledge and love of beer with me, which was second only to getting to partake in their beer.

The idea behind a bottle share is that everyone brings a bottle (or more) of beers they either haven’t tried or just plain love and want others to try. As each bottle is opened, everyone gets a small glass to taste and talk about. The concept is pretty simple, I’d say!

There are two things in particular that the bottle share did for me. First, and perhaps most obviously, it exposed me to new beers (and new breweries) – most of which I’d never even heard of!  Second, it really opened my eyes to the sheer number of different beer styles, and the creativity in interpreting those styles from different breweries. Suffice to say I was properly blown away by the differences as well as the similarities between them.

So how do you host your own bottle share? Simple!

  1. Get a few friends or acquaintances to agree to come together on a particular night.
  2. Everyone needs to bring at least one bottle. Set your own restrictions, whether it’s a 3 bottle minimum, a style restriction, or even a request that guests can’t have tried the beer they’re bringing.
  3. Encourage each guest to bring some food to share. That certainly lightens the burden on the host and makes it so people aren’t getting pissed right from the off.
  4. Make sure you’ve got plenty of glassware for your guests.
  5. Get together and enjoy your beers!
row of empty bottles

The beginnings of what proved to be a very long line of empties.

If you have 5 people attend and each brings two bottles, my out-of-this world skill at Maths tells me that’s 10 different beers that you can try. I think at the event I attended I tried almost 20 different beers! Although I think I forgot to check some of them in on Untappd

For me one of the coolest things is getting to understand what each person tastes or smells in the beer because it shows that everyone’s palate is different, and everyone prefers different styles. This kind of event really helps you understand what kinds of things you enjoy, as well as what you don’t.

Happy tasting!

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