How to host your own home beer-tasting event

24 Mar 15

SAB Beer Tasting Competition

How to host your own home beer tasting

Hosting a home beer tasting event is a simple, fun and entertaining way to challenge your friends.

It involves serving your guests various beer types, unknown to them. The object of the game is for the guests to guess all the beers correctly, though much of the enjoyment comes from simply exploring and discussing their characteristics.

As the host you’ll be in charge of the event, so plan your basics well. Invite a small group of friends. Five to eight people should work well. Tell each guest to bring a bottle of their favourite beer. This will be used as a prize as you’ll see.



The stock: 6 types of beer

Buy a selection of beers of various styles. It’s always interesting to have some everyday styles such as lager contrasted to the more unusual styles, like saisons or lambics. Make sure that you’ve bought enough of each product to be able to provide each person with a small glass of it. Six beers per style should be plenty. Once you’re home, refrigerate and don’t let any guests see what beers are in your fridge!


Prepare your table by setting out the glasses and water. Make sure each person has enough glasses for each beer type. So if you’re serving six beers you’ll need to make sure that you have 6 glasses for each attendee. Alternatively you could rely on cleaning glasses between beers, but this then removes the opportunity to compare beers.

Note-taking essentials

You’ll also need to print out some beer facts for your guests to give them something to work with (especially if they’re new to tasting). Print this fact sheet on beer styles for each guest.

The prize bucket

Every competition needs a prize! Prepare a container (buckets work well) with a festive ribbon and place the prize beers in here as your guests arrive.

Mystery jugs:

Just before you’re ready for the tasting, transfer your beers into glass jugs out of sight of your guests. Pour each beer type into a glass jug, labeling each jug with a number. Make a note of what jug number each beer type is.


The event:

1. Briefing

Once your group is seated at the table and ready for tasting, brief them on some of the beer styles that they will be encountering in the session, outlining the aromas, flavours, colours and other characteristics. Your fact sheet will help you here.

2. Tasting

Spend your next half hour tasting beer. As the host you’ll be pouring the beer. Pour one jug at a time, giving all the guests a chance to sample each mystery beer together. Each guest should secretly note what style of beer they believe that jug to be.

Take your time here and enjoy comparing taste experiences.

3. The reveal

Once everyone is satisfied with their guesses, it’s time to reveal what beer is in each jug.

The person with the most correct guesses wins a bucket of everyone’s favourite beers.



Shopping list:

  • Sticky labels for your beer jugs.
  • A piece of paper and pen for each taster
  • 6 different beer types, in enough quantity to serve your guests
  • A jug of water for palette cleansing and cleaning glasses.
  • Beer-friendly snacks (cheesy types work well. Avoid overpowering rich foods and chilli, which will numb your mouth to the flavours)

In your kitchen:

Jugs and glasses. Borrow from friends if you’re short on these items.


Beer styles fact sheet



NOTE: The competition below is now closed

How would you like a beer tasting masterclass with an SAB Brewer? Now is your chance to win your very own personal beer tasting event in the comfort of your own home. You bring your friends; we’ll bring our brewer and the beer!

How to enter:

It’s easy to enter. Share a photo of you and your favourite SAB beer with us. You can share it

Tag it with #SABHomeTasting in order to enter. Competition terms and conditions are at: