Love craft beer? You're certainly not alone. According to a report from CNBC, the craft beer industry is thriving, with production up 9.6 percent in 2013.
"Over the last couple of years, the number of new brewery openings has been at near unprecedented levels," Bart Watson told the news outlet. Watson is the staff economist at Brewers Association, a craft beer industry group. "We're seeing breweries open at about a rate of 1.2 per day."
While you probably love attending the latest brewery opening or sipping India Pale Ale at your local pub, why not mix things up and host some friends for a craft brew tasting party at your home? Here are some items you'll need, according to specialty website CraftBeer.com:
- Palate cleansers: Cleanse your palate in between sips with seltzer water and unsalted crackers.
- Pens: Make sure your guests have writing utensils to take notes on which brews they like best.
- Small tasting cups: Set out plenty of small tasting vessels for sampling different drinks. These unique handled cups make a sophisticated design statement.
- Snacks: Olives and mild, medium and strong cheeses can pair well with certain beers.
- Steins: Once you choose your favorite pale ale or porter, enjoy it in style out of one of these handsome, double-walled, stainless steel mugs. Your guests are sure to be impressed! These also make great gifts for beer-loving friends.
- Tasting mats: Like place mats for grown ups, these will help you keep your beers organized during your tasting party. You can download them for free at CraftBeer.com.
- Vase: You'll need a vase or other large container in which guests can pour excess beer from their sample cups. Choose one that elevates your party's tone, like this contemporary stainless steel option.
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