Posted on August 31st, 2010
Need more excuses to drink good beer with good friends? Me too. So recently some friends and I came up with a great one: we love to do craft projects, and we LOVE to drink craft beer. Why not put them together and start a Craft While You Craft Night?!
For our first meeting we did a selection of beer and cheese pairings combined with a pinhole art project from designsponge.com. Crafting guru Lauren provided the tools for the project, and I selected some beers and cheeses to sample before, during, and after the project.
For our second meeting we decided to make a beer-themed project, using something most beer-drinkers always have plenty of: bottle caps. Using epoxy, mosaic grout, corkboard, plywood circles, a glue gun, pin-backs, and a few other handy craft supplies, we fashioned some coasters, trivets, earrings, and pins out of our bottle cap collections.
However, before we started crafting, we did a tasting of our favorite Summertime brews. Lauren started us off with a very summer-y beer cocktail: shandy. Shandies can be made a number of ways, but this one was a simple half & half mixture of sparking lemonade and Endurance Arctica Pale Ale. It was bubbly, sweet, and delicious. We then moved to Rebecca’s selection, American Darling, Pretty Things’ “Lawnmower” Lager; then Diana’s, the People’s Pint Natural Blonde Ale – both crisp, clean selections perfect for a summer afternoon. Ready to “spice” things up a little, we moved on to my selection, the Luciernaga Belgian Pale from Jolly Pumpkin. This brew is refreshing and slightly tart, with hints of spice, citrus and apple – a perfect summer-to-fall transition beer. We ended with Heather’s selections: first some Saison Dupont, one of the best saisons around, and we ended with some Ipswich Summer, an unfiltered and citrus-y Blonde. The tastings and the projects went very well!
If you’re not a Craft-er (but still love Craft Beer) there are lots of other possible Beer-tivities that might be right up your alley:
For the film buff: host a movies & craft night – pick a classic (or kitchy) flick and pair it with a selection of beers. You could also do a TV show beer night. Why not drink craft beer (or beer cocktails) during your weekly Mad Men screening instead of downing martini after martini. You’ll stay sober longer and you don’t even have to buy olives!
For the foodie: try a potluck food and craft beer night – everyone brings a combination and you get to explore the flavors that come out when you pair beer with various foods. Or you could go all out and take turns hosting a Craft Beer Dinner where each course is matched perfectly with a particular craft beer.
For the sportsfan: pre-game with some craft beer and then switch to something more session-y when the game starts. There’s no reason to drink swill just because you’re drinking for hours. Don’t be peer-pressured by promises of “Drinkability.”
For the overly-literate: mix up your book club meetings with a tasting before or after you discuss (before, if you’re looking for a more exciting discussion.) Or if you host a weekly Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit night, why not make it more interesting by trying some craft brew while you play.
For the beer-lover with no other beer-friendly hobbies: why not just host a no-frills craft-tasting night? Sometimes the best choice is the simplest one.
Do you have friends, beer, and some way of putting them together? Let us know your favorite craft-ivities, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #mybeer to tell us what you’re drinking!