A couple years ago I started hosting structured tastings socials at the house.  Our friends would come over to hang out and everyone would bring over some beer to taste.  Each week had a theme that forced you to think about the type of beer you would bring.  Some examples of themes include:

  • Beers from a specific region.
  • Examples of a particular style.
  • Selections from one brewery.

What I like about doing targeted tastings like this is that it forces people out of their comfort zones and it ensures a wide selection of beers to taste.

Yesterday I had the guys over for a night with the theme "Favorites."  The instructions were: "Screw what everyone else thinks, you like what you like and aren't afraid to show it. Bring your current favorite beer, style, or brewery and let us know why you love it so. Bring one or two 22oz bottles or a few regular sized ones, enough so everyone gets a taste. If it's a style, try to bring a couple examples. If a specific brewery, try to bring a couple of their offerings."

My selection for "Favorite" was a new offering from Big Island Brewhaus called Red Sea of Cacao.  I chose it because everything the brewery has put out in bottles has been stellar so I wanted to see if this one lives up to the others.  The red ale is brewed with Hawaiian cacao nibs, sea salt & pink peppercorns.  Smelled much like cream soda in the with some nicely interesting flavors.  I wish I had taken better, or any, notes but I do remember liking the brew.  Looking forward to more from the Big Island.

Pretty simple stuff and lots of fun.

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