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January 6, 2016

Beer Tasting

It’s the New Year, and I’m up for a new challenge.

I went to college, and for four years I was a poor student who admittedly went for the $2 a pint grossest and cheapest beer on tap possible. Needless to say, on more than one occasion, I swore off EVER drinking beer again. Fast forward 20 years and here I am jumping on the craft beer bandwagon. This past summer my husband and I were invited to a craft beer tasting party and it opened me up to a whole new experience and appreciation.  

Perfect for football or tailgating get togethers, it’s your turn to try your hand at a tasting party. Glassware is important. You’ve gone to all the trouble of sourcing some fantastic craft beer, and the last thing you want to do is compromise those flavors with plastic tumblers or red plastic cups. A specific glass really can affect the taste. If you don’t believe that, just sample the same beer in three different glasses, and you will be a believer. At Radcliffe we stock gorgeous sets to choose from in both half pint and full pint sizes.  

Half pint glasses are a perfect fit for a craft beer tasting party. The perfect size for a bit more than a sample, these glasses give your guests the ability to try several beers throughout the night. If you have no other glassware for a full pint other than the standard shaker pints that you brought home from spring break, now’s the time to invest in a multipurpose glass that can serve several different styles, such as a pilsner or malt glass.

A great lineup at a tasting party will include a range of craft beer with various flavor profiles. Like this: a wet hopped IPA, a double IPA, a balanced pale ale, a cream ale, a Saison, a wheat beer, an American brown ale, a porter and a Belgian dubbel. Not sure what any of that means? Think of going from light to dark, sweet to bitter, and everything in between.

Along with that standard line up, add a few fun beer flavors in the mix. Try a sour beer, a spicy beer, a smoked beer and a craft cider. Don’t forget to keep in mind seasonal beers, like a spicy pumpkin ale or a fruit beer, like one brewed with peaches—perfect for summer.

Lastly is the food. Since you’ll be challenging all your guests’ palates with a bevy of beverages, you’ll want to serve food that’s familiar. My favorite way to make tummies happy is to go with bar food with a flair. Think grilled tenderloin, teriyaki wings, a gorgeous cheese board, and perhaps a delicious pear and gorgonzola pizza. 

Need help registering or just picking out the perfect piece you’re your home?  Visit Tiffany at Radcliffe Jewelers in Pikesville and she'll help you out.  To schedule an appointment email

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