Craft beers are popping up everywhere,and pretty soon, you’ll be entertaining having them at your event. In the past, it was wine tastings that had all of the fun. Now, beer has entered the picture, and is better than ever. No longer are we just managing imported and domestic options, but demand is now for more creative, crafty beer options. Beer is just beer right? Well, beer has been around for a while, however craft beers are a hipper, trendier option, and some are getting competitive with some of the other drinks on your bartenders shelf. So, What is craft beer exactly? Well, the Brewers Association characterizes the maker of craft beer as small, independent, and traditional. No mass production here. Plus the beer that is produced by craft brewers need to have flavor that derives from “traditional or innovative brewing ingredients”. So welcome to all the different flavors of the palette!

You might be asking, why will attendees want to have craft beer over other drink options? Currently, the innovative creations alone are what attracts audiences. Attendees are showing a profound interest in craft beer like ever before. Meeting and event planners then need to be knowledgeable in how to incorporate craft beers into events.

There are a variety of ways to add craft beer to events. Craft beer tastings have been known to grace receptions, accompany dinners, and even headline weddings. For tastings, invite the brewmaster to your event to help consult and conduct your tasting. Tastings are typically done by serving beers light to dark (or pale ales to lagers). If you don’t have time for a full blown tasting, just ditch your normal beer selection and add in a selection of different craft beers instead. The variety can engage attendees and inspire conversation. Some events can even have a local craft brewer provide their beer for the entire event.

Another way to add to the craft beer experience is to bring your event to the brewery. Many breweries host events, meetings, and weddings all while tying and serving their product. The advantage of this approach is atmosphere of the brewery, meeting the brewmaster, touring the brewery, and learning specifically about each beer that they offer. Attendees love being in different places where they can learn, educate, and engage with each other in different surroundings.

Finding a craft brewery should be very easy. The Brewers Association states that “The majority of Americans live within 10 miles of a craft brewer.”, so this means that ideally you should be able to find a decent craft brewer in your area. Craft Beer has a great brewery locator that proves to be very valuable. Simply enter your state, and scroll through the many selections available. The selections are not able to be sorted by zip code, however, you can sort them by brewery name if you are aware of it.

Craft brewers are driving beer volume growth, and they have numbers to show it. This once dormant sector is now hitting it out of the ballpark. If you haven’t tapped into the trend of craft beers, this is a great season to try. Fall presents wonderful craft beer options, with nice autumny flavors and warm spirits. Have you had craft beers at your event? Let chat about what worked for you!

 

Photocredit: Dave Goldberg via Flickr