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Old 05-08-2019, 11:06 AM
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I don't drink beer - what kind should I buy for company?


We're going to have an open house and I know some of the attendees like beer. I'm not looking to impress, but I don't want to buy crap, either. What's a decent brand that most people are likely to enjoy? And how do I figure how much to get? 2-3 bottles/cans per person? I don't need tons of leftovers.

Life would be so much easier if everyone drank lemonade...
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:09 AM
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I will assume that you can't ask them what they like. Err on the side of "light" IMO. Bud light, Miller lite, Corona light. Beer for the anonymous masses. 12 beers per person. (kidding.)
Don't worry about leftovers, just leave it where some neighborhood teenagers will find it.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:11 AM
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Bud Light.
Inoffensive generic beer.
Nobody really likes it but any beer drinker will drink it.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:13 AM
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Bud Light.
Inoffensive generic beer.
Nobody really likes it but any beer drinker will drink it.
Hey, I like Bud Light!
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:13 AM
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Just get a variety case of some reasonable local beer, and then maybe something more neutral/mainstream like Yuengling or Miller or whatever. Around here, my usual middle-of-the-road beer is Goose Island 312. It's light and easy drinking enough that the BudMillCoors people enjoy it, and crafty enough that the beer snobs don't mind it. Two bottles of beer per person should be enough, I would think, assuming that there's gonna be a number of folks who are not going to drink beer, and a number who will only drink one. If you are catering to a crowd that would be well described as "drinkers," then you may want to go a bit higher. Also, it will depend on the the length of the open house. I see a rule online that says "two bottles per person for the first hour, and one per person each additional hour." While that number would be absolutely right for me, though I'd probably also have a second one each hour, I'm best described as a "drinker." I would think it would average out to less than 2/first hour 1/each additional hour, since it seems you will have other drinks there and only some of your attendees like beer.

Last edited by pulykamell; 05-08-2019 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:14 AM
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How long are you expecting people to stay? If people might show up at 2 pm and stay til 10 pm then sure assume 3 beers. But I think that would be on the extreme end unless everyone is a college student.

I would get a 12 pack of something like Bud or Miller Lite and either 2 sixpacks of something slightly nicer like Blue Moon or Leinenkugels or an equivalent sampler pack.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:15 AM
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People's taste in beer varies so widely that it's hard to say. If I were you, I'd avoid the usual American and Mexican adjunct lagers like Budweiser, Coors, Corona, etc., as well as anything very adventurous at all, such as India pale ales or stouts. Maybe you could get something decent but innocuous and widely available like Blue Moon?
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:18 AM
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Hey, I like Bud Light!
So do I, but I don't really like it.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:20 AM
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I don't really want to poll the guests - this is to show off a new business facility after work hours, so it's sort of a happy hour type event. I'll be surprised if it lasts 3 hours, but I'll use that as my plan.

And yes, there will be soft drinks and water for folks like me who don't do beer. And assorted noshes.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:20 AM
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Agree with the others. Something like Miller/Bud/Coors Light will be fine. If you're going to be serving enough people that you'll need more than a 12 pack of cans, you could pick up something like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Blue Moon (just the regular, not the seasonal).

If you know them to be beer drinkers, get something local/regional and grab an IPA and their flagship.

ETA:
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairyChatMom View Post
I don't really want to poll the guests - this is to show off a new business facility after work hours, so it's sort of a happy hour type event. I'll be surprised if it lasts 3 hours, but I'll use that as my plan.
If you're just looking to have beer out, just grab something lite. The beer drinkers will drink it, no one is going to have half a bottle and decide they don't like it and you won't feel bad if you have a bunch of cans laying around after the event since they're not that expensive.
No one will be impressed, but no one will think anything of it either.

Last edited by Joey P; 05-08-2019 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:26 AM
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So do I, but I don't really like it.
Well, I don't LIKE like it. More of a friend, really.
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:34 PM
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Just get a variety case of some reasonable local beer, and then maybe something more neutral/mainstream like Yuengling or Miller or whatever.
I'll echo this. Yes, get the Bud Lite or whatever, but also get a local beer. Does your location of "Southern Merryland" indicate you are actually in Maryland?
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:57 PM
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I live in St. Mary's county in southern Maryland. I'm aware of several wineries around here, but breweries, not so much.
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by DrFidelius View Post
Bud Light.
Inoffensive generic beer.
Nobody really likes it but any beer drinker will drink it.
No they won't.

Buy some mass produced German or Dutch beer (not Heineken!) like Amstel or St. Pauli Girl. For all that is holy DO NOT provide anything "lite."
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:11 PM
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Get a "good" beer and a "lite" beer. Most everyone will be happy with soft drinks or one or the other of your beers. Something local and Bud Lite would be my recommendation. And plan to give the leftovers to someone who likes beer. The stuff doesn't keep very well, and you don't want to accidentally give someone a 9 month old beer at your next event.
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:16 PM
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Life would be so much easier if everyone drank lemonade...
Don't feel forced to serve beer. If your house is alcohol-free and your tipple of choice is lemonade, then lay out lemonade.
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by DrFidelius View Post
Bud Light.
Inoffensive generic beer.
Nobody really likes it but any beer drinker will drink it.
Like silenus said: no, no we won't. I'm a beer drinker, but will choose soda over Bud Light (or Miller Lite).

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Get a "good" beer and a "lite" beer.
Seconded. Specifically, Coors Light and either Sam Adams or Stella Artois. At a happy hour business type thing, I'd only plan for 1-2 beers per beer drinker. And it's perfectly fine to be conservative with that number: it won't kill anyone if the beer runs out and they have to drink something else, and frankly I wouldn't think twice about it (as a guest).
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:19 PM
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We're not anti-alcohol - just that no one in the household likes beer and I'm not going to set up a bar. I'd be OK with a bottle or 2 left over that I can use in recipes, but yeah, I know old beer is nasty beer. When we bought this house in 2004, the fridge in the garage had several cans of Coors light dated 1997. Couldn't give that stuff away!

A couple of the young guys who work with me like beer - they'll get the extras.
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:29 PM
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No they won't.
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Originally Posted by Misnomer View Post
Like silenus said: no, no we won't. I'm a beer drinker, but will choose soda over Bud Light (or Miller Lite).
Buncha lousy beer snobs!

*consoles self with cold Bud Light

Last edited by manson1972; 05-08-2019 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:48 PM
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Sorry, but I agree with DrFidelius.

We have company a lot. And Bud Light is the one beer that everyone will drink even as they groan while cracking one open. I can't say that for any other beer.

Don't know why it matters, but I have almost 1100 ratings on Ratebeer.com. I rated BL pretty low yet no matter how much I have there is rarely any left when the guests leave.
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Old 05-09-2019, 07:27 AM
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Buy a variety case from a brewer like Lagunitas. Better yet, buy from a local startup brewer.
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Old 05-09-2019, 07:32 AM
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Sheesh, my definition of hell is being on a trans pacific flight with only Bud.

Actually, this is really a great question. Is there one beer that covers a broad spectrum of beer drinkers? Or even one variety case? This is difficult. Hardcore "lite" drinkers won't go too far the other way, micro brew folks can't stand watery beer, hop heads don't like anything without overpowering hop, not all like the wheat beer "clove" overtones, etc.

I would posit there are plenty of beer drinkers that think "lite" beer is nasty and vile. Commercially available low alcohol beers are nasty and vile. American IPA are nasty and vile. Guinness (aka elixir of the gods) is nasty and vile. Wheat beer is nasty and vile. Rise lather repeat.

Cream ales might be a cross-over but I can't think of a nationally available brand. Maybe Sam Adams? Beer snobs could choke it down, and Lite drinkers maybe hold their nose? I would never buy Sam Adams but would take that as a drowning person grabbing a life preserver versus a mainstream lager like Miller.
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Old 05-09-2019, 07:53 AM
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I grew up in Salt Lake City, happily drinking 3.2% Rainier, Old Style, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Schmidt, Hamm's, Old Milwaukee, Buckhorn and any number of the awfulest, most low-down and common brews known to the decent people, but Bud Light is worse than anything that the most vile, unrepentant perverts of Provo could dream up in their most debauched fantasies.

A plain old bottle of traditional, classic Budweiser? A perfectly fine lager for summertime drinking.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:00 AM
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Maryland? Get a couple six-packs of National Bohemian! Or for a couple bucks more, Michelob or Heineken. Really, Budweiser's fine.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:01 AM
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I did a little searching and near as I can tell, there are a few brewpubs in this general area. But it looks like they brew for in-house customers rather than bottling.

In any event, there are a lot of good suggestions here - thanks! I think I can make a couple of decent pics for the event. For all I know, the best kind of beer is FREE!!
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:04 AM
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But it looks like they brew for in-house customers rather than bottling.
Canning. No brewpubs bottle nowadays, it's all cans, growlers, and crowlers.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:07 AM
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If the young guys who work with you are getting the leftovers, ask them what they like or would recommend. If they don't have extreme tastes, they might be the best source of info. They'll not only know what's available, they will also probably know where to get the best prices, too.

In another thread, someone recommended Scrimshaw. I found some at the local Total Wine, tried it, and liked it. It would probably appeal to a broad spectrum of beer drinkers. If it is available in your area, you might try looking for it.

Otherwise, something generic, like Yuengling might work.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:12 AM
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...In any event, there are a lot of good suggestions here - thanks! I think I can make a couple of decent pics for the event. For all I know, the best kind of beer is FREE!!
Well, you got a lot of variety in these responses. I hope you let us know later what you went with, and how it went over!
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:17 AM
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If the young guys who work with you are getting the leftovers, ask them what they like or would recommend. If they don't have extreme tastes, they might be the best source of info. They'll not only know what's available, they will also probably know where to get the best prices, too.
Either that or you could always ask Justice Kavanaugh, Timmy, PJ and Squi.

They'll tell you all you need to know about the "Skis"
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:52 AM
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Unfortunately Bud Light is the most popular beer in the US. So get some of that. But for those of us who actually like to taste beer, please get some non-light beer, too. Even just Budweiser is infinitely better than Bud Light, to my taste buds. Or Hamm's, Stag, PBR, or other cheap, but full flavored beer.

Some nicer craft beers would be nice, too, but I don't know your budget. Budweiser is the same price as Bud Light, and Hamm's is even cheaper.
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:36 AM
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Well FCM, there is an off the wall chance that silenus, Kayaker and I may crash your party...

I would lay in with a sixth barrel of Waldo's Special Ale (Lauganitus) and a 1/4 barrel of KBS (Founders). Just for insurance you may want to procure a 750ml of Laphroig 1/4 cask.

We will bring the party favors.
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:41 AM
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Duff beer for me
Duff beer for you
You have a Duff
I'll have one too
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:42 AM
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Well FCM, there is an off the wall chance that silenus, Kayaker and I may crash your party...

I would lay in with a sixth barrel of Waldo's Special Ale (Lauganitus) and a 1/4 barrel of KBS (Founders). Just for insurance you may want to procure a 750ml of Laphroig 1/4 cask.

We will bring the party favors.
I'm in.
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:37 PM
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WooHooooo!!!! Pizza and beer @FCM's place!!
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:25 PM
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Based on your part of the county I'd grab and non-IPA Dogfish Head. They're as crafty as any one could ask for and yet should be widely available in your area.

Seriously don't get Bud lots of people won't drink it. I've always found Miller to be the compromise beer between the Bud and Coors folks plenty hate either one but everyone seems to rank Miller in the middle of the mega brews.
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:57 PM
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I live in St. Mary's county in southern Maryland. I'm aware of several wineries around here, but breweries, not so much.
Here are some ideas for breweries from Maryland:

https://patch.com/maryland/baltimore...y-best-america
(though a Gose and a Porter may not be good styles for everyone)

https://www.thrillist.com/drink/wash...nd-craft-beers

https://www.baltimoresun.com/enterta...togallery.html

I've had some beers from Flying Dog and Heavy Seas. Both are pretty good breweries. The Loose Cannon from Heavy Seas and the Doggie Style Pale Ale from Flying Dog should be relatively easy to find in your neck of the woods.

Last edited by ISiddiqui; 05-09-2019 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:30 PM
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How long are you expecting people to stay? If people might show up at 2 pm and stay til 10 pm then sure assume 3 beers. But I think that would be on the extreme end unless everyone is a college student.

I would get a 12 pack of something like Bud or Miller Lite and either 2 sixpacks of something slightly nicer like Blue Moon or Leinenkugels or an equivalent sampler pack.
Three beers in 8 hours is extreme? Not coming to your party....
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Old 05-09-2019, 03:06 PM
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I'd get Miller Lite or Bud Light, Blue Moon or similar not-too-hoppy medium market domestic and a mass market import like Heineken or maybe Corona.

A cite is proving hard to find but I've heard that fully half of the Chicago beer market is split between Bud Light and Miller Lite. I prefer the latter, tastes great, less filling.
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:12 PM
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Based on your part of the county I'd grab and non-IPA Dogfish Head. They're as crafty as any one could ask for and yet should be widely available in your area.

Seriously don't get Bud lots of people won't drink it. I've always found Miller to be the compromise beer between the Bud and Coors folks plenty hate either one but everyone seems to rank Miller in the middle of the mega brews.
Around here, another beer I use to fill that Bud and Miller space is either one of the Polish lagers (Zywiec, Okocim, Tyskie) or a Mexican one (Modelo, Pacifico, Tecate, Bohemia.) If somebody likes BudMillCoors, they should be fine with any of those beers. They're common everyday beers (at least here), but slightly upmarket from the American Light Lagers, so also should be acceptable for the more discriminating beer drinkers. That said, I'm always happy is somebody's got some Old Styles around. (But I will drink something else if it's Busch or Miller Lite, unless I'm just trying to get buzzed. Still, if there are other alcohol options, I will choose those instead.)
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:29 PM
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My go-to is Yuengling. It tastes generic enough that most people will like it but it's not so ubiquitous where people are going to snark on it too much.
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:59 AM
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Based on your part of the county I'd grab and non-IPA Dogfish Head. They're as crafty as any one could ask for and yet should be widely available in your area.
Sad Trombone.

Dogfish Head will be merging with Boston Beer (Sam Adams) soon.

Cite.

Last edited by kayaker; 05-10-2019 at 06:00 AM.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:09 AM
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Sad Trombone.

Dogfish Head will be merging with Boston Beer (Sam Adams) soon.

Cite.
That is what I came back to post. At least it will be more available if less creative.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:14 AM
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I think a merger is better than say selling it to a big brand. But even then, the mentioned in the article deal of Ballast Point selling to Constellation Brands actually made Ballast Point available in Atlanta. And I love their stuff and haven't seen any downturn in quality. So it's not all bad.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:26 AM
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Sure, but most of Sam Adams beer as well as their various malt beverages are contract brewed as a company they really aren't any different than PBR or other brand companies. There are some rumors that this is about Boston Beer trying to get a real production facility and that they may follow it up with a purchase of a west coast brewery or possibly Texas area to turn them into more of a production company then a marketing firm.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:32 AM
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Sad Trombone.

Dogfish Head will be merging with Boston Beer (Sam Adams) soon.

Cite.
Read that yesterday....DogFish Head recently came this far west, they have been in our market about a year or so. I REALLY hope Boston Brewing does not fuck them up too much! I am a fan of their Liquid Truth Serum and the rare but tasty 75 minute IPA with a hint of Maple syrup. SeaQuench is also a good lawnmower beer.

FCM...I think a few of us here will ship in (and pick out) the beers and I'll bring the pizza fixins. You do have a double stacked Bakers Pride stone floor pizza oven don't you?

All you have to do is set the date and make a few pitchers of lemonade, oh, and a BIG batch of Maryland crab cakes would be nice!!

Time and date?
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:56 AM
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I don't really want to poll the guests - this is to show off a new business facility after work hours, so it's sort of a happy hour type event. I'll be surprised if it lasts 3 hours, but I'll use that as my plan.

And yes, there will be soft drinks and water for folks like me who don't do beer. And assorted noshes.
I'd recommend keeping it simple. 2-3 brands of beer. And, since in my experience a lot of people don't like beer, but do like wine, consider some inexpensive reds and whites.

I'd also recommend that you consider just going with non-alcoholic beverages. If I was invited to a semi-social, semi-business open house and found that they were only providing non-alcoholic beverages when I arrived, I think I could survive for 2-3 hours!

Even if you know everyone attending well, remember that you, as host, and your business (since it is apparently a business event) are liable for the behavior of your guests. If you just put the beers in a cooler or fridge and allow everyone to take as many as they want, if just one person decides they want 8 beers and then goes out and gets in an accident, you can be held liable.

Most events I have hosted (professional, non-profit, but still technically business events) we have a bar and drink tickets to limit intake or it is a small group that has mostly people who know one another and anyone getting drunk is going to have someone more sober taking their keys away.

At the very least, controlling how much individuals get (even if it is just someone handing the beers out and cutting off anyone obviously inebriated) will limit your exposure.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:59 AM
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I think a merger is better than say selling it to a big brand. But even then, the mentioned in the article deal of Ballast Point selling to Constellation Brands actually made Ballast Point available in Atlanta. And I love their stuff and haven't seen any downturn in quality. So it's not all bad.
Constellation Brands seem to be making a pretty serious move in the direction of premium/imported beer, wine and spirits- the only value stuff they seem to be retaining is their cheap wine business (they are the company founded on "Wild Irish Rose, after all). So I'm not surprised that they'd leave Ballast Point alone as well as expand distribution.

I'd argue against getting a light beer; your goal at the party isn't to really satisfy anyone, but provide something everyone can accept. So that means you're looking at full strength American/Mexican/N. European pilsners in all likelihood. Stuff like Budweiser, MGD, Coors Banquet, Corona, Modelo Especial, Cerveza Sol, Bohemia, Pacifico, Heineken, Beck's, Grolsch, etc...

I think I'd stay away from wits (Shock Top, Blue Moon). A lot of people like them, but a lot don't. Nobody *hates* a standard full-strength pilsner, unless they're the snootiest of beer snobs.
  #48  
Old 05-10-2019, 12:13 PM
SenorBeef is online now
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Get some bottles, peel off the labels, and ask the people there to tell you what it is and what they think of it. What it is doesn't matter that much. Beer snobbery is a lot like wine snobbery. A lot of people can barely tell the difference and couldn't reliably tell you what a good or a bad beer was. They're just going to react how they think they're supposed to react to whatever you bring. Short circuit the whole process by making it a mystery and see how they look at each other and struggle to figure out if they're supposed to like that beer or not.

Yeah, okay, so you probably don't want to turn this gathering into a social experiment. I would, though.

Get some bud light or miller lite, some Heinekin, and some completely random local beer. You'll cover most of the bases. People will be happy enough.
  #49  
Old 05-10-2019, 12:23 PM
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I'd stay away from anything labeled IPA, too hoppy for many beer drinkers.

Stay away from Corona, unless you want people asking for limes.

I like SenorBeef's list, something lite, something mainstream, something local.

I'd go upscale mainstream like Sam Adams rather than Bud, but it's more of a "know your audience" thing.
  #50  
Old 05-10-2019, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
Get some bottles, peel off the labels, and ask the people there to tell you what it is and what they think of it. What it is doesn't matter that much. Beer snobbery is a lot like wine snobbery. A lot of people can barely tell the difference and couldn't reliably tell you what a good or a bad beer was.
Then again. I recently was offered a taste of a beer a local brewery planned to release soon. I told the brewer I liked it, and it reminded me of a beer I'd had before, one of Sweetwater's 420 line. He was gobsmacked. The beer was based on that beer.
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