Sometimes being on a budget makes it difficult to throw a proper party (did you see our Alice in Wonderland party?? hello!?!). Parties are expensive. But, this football season I was not going to let a little ol' thing like a budget stop me from throwing the best beer party around or the easiest!! A Football Sunday we had ourselves a beer tasting party. Not a beer drinking party...there's a difference!...a beer
A Football Sunday last year, we had ourselves a beer tasting party. Not a beer drinking party...there's a difference!...a beer tasting party. I used my tried and true ideas for hosting a party on a budget to keep our Football Sunday beer-tasting party under budget. And it was mah-ve-lous darling, simply mah-ve-lous! Today I'm going to give you those same tips that I use. So you can host great parties without alot of cost. Go you!
Tip 1. Use what you have.
Do NOT shop for party supplies until you absolutely have to. Look around your house and decide what you can decorate with. Go with that for the theme of your party. Not the other way around. Determine what you have in your home and plan your theme accordingly. I realized I had quite a few rustic items in my home which would be perfect for beer. Perfect for fall. Hence...a beer tasting party. Next time I'll do something related to school. I have alot of antique school supplies. They will be used in the next theme.
Rustic Beer Party decor:
- wool blanket as tablecloth
- antlers and skulls (from my dining room)
- flowers from the grocery store (seriously...$3...awesome!!). you could break this bouquet up into several smaller ones if you wanted. Cheap and lovely!
- vintage roasting pan for ice bucket
- piece of slate (perfect for writing on with chalk!) to label dips---left in their containers. It's rustic, y'all!
- brown bags!! if you've never discovered the power of brown bags at parties and picnics...behold!! love it!
- mason jars for drinking. I love these babies for all most any party, so charming! (pop them in the freezer for a while before serving)
- cast iron pans. Cast iron will always be charming, especially in the fall. Use it to serve food, hold plates, even fill with flowers.
Tip #2: make it an experience
Okay, so you don't want your beer tasting party to be an experience in a bad way. No, sirree! But, giving a bit of thought to your theme will allow you to choose food that matches. And if you make even your food part of the theme, you can get away with a little less of it. Put it this way...your guests are so busy oohiing and aahing over your ideas that they forgot that they didn't fill their bellies. And for gosh sakes...put servings in smaller, cute dishes. Or cut sandwiches smaller with cute toothpicks. Think cute, cute, cute!!! When the servings are small but cute...your guests are not going to care!!!
For me, rustic allowed me to use some more inexpensive food (part of the reason I went with it!). I knew I could use brown bags for serving. So, chips and crackers are perfect! Instead of buying mass amounts of food and beverages I bought a couple 6 packs of variety beers. Because the idea was for everyone to taste the beers, guests naturally only put a small amount of one beer in their mug of the one that was currently open. It wasn't about drinking and eating. It was about the experience.
Beer tasting party experience ideas:
- variety pack of beers. Guests enjoyed a small amount and rather than an entire bottle.
- variety of chips and dips. Looks like fun but is fairly inexpensive.
- tatertots. This treat (served in a cast iron pan) was so ridiculous that is was great fun!
Tip #3: be willing to clean
I'm all for paper and plastic party supplies. Especially when you are having vast, vast amounts of guests. But, to keep your party budget in the black you need to be willing to wash dishes! As well as being less expensive, using real dishes is so much more charming. Yes, it is a lot of work sometimes. But, it is also quite a savings. So, at least think about it next time you throw a party!
We use mason jars in our home for glasses, which was part of the reason I chose a rustic theme for this party. If you don't have a lot of beautiful, matching dishes but you have plenty of mis-matched...don't fight it...pick a theme that allows you to be less formal. Perhaps you have plenty of wine glasses but you really want to throw a party that serves soda. Heck yes...serve that soda in wine glasses!! I'd come. I'd smile. I'd love you. Soda in wine glasses? That qualifies as an experience!! Don't apologize for what you don't have...use what you do. Be willing to wash, and make it part of the experience. Save yourself money and worry!
Beer Tasting Party serving ideas:
- anything goes...truly.
- cast iron
- mason jars
- oooh, oooh...you know those vintage, plaid thermos'?? yes please!!! perfect!
There you have it...my tips for a great beer tasting party on a budget. Yes, they aren't detailed or crazy technical. That's the point...use what you have, make it an experience, and be willing to clean...that's it!! Your guests are coming because they like YOU. Why try so hard? Be you...a surefire way to be a success!
P.S. This beer tasting party was great fun. We plan on having another one soon! And for the record, we had non-alcoholic beer beverage options as well (something I would highly recommend). I hope these ideas empower you to throw your own party!