I really like bottle shares. In fact, it’s my preferred atmosphere for drinking with friends. Pubs and taprooms can be noisy and breweries are often busy and sometimes lack the ability for intimate conversation. With bottle shares, everyone can bring something they feel excited about, everyone gets to eat food, share beer, and talk about it in a comfortable setting. In the end, it ends up being more budget friendly and you and your group of friends can take turns hosting.
Some of the most memorable bottle shares I’ve been to have been themed: autumnal beers with a pumpkin cask, winter beers with a bacon wrapped turkey, and a food and beer pairing dinner where guests supplied the beer and the hosts cooked a delicious multi-course meal. Now, not everyone is prepared to drink 18 different pumpkin beers (I know that I won’t do that again) and you’ll probably get sick of winter warmers. However, I do like the theme aspect of bottle shares and the theme doesn’t necessarily need to be similar flavour profiles.
A few weekends ago, Matt graciously hosted a small group of us over to his house for a Modern Times bottle share. He recently became part of the “League of Partygoers & Elegant People” (something I’m sure he will elaborate on during a different post). With this fancy new title, he had a ton of Modern Times beer and in true Matt fashion, he was eager to share.
We had 19 beers to tackle between the 8 of us and although I was pretty tired/tipsy/just done at the end of the night, we all had a lot of fun drinking from one of our favourite breweries. I could write an entire detailed post about what the night looked like, but I could summarize it pretty easily: we ate delicious food, we drank delicious beer, we talked about that delicious food and delicious beer, I had bad heartburn/indigestion, we had fun.
Because Modern Times is continuously pumping out new and limited beers, they made for a good theme. In fact, the same group of people have gotten together twice now to enjoy a themed Modern Times night.
Some ideas for themes:
- Beer with a bird on the label
- Beer from a specific brewery (make sure you have a solid amount to share)
- Beer from a specific region (BC, Oregon, Montréal, Belgium, etc.)
- Hop-forward beers
- Sour beers (ensure you have a plethora of tums and zantac)
- Beers with a specific hop profile (for example, only beers with mosaic in them)
- Beers that pair well with a specific food (hot dogs, brisket, soft cheese, etc.)
- Beers with brett
- Collaboration beers
Take a look in your fridge or cellar and see if you have anything stocked up fitting a particular theme and run with it. If you decide to do a bird themed night, take it a step further and serve a variety of different flavoured chicken wings, or if you do a specific region, like Montréal, serve food from that area (poutine, corned beef, etc.) Whatever you decide, have fun with it.