Beer has been bringing people together for thousands of years…
In fact, one beer archaeologist (yes, that’s a thing) believes a thirst for beer and other fermented beverages heavily influenced human development, steering hunter-gatherers’ decisions about which crops to cultivate and where to build permanent homes and also playing a key role in the development of religious rituals and art.
Today, in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic and limited in-person gathering, beer remains a great equalizer, a magical elixir that helps us transcend distance and feel united, even virtually, for shared merriment, laughter, and joy.
“When all else fails, there is music. When that fails you, there is beer.” – James Hauenstein, Author
Virtual beer tasting is one of our favorite ways to harness the power of this age-old jovial juice. If you’re looking for creative ways to have virtual fun or if you’ve been feeling disconnected, lonely, or low, then a little beer might just be the answer.
Let’s raise a glass to the ancient brew and to the modern technology that enables us to virtually enjoy it with our friends. Spread happiness and joy to your favorite people by hosting one of the ideas below.
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Virtual Beer Tasting Ideas
The beer experts at City Brew Tours (CBT) consider it their specialty and their passion to deliver craft beer tastings and cheese pairings that provide transportational flavor experiences you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.
This tasting proves there’s true magic in the shared experience, even when you’re not gathering in person. It delivers just as much bonding as any of those good times you spent drinking at work in-person.
You might even forget you’re gathering virtually as you enjoy a shared flavor experience, laugh with each other, and learn from your expert guide. (You’ll be amazed to learn how satisfying an old-fashioned “cheers” can feel, even when your glasses can’t touch.)
2) DIY Beer Tasting: Local Brewery Edition
You don’t necessarily need to do an expertly guided tasting to have a toast-worthy time during your virtual beer event. You can easily work the do-it-yourself model with these steps:
- Choose your favorite local brewery. (If you don’t have a favorite brewery, then you can find a list of your local breweries using Craftbeer.com’s search feature.) While you may obviously organize a tasting with beers from multiple breweries, choosing just one provides a nice cohesive experience.
- Send your guests beer if shipping and delivery is an option in your area, or simply send everyone a list of beers and items to pick up before the event.
- Hop on a video call, through Zoom or Google Hangouts, for example.
Pro-tip: Have people in your group that don’t like or drink beer? Send them a happy hour box from Caroo instead.
This City Brew Tours (CBT) live virtual event calls to anyone whose heart beats with a brewmaster’s hoppy passion for exploring and mastering the nuances, flavors, and brewing techniques of a variety of beer styles.
The CBT team will set even novice brewers up for success. They’ll deliver equipment and ingredients straight to your door. They’ll walk you through each step of the brewing process so you can master the methodologies and repeat them independently. Best of all, they’ll help you brew over 2 gallons of your very own home-brewed magic.
Sierra Nevada offers tastings and virtual tours you can customize to build your perfect virtual tasting experience, special event, or virtual birthday party.
Consider it the ultimate staycation, an exploration of the wonderful world of beer—an exploration you can enjoy without leaving your living room. These beer masters will give you an event to remember and toast fondly for years to come, whether you choose a private tour, a comprehensive brewery history lesson, or a straightforward tasting.
Want even more reasons to be excited? Since Sierra Nevada distributes beers widely across the United States, it will be easy for tasters in multiple locations to find the right beers, meaning you can all enjoy a unified tasting experience. (They even have a beer locator tool to help everyone find exactly what they need.)
5) DIY Beer Tasting: Virtual Craft Beer Edition
Hoping to host your own virtual event that celebrates all the joys of craft beer? You can easily adapt the steps of the “DIY Beer Tasting: Local Brewery Edition” above to quench your thirst for the most finely crafted concoctions you can find.
Like all other good beer experiences, the success of this DIY event depends, of course, on the fabulous people you enjoy it with and also on the beers you share. Here are some resources you can use to locate, and in some cases ship, craft beers that excite your taste buds and your spirit:
No one will mind going back to school once you tell them you’re talking about beer school. This education-forward course from Craftbeer.com and the Brewers Association will teach beer enthusiasts and aspiring beer professionals everything they ever wanted to know about IPA, lager, stout, and all the other brews you know and love.
The comprehensive course packs a ton into one delightful hour. You’ll learn about ingredients, signature qualities of different beers, eye-opening tasting tactics, and some essential brewing factoids.
Pass a simple quiz and you’ll even get a certificate of completion that will look epic framed in your home bar or displayed on your compact bar cart.
Hop up your favorite virtual happy hour experience. City Brew’s happy hour options shine a spotlight on everyone’s favorite golden elixir: beer. Celebrate your guests’ love of the malty, the hoppy, the citrusy, and the brews that cover the International Bitterness Unit scale from end to end.
Pro-tip: Looking for other kinds of virtual happy hours? A wine tasting perhaps? A Q&A with a sommelier? There are plenty of celebratory ideas for happy hours and other social events in this roundup of virtual alcohol tasting ideas.
Virtual Beer Tasting Packs & Brewing Kits
The brew clubs come in 3-, 6-, or 12-month subscriptions and include the ingredients, equipment, and instructions you need to create at home big fresh batches of signature brews. You can even customize your packs according to your skill level and the type of equipment you need.
Individual beer kits are available for amber ale, brown ale, IPA, and pale ale.
Essentially beer discovery in a box, this hoppy beer kit comes with 12 total bottles of beer, including many award winners, from several different breweries. Featuring a variety of different flavor profiles, from bright India pale ales to hearty red ales to hoppy India pale lagers.
Better yet, your tasting experience is rounded off by comprehensive tasting notes, profiles of each beer, and the entertaining history of the breweries responsible for all the glorious foamy flavors you’re enjoying.
A craft brewery specializing in non-alcoholic brews, Bravus uses a special brewing process that produces rich flavor profiles that will dazzle even the most staunchly traditional beer enthusiasts.
Use their beers to create a unique tasting for non-drinkers or a new experience for beer lovers looking for a surprise. (You can even boost the fun factor by doing a blind taste test between a Bravus brew and an alcoholic counterpart.)
Build your tasting with a sampler pack filled with Amber Ale, Cerveza, IPA, Oatmeal Stout, Raspberry Gose, and White Ale, or create a custom pack with the Bravus offerings of your choice.
Instantly downloadable and boasting super-affordable pricing, this kit includes the extras that will make your virtual beer tasting event feel organized, professional, and perfectly planned.
- A tasting party planner worksheet you can use to wrap your head around all the beers and food pairings you want to feature
- Shopping list templates you can share with your virtual guests to make sure everyone gets the right thing
- Invitations for your special guests
- Step-by-step tasting and scoring sheets that make it both easy and fun to track and rate all your sips
You supply the beer and any other add ons (snacks and palette cleansers, for example) and this kit will take you on the voyage of beer discovery you’ve always dreamed of.
Fill in all 200 tasting notes templates and have a brag-worthy record of all the amazing beers you’ve sampled. Use a helpful flavor wheel to sound like the most informed of all beer masters as you detect layer after layer of new flavors and scents in your old favorites and new samplings.
You can even dive into the book portion to learn everything you wanted about the brewing process—building your brewery-to-bottle beer knowledge.
The right beer glasses!
This kit includes four full-sized glasses specially designed to bring out the flavor in your craft beer. Taste new nuances in beers you only thought you really tasted before.
If you’re skeptical about the virtues of the right beer glasses, the Brewers of Pennsylvania have the information you need to become a receptacle snob. They explain that the right beer glasses can optimally direct aromas, determine the size of your sips and the flavor load you get with each, and also alter the look and feel, and therefore your perception, of your beer.
This basket delivers the perfect sampling of microbrew magic and even some snacks to bring out all the flavors. It features three bottles of different domestic microbrews, plus pretzels, cheese sticks, and pistachios to help you reset after each sip.
All in all, this basket provides the perfect one-time tasting experience and it might just introduce you to a hidden gem of a microbrewery you would never have discovered otherwise.
Virtual Beer Tasting Games
15) Virtual Beer Pong
Virtual beer pong is not a physical impossibility. With a little creativity and determination, you can turn this incredibly physical game into a virtual experience.
Open your mind to adapting to the virtual format, and you’ll be laughing and bonding in no time. Pong is the perfect way to start, end, or extend your virtual beer tasting.
Your delicious beers deserve a side of adventure, don’t you think? Look no further than a virtual scavenger hunt.
A Let’s Roam virtual scavenger hunt will launch you into a shared adventure that gets you competing against (or collaborating with) your friends and co-workers across any distance. Their app makes it easy to romp around your own home, completing challenges and uncovering layers of fun you never knew you could find in your old living room.
This activity works well as either an epic start or an epic close to your virtual beer tasting. Just imagine what doing a scavenger hunt before or after beer looks like to make your decision on when to play.
Pro-tip: Love the thrill of the hunt? We have plenty of other virtual scavenger hunt ideas where this one came from.
17) Drunk Pirate
This no-fuss, easy-to-launch, free digital game presents a series of card-based challenges that usually lead to, as you may have guessed, you and your guests taking a drink.
Add as many players as you like. Play for as long as you like. It’s that easy.
Also, talking with drunk pirate accents will elevate the gameplay every time.
Are you up for the challenge of solving a murder mystery? And doing it virtually? And doing it in between sips of delicious beer?
We like your ambition!
The experts at Outback Team Building will whisk you away (figuratively) for an immersive escape of virtual intrigue. You’ll examine clues. You’ll study case files. You’ll build on your colleagues’ ideas and instincts to, with hope, crack the case of a horrific crime.
This virtual event combines video conferencing and a specially designed app to make every aspect of solving the mystery, from examining clues to reviewing case files, flow perfectly. You might just forget it’s all happening virtually. (You might just forget it’s all made up.)
Pro-tip: If you’re feeling particularly invigorated after fighting crime during this event, then you might just enjoy one, or all, of these other virtual murder mystery ideas and events.
19) Wizard’s Staff / Open-Ended Beer Building
Drinking games don’t get much easier than this. As you drain beer cans, stack them to create a tower, or a wizard’s staff if you will.
If you’ve got bottles, you can always try making pyramids. And if you’re not drinking enough to use your empties as materials, then simply grab a stack of cards and see how your beer tasting affects your coordination, building skills, and creativity.
20) Go Remote
Perfect for year-round virtual team building and even special events like holiday parties, the Go Remote’s ultimate virtual event has it all: pub trivia, Giphy challenges, a ridiculously hilarious drawing game, and so much more.
This virtual event really stands out when it comes to the event hosts. You decided to plan your virtual beer and game night to bond with your friends and co-workers, and your Go Remote host will do everything they can to help you do exactly that. They will lead you through games and ask questions and follow-ups to keep everyone engaged and laughing.
21) Beer Trivia
What activity compliments tasting beer better than challenging your knowledge of beer and learning far more things to appreciate about beer in the process?
Test your knowledge of beer history, your hop know-how, your command of brewing techniques, and oh so much more.
Best of all, engaging in beer trivia doesn’t require any complicated online interfaces or fancy event schedules. You simply need some questions and answers.
Here are some beer trivia resources you can explore for your tasting. Swipe some questions to DIY your event or join a round of someone else’s trivia night.
22) The Escape Game
You can put your beer down, can’t you? Just for a second? What if we told you a thrilling adventure was involved?
The good news is you can work through the challenges of his virtual escape room at home, and probably with a beer clutched in your hand.
The Escape Game’s format allows you to virtually investigate a room using a game guide and a live camera feed that provides a 360° view of the environment. You’ll get all the thrills of exploring ruins, seeking lost gold, and even breaking out of prison.
Pro-tip: Living to escape another day? Check out these other online escape room ideas.
Are you game for more games? Challenging games? Fun games? Immersive games? We’ve got everything you need to plan your next virtual game night—beer optional.
How To Host A Virtual Beer Tasting Event
Step 1: Make your guest list. This will help you figure out what communication technology to use and also what beers to get.
Step 2: Choose the beers you want to taste. Going with one brewery will give your tasting a satisfying sense of unity while mixing it up provides an eclectic sense of adventure.
Step 3: Select your games and activities.
Step 4: Choose your venue, a.k.a. video chat/conference call service.
Step 5: Send your guests beer if shipping and delivery is an option where you live. You can also just send everyone a shopping list with the beers and food pairings you want to try.
Step 6: Gather and distribute your props and materials, such as tasting sheets, beer lists, and flavor wheels.
Step 7: Hop on your video or call, make a toast, and start tasting. Be sure to use your best beer snob voice as you discuss the nuances and flavors and colors of everything you sample.
People Also Ask These Questions About A Virtual Beer Tasting
Q: How do I host a virtual beer tasting?
- A: Host a virtual beer tasting by choosing some beers, sending a list to your guests, and blocking off about an hour to hop on a video call to taste and discuss the brews. You can also take advantage of one of the expertly guided virtual beer tastings available.
Q: What do I need for a virtual beer tasting party?
- A: All you need to host a virtual beer tasting is some beer, some fellow tasters, and a virtual communication platform where you can socialize and discuss your tasting experiences.
Q: Are there virtual beer tasting kits that I can order?
- A: Yes, there are a variety of virtual beer tasting kits you can order from vendors such as City Brew Tours, Crate Joy, and Bravus Brewing Company. Find a list of ready-to-ship beer tasting kits in this guide.