Tagged "Tasting"

Munich Beer Gardens

Posted by Theresa Bunkers on

This is Part 2 of our series on beer in Europe.  For part one, read Adventures in Norway!

When I think of Germany, I think of beer. I don’t really know when this started.  Was it before I met Bryce?  After?  No idea, but that’s the way it is.  Which means when I was planning our time in Munich, I knew there would be lots of beer related activities on our itinerary.

First German Beer Garden

Now, I’m going to be honest here.  Sometimes, I get tired of going to breweries.  There, I said it.  They all seem the same, the décor is sparse, and there isn’t always food (I really like food).  But in Germany I very much enjoyed going to pubs and breweries and I think the reason is because everyone is incredibly proud of their beer.  Like, really proud.  And I love it when people are passionate about what they enjoy.

Liter Mug of Helles

We went on a Bavarian Beer tour, visited several beer gardens, and spent time in countless pubs trying every beer we could get our hands on.  They even had a German version of a summer shandy, better known as a radler.  

German Beer and Pretzel

German beer history is vast and very specific.  You can find more information here about German beer styles such as Oktoberfest (also known as Marzen).  I won’t bore you with the details.  Instead, I’ll share some of our pictures with you.






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Adventures in Norway

Posted by Theresa Bunkers on


We’ve been back from our European adventures for a few weeks now and I’m finally getting around to editing pictures and getting my thoughts organized.

Our first stop on our vacation was Norway. We began in Oslo and then took a train across the country to visit family in Bergen. Along the way we stopped overnight in a town called Flam, which had countless waterfalls, gorgeous views, excellent shopping, and…a brewery. Go figure.

Ægir Brew Pub

Nestled among the fjords is Ægir Brew Pub. When you step foot inside you are instantly transported to a warm, welcoming pub that feels like Vikings could come through the door at any moment. The brewery had an impressive selection of beer.  I like the lighter beers, so I tried a Boyla Blonde and Sorachi Kolsch.  Bryce likes the darker ones, so he had a Rallar Amber Ale and Sommar Red Lager. 

Ægir Beer


Full disclosure though--I did leave Bryce and the pub in order to do some souvenir shopping. He basked in the glory of not being on a train with a heavy backpack and 14 other family members, while I went nuts in the sweater section of the Mall of Norway (not to be confused with the Mall of America).


Once I finished shopping with a victory lap through the Christmas tree ornament display, I met up with Bryce and a few family members to continue sampling the finest beer Flam had to offer. I think one was infused with wild flowers. If not, it sure smelled like it was and, yes, it was delicious.

Ægir Beer List

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our vacation across Europe, where we post about the beer in Germany!

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How To Host A Beer Tasting

Posted by Theresa Bunkers on

I don’t know about you, but I am in the middle of a major bout of cabin fever.  I am counting down the days to when the weather starts to warm up, so I can get out of my house without my face freezing off.

There are a lot of things I’m looking forward to this spring, but the big one is hosting a beer tasting on our deck.  Having never done this before, I did some research and came up with a lot of great ideas and tips for how to host a beer tasting.  In case you’re interested in hosting your own party, I thought I’d share some tips with you.

Beer tasting flight on a table from a top-down view

First, you need to choose a theme for your beer tasting.  Choosing a tasting theme makes the event more fun and is a conversation starter.  There are essentially four types of tasting themes: horizontal, vertical, blind and seasonal.

Horizontal: This is the easiest theme to arrange.  In this type you select several beers of different styles – usually selections that are distinct in color, taste and strength.  This gives the taster the opportunity to taste new styles and learn the diversity that the world of beer offers.

Vertical: This theme compares beers from one style, region or brewer.  This is ideal for exploring a particular style, such as pale lagers or stouts, or a region, such as Belgium or Germany (and may include beers styled according to a particular region though not necessarily brewed there).  Or, feature a vertical tasting from the selections of one great brewery.

Blind: This theme may have the most fun appeal, but is harder for the host to manage.  In a blind tasting, typically the tasters do not know the brand or style they are sampling.  As host of the tasting, you are the only one (at the outset) to know the identity of the beer samples.  You will have to pour in another room, hide the bottles, and keep careful track of which beer is in which glass (and in which order you serve them).  One tip is to use a magic marker to number the cups before you serve them.

Seasonal: This theme is popular for tastings and is a particular version of a vertical tasting.  It is a fun way to start off a holiday party and a nice ice breaker.  Winter holidays offer great Christmas ales.  Other beer holidays can include Oktoberfest (many German and U.S. craft brew “fest beers” are now readily accessible), and May Day (Mai Bock’s are traditional, but wheat beers are good for the spring, too).  You can also be creative – why not a Valentine’s Day tasting (cherry and raspberry lambics, along with chocolate flavored beers) or a Thanksgiving tasting with pumpkin and spiced beers?

Beer tasting flight on a paddle

Once you’ve chosen a theme, the next step is to set a date, time, location, and invite people. After you do all that, you’ll need to decide how many different beers to taste.  The theme you’ve chosen will help you decide what styles of beer to get and how many.  Once you’ve picked out your beers, do a little research on the beers you’ve selected in order to provide some guidance during your tasting.  

Choose what kind of party décor you’d like to have, and then assemble all the items that you need.  There are a lot of great ideas on Pinterest and blogs, so just do a quick Google search and you’ll be set.  I like this one and this one.

Once you have your party décor and supplies all set, you are ready to party!  Enjoy!

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