Everyone has their own favorite beers. Personally, during the summer I enjoy an unfiltered wheat beer with a hint of citrus (lemon or orange) and during the fall and Winter I enjoy a full bodied dark lager. I don’t name brands as I try to not bias myself when I’m at the store trying to make a decision (and they don’t pay me to). But, rest assured I have my own personal brand favorites as well as style.
No matter the season, beer can be a delicious addition to any get together. But, it can also be the reason to get together. This is not a suggestion to host a fraternity style “kegger.” This is a suggestion to host a party along the lines of a wine-tasting. Some people discount wine-tastings as a pretentious gathering designed for the upper class. I’m not here to say whether they’re right or not, but I like the idea: bringing friends together to enjoy new and different beers. The Sixer Mixer is an adventure. It can also be executed a couple of ways.
The Sixer Mixer
When you get a group of like minded friends together, you can all enjoy each other’s personal tastes. One way to host a sixer mixer is to have each person bring a different six pack. This works ideally when you have exactly six people. Then, you each take one beer from each six pack. Now, drink and enjoy, right?
You could do that. But, as you’re having this get together with people you know you could always talk about what you’re drinking. It seems a little formulated, but what we do is drink one beer at a time with everyone drinking the same beer. Once we’ve all tasted it we’ll have whoever brought the beer talk about what they like about the beer, what they like to eat it with, and maybe how they found out about it.
The pattern follows all the way around the room. The downside to this is that by that sixth beer the conversation tends to stray a little. You could supply drinking glasses and split beers as well as offer some form of snack like pretzels or chips to keep the inebriation to a minimum. Also, a glass of water between beers helps to cleanse the palate and leave the mouth ready for new tastes.
When using this method for your mixer be sure to list who is bringing what beer to ensure you don’t have any double bookings.
A variation of the aforementioned mixer is a Mixed Sixer Mixer. This is the only variation I’ve tried. At some grocery or liquor stores you can get a mixed six pack of beers. Typically, these venues will offer more exotic beers which can be fun. You’ll find Japanese, Italian, or German beers. You’ll even find domestic micro-brew beers that may not be mainstreamed as well as some others, yet still offer delicious beers.
This mixer allows for more variety of beers, so there will be more to sample. However, this method also almost requires tasting glasses. The number of people you invite doesn’t necessarily have a magic number, but six seems to work best again. With more than six it’s hard to get a good taste of the bottle when it gets divvied up. This can be remedied by having each attendant bring two of three different beers, but will cut down on your party variety.
The aforementioned aren’t set rules. There is always room for variation. Off the top of my head I could probably think of a few. How about a style party? Limit the selections to specific styles of beer. Have everybody bring a wheat beer or a lager. You could always limit to a brand of beer. Perhaps only bring fruit beers. Maybe make a dinner party out of it and bring a dish and a complimenting beer. The point is that the sky is the limit. There are so many different kinds of beers the possibilities of what kinds of parties to have are endless.
So, have fun with it. Good times are best spent with people you love doing things you all enjoy. But, always remember to be careful in a drinking situation. Don’t be afraid to call someone a cab, have a sober person drive them home, or have them stay at your place. If you enjoy it, make sure you can all do it again. Cheers!