If you’ve attempted a virtual bottleshare or tasting party without using a mutual beer delivery service, you probably know the feeling of ‘it’s just not the same as in real life.’
The Atlantic chalks it up to how “videochat happy hours fail to measure up to real-life happy hours because we keep comparing them with real-life happy hours, expecting that they will satisfy the same desire with the same efficacy.”
It’s hard to connect over craft beer if you and your buddies aren’t drinking the same brews.
Most beer delivery services don’t offer a very large selection of true craft options from independently-owned breweries. Many only provide a ‘craft’ section that consists of formerly independent breweries that have since been bought out by macro corporations.
Quality is also a concern. Unless you order beer delivery directly from one of your local, independent breweries, it’s hard to know the condition of the beer you’re getting. The majority of beer delivery companies don’t value freshness or publish bottled-on dates, nor do they guarantee unexpired brews.
Tavour is different. We only feature beer from certified independent craft breweries. You can find rare brews from some of the top-rated breweries in the country, many of which don’t otherwise sell their beer outside their home region. And Tavour posts bottled-on dates for every single one of their ‘drink fresh’ beers to ensure beer fans never receive an expired brew.
To set up a legit beer tasting remotely, schedule a group-chat with your friends around one of the twice-daily Tavour release times. This is a particularly important step because many of the most popular, bottleshare-worthy Pastry Stouts, Milkshake IPAs, and Slushy Sour Ales often sell out very quickly!
Each of your buddies will likely want to snag their own bottle or can, so you can all taste the same beer together during your video chat shindig.
It’s a good idea for everyone involved to check the date their Tavour crate is closing to make sure you’ll all receive your beer around the same time. Especially if your tasting involves ‘drink fresh’ beers like IPAs, Pale Ales, Lagers, or heavily fruited, slushy-type Sour Ales. If someone in your crew already has their crate closing soon, the rest of you can see if you can ship sooner on the ‘open crate’ page of the app.
The other necessities to elevate your virtual tasting experience include glassware (a fancy glass can elicit some ‘oohs and aahs’); a pitcher of water for rinsing your glass after each pour; and a ‘dump cup,’ in case you’re tasting several beers and don’t want to drink every drop of every beer you try.
For the experienced beer drinkers, one fun rendition of the virtual bottleshare is the blind-tasting! This judging style removes biases that can cause tasters to give a beer high ratings based on a brewery they already love or an aesthetically pleasing beer label. It requires a little more set up time but is totally worth it. The most common strategy is to choose beers from the same style.
You’ll also need a way to hide the beer names from yourself and others. One way to do this is to pour all of your beers into identical glasses before the tasting, label each glass with a number, and write down the beer and brewery names somewhere out of sight. Then, you’ll be able to look at them after you're done tasting and see which beer was which.
Pro Tip: If you can bribe someone else in your household to pour and label the beers for you beforehand, you won’t risk remembering which beer is which by their number or color of the liquid.
We held a blind tasting event at Tavour and had a panel of local beer celebs judge our highest member-rated IPAs. If you’re interested in attempting something similar, be on the lookout for the featured breweries on the app: WeldWerks Brewing, Anchorage Brewing, Mumford Brewing, Odd13 Brewing, Fair State Brewing, Kros Strain Brewing, Illuminated Brew Works, and Reuben’s Brews.
If you weren’t around to catch the results of our tasting, we won’t spoil it for you; it’s more fun to judge for yourself!