What Can You Do with a Sampler Tray?
While some craft beer lovers tend to stick with a favorite style, like hoppy IPAs or crisp lagers, some like to explore the full spectrum of craft beer possibilities. Either preference is great, as along as you’re supporting your local craft brewery! But if you’re the latter, our Sampler Tray is calling your name. For $5 you can try 2 oz. pours of all our house-made beers on tap (8 currently), from the pale I Heart Oregon to the deep, dark Noble Stout. Here are some ideas for enjoying your Sampler Tray to the fullest, either by yourself or with your beer-tasting buds:
Pair with a few dishes
We feel that one of the best ways to appreciate all the flavors in craft beer is to pair them with food. A great pairing combination can serenade your taste buds, making for one great culinary experience. Try ordering three appetizers from the menu and making your own great flavor combos. Our suggestions: Kimchi, Goat Cheese Fondue and Beef Satay Skewers. You’ll have a broad realm of spiciness, heartiness and sweetness with this food combo, perfect for tasting with all eight beers currently on tap.
Understanding great beer and food pairings is easier when you try pairings that may not go so well. Order a sampler tray with your favorite dish off our menu, like the Lemongrass Beef Salad or Roast Beef Sandwich. Alternate tastes of beer with bites of food, and take notes on why each beer does or does not work. Is the Stone Swing Saison too light to stand up to roast beef? What about the Steel-Cut Stout? Does the Twin Plunge 2IPA make your tacos spicier, while the Dear Abbey calms the spice? Compare notes with your co-tasters and see if you come up with the same conclusions. Remember, there are no right or wrong preferences! What you like is all that matters.
Craftbeer.com recently posted an article titled Beer Tasting Games to Train Your Palate. Try a few of these fun ideas with a handful of friends: Play a beer identification game, where everyone writes down five descriptors for each beer and then award points for repeated words or most creative words. You can also rank beers by categories, and see how the ranking changes when you switch rounds. Try lightest to darkest color, then change to lightest to boldest flavor and see how the rankings change.
Join our weekly Sunday Beer & Food Pairing
Our pairing enthusiast, Meg, leads a weekly guided five-course tasting at 3pm on Sundays. You’ll discuss complementing, contrasting and matching flavors in beer and food, and taste some great combos. No need to make a reservation; just show up and we’ll take care of the rest! Pairing is $25 per person.