Flight order

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by butterygold, Dec 11, 2021.

  1. butterygold

    butterygold Initiate (48) May 12, 2020 Spain

    Hello fellow homebrewers,

    I have an idea in my head, but am curious to see how you would do it. I have some friends coming over that are just getting into craft beer. I am going to give them each a flight of the 4 homebrews I have bottled now:
    7% pumpkin ale, 7.5% IPA (kind of like SN Celebration), 6.4% cranberry sour and one bottle of last year's bourbon chocolate stout 11%.

    What order would you serve them/instruct them to drink them in?

  2. Granitebeard

    Granitebeard Initiate (123) Aug 24, 2016 Maine


    Ask people before pouring as well. I know they are getting into craft beer, but some things might not fly. I have never liked sours, and once I drink one, my palette is nuked... People might not be keen on hops. So smaller pours to start, then top them up if they like it.
  3. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Zealot (530) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    If u know yer pals like sours then by all means serve it.
    I will agree sours kill my taste for brew so I do not drink them.

    that being said I’d go
    Pumpkin, then stout, followed by a palet cleaning IPA. If. Folks want the sour after smelling it go to it.
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  4. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,478) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Usually the order of tasting is less flavorful to the most flavorful. Depending on the amount of spice flavoring in the pumpkin ale, you've got 4 heavy hitters for flavor. If your IPA is real hoppy, I'd put it last, if not somewhere before the sour. If the pumpkin spices are light, I'd put it first, followed by the stout and sour.

    But I think you should provide plenty of palate cleanser between each beer, such as crackers, toasted French bread slices, cheese, etc. and water.
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  5. riptorn

    riptorn Zealot (518) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    IPA, pumpkin, stout, sour.
    For those who sip the sour and are put off or overly surprised by it, hit them again with pumpkin or stout served with a rich chocolate brownie....tasty!
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  6. billandsuz

    billandsuz Devotee (498) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    Usually in these circumstances, where you are offering something that you made, in your home, to your guests, you'll find that of course your friends will be overwhelmingly positive.

    Because everyone is different, it's best to allow the guest to approach each beer freely. Set the stage with some presentation and expectations and nobody is happy. The neighbor that absolutely hates cranberry for example, that neighbor is not going to like a cranberry beer. That's just how it is.

    So, I suggest you pour all the beers and invite the guests to enjoy as they like. Nobody is paying for this. It's all for fun.

    Also, drinking your own homebrew is like smelling your own farts. I don't care how awesome your homebrew is. Somebody somewhere is going to think it sucks. Somebody is going to hate being force fed a homebrew, only to force a smile and tell you it's great.
    Just get used to it.

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  7. butterygold

    butterygold Initiate (48) May 12, 2020 Spain

    @billandsuz you bring up many good points.

    My wife made me the wooden glass holders and bought special glasses for a flight set. They are pretty cool, so I really wanted to use them. My friends knew what they were getting into and I gave them one flight per couple/couple and adult son and let them try whatever. They were good sports. They were then free to have whatever from the flight or other store-bought brews. All but one chose homebrews, so that was positive.

    I am used to the ultimate compliment about my beer being 'hey, this doesn't suck!'. For some reason, most people expect a horrible version of a macro-lager. I try not to have any expectations, and I might be my biggest critic.

    In any case, the order I did was: sour, pumpkin, IPA and stout. I appreciate all the feedback, and realize you didn't have the benefit of having tasted any of the beers. I started with the sour becuase of its lower ABV and the fact that it might just be the mildest of the 4 (not at all palate-wrecking). I finished with the stout, as it is a heavy hitter: bourbon, chocolate, licorice notes....

    Happy holidays.
  8. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,437) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania


    I am reminded of an old story which I posted in a past BA thread (I posted in 2018):

    "A number of years ago was I was invited to a Christmas party. I brought a cooler full of homebrewed beer for festive drinking. There was a couple there that I had never met before. The gentleman’s name was Helmut (and yes, I did not laugh out loud). I asked Helmut if he would like a homebrewed beer to drink which he quickly and politely declined. Over the course of the evening he saw my friends drinking my beers and enjoying them. So, a couple of hours after our first conversation about drinking homebrewed beer he sheepishly asked if he could have one. My response was “certainly” (and I did not pronounce it like Curly does). After the first sip his eyes were wide open with a gleam in them; I will admit that the “gleam” part had me a little taken aback. After he completed the swallow he exclaimed loudly “Your beer is so good!”. He quickly called to his wife to come over (I think her name was Anna) and asked me to pour her a beer as well. Later on he related to me that he had some homebrewed beers before and those beers were not too good. I suppose those other homebrewed beers were brewed by “amateurs”?:wink:

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