Hi there! How would you like to take a trip around the world today? Well let’s go! Today I’ll show you how to travel the world right in your own back yard. You won’t need to pack a bag for this trip. We are going to a “Beers of the World Party” and you are all invited! This is a really fun, low maintenance party to throw whether you are planning a casual get together with friends, celebrating a milestone birthday, or even an anniversary.
My Brother in law turned 30 this weekend. Although he would have loved to go to Germany for Oktoberfest in celebration of his 30th year, world travel just wasn’t in the cards. Not to worry my budget savvy sister devised a party plan that was easy on the wallet and pleasing to the birthday boy. Welcome, to the “Beers of the World 30th Birthday Party”!
My sis is a highly organized gal and knows how to keep things simple yet stylish. An organized/stylish/affordable party that won’t stress you the hell out? Yup! It does exist!
Decorations were kept simple and easy to set up by reusing items from past parties and celebrations. Purchased items were bought in bulk and in neutral tones to allow them to be used again as well.
Paper Lanterns are always a crowd pleaser. They can be reused again and again, plus they are compact and easy to store until your next celebration. These lanterns have been used multiple times and work for any type of celebratory event. Just add globe string lights and enjoy!
*TIP* Raid your Christmas lights to add a subtle twinkle to unlit areas like staircases and around a deck or patio.
A large roll of white plastic table-cloth was purchased at Party City for $15.99 to accommodate the different table sizes. The rolls of table-cloth come in a variety of colors for you to choose from. You’ll have plenty left over for your next event. We covered 9 tables in total and barely used half the roll!
We used a roll of burlap and cut pieces to the size of each table to serve as table runners. This added a touch of rustic elegance to the table along with texture and interest. You can find burlap on the roll at most craft stores for about $1o bucks.
Beer Flags for each country and Beer Identification cards were created in Publisher and printed out on glossy card stock. (You could also use Pic Monkey) Attach each country name to a wooden dowel, place inside an empty beer bottle and add to the coordinating table.
Oh don’t mind the Gnome with the skateboard that was my brother in law’s 30th birthday gift You can read all about him and find out how to make one of your own HERE.
These pennant banners are easy to create. All you need is a cardboard template and colored card stock. I cut some sheet music pennants as well. You can find template measurements for large and small pennant banners HERE. Simply trace your template on card stock and cut them out.
To assemble lay them out across the table and run a length of jute twine, ribbon or string across. Use a stapler to attach the pennants to jute twine…I like the Tim Holtz Tiny attacher. Adhere banners to tables with decorative tape (I used Tim Holtz Elements Tissue Tape)
A table of “tasting glasses” was set up right at the entrance. Each glass was outfitted with a Kraft paper Avery label. A jar of sharpies was kept handy for guests to label their glasses. I must say the tasting glass method worked out great! No “wounded soldiers” were left scattered about and it helped keep guests from over indulging while still allowing them to try a variety of beers.
You can find the glasses at Ikea for the bargain price of $2.99 for a pack of 6…that’s 50c a glass! Not too shabby eh?
Small buckets of ice were placed on each table with two beers of each variety brought for that tables country. Coolers were placed at the end of each table to hold the backups. As the “Tasting” bottles were emptied a new one from the cooler took its place. The Beer Identification cards let guests know if a beer was missing and everyone was happy to fetch the needed brews from the coolers.
Keeping only cocktail plates at the tables made it easy for guests to sample the international fare, sip world-renowned libations and mingle at the same time. Again, no food was wasted since everyone finished their small servings before moving on to the next country. A truly flawless system don’t you think?
Beers and Flavors of the World
To keep costs down friends and family members volunteered to bring favorite food items from specific countries or a 12 pack of Beer from the “Beers of the World” list. No one likes to come to a party “Empty Handed” so having a list of what you need for those that ask “What can I bring?” will help eliminate an overload of one item (like chips and dip) and take some of the pressure off the host.
My bro in law is of German descent so of course his Mother was more than happy to offer the German fare and break out her old family recipes…yum!
- German Red Cabbage
- Brezel (aka hot pretzels)
- Spaten Optimater
- Franziskaner Hefe Weise
Belgian Beer (not pictured)
- Delirium (my fave!)
Japan was an easy (and popular) table at the party. Although it isn’t pictured Sushi was ordered and displayed on the silver platters. Everyone descended upon the sushi like a flock of seagulls and I wasn’t able to snap a photo In addition to Sushi and some fabulous Japanese brews we also served Saki. You can’t do Japan justice without Saki am I right?
- Roasted Seaweed
- Hitachino (My OTHER fave)
My mother was in charge of the Irish fare as we hail from the Emerald Isle. She found some delicious recipes on Pinterest that were real crowd pleasers. I was quite proud of her for raiding my sticker and washi tape stash to create her own dish identification cards…Go Ma!
- Irish Potato Soup
- Irish Soda Bread
- Emerald Isle Dip
Recipe Link – Emerald Isle Dip
Recipe Link – Irish Potato Soup
*Soup was served in small plastic serving cups and bowls of Cheddar, Bacon, and Chives were set out for guests to add a-la-carte.
For the spain table we went with Spanish wines instead of beer. It’s always nice to mix things up a bit. Plus nothing goes better with cheese than a little wine!
I was in charge of cheese and I found a great local shop The Villa Gourmet. They are located in beautiful downtown Milford (my old stomping grounds) and have a fantastic selection of gourmet delights. If you are local this place is a must stop if not click the link to order online. The delicious Cheeses disappeared quickly. I can’t wait to go back for more.
- Huntsman – Cow’s milk. Layers of Double Gloucester and English Stilton are a perfect combination of flavors. Soft, buttery Gloucester meets sharp blue cheese.
- Ossau- Iraty – Sheep’s milk from the Basque Region. This cheese is dense and rich. The flavor starts out a little nutty and finishes with a buttery sweetness.
- Drunken Goat- Spanish Goat Cheese infused with Red Wine
- Truffle Cheese- Pecorrino infused with Truffle Oil
- Manchengo- This mild cheese with a slightly briny nuttiness has a simple appeal and enhances the flavors of its accompaniments.
The Mexico table is as easy as it gets. Easy to create and easy to please…especially the younger crowd. My son couldn’t get enough chips and salsa
- Tortilla Chips, Salsa & Fresh Guacamole
- Negra Modela
- Dos Equis
Judging from the picture I’m sure you can guess what was served at the “America” table. If you guessed burgers and dogs you got it! You can’t have an all American backyard bash without hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill.
- Hot Dogs
- Potato Salad
- Apple Pie
We sampled beers from some great local breweries on the East Coast. Two of which are right here in Connecticut!
Two Roads Brewing is about 15 minutes from us in Stratford, CT and let me tell you their pumpkin ale Roadsmary’s Baby is top of the line! Its been reminiscent of the prohibition era around here trying to get it! Many of the package stores are holding “Secret Stashes” and when you ask for it they ask “Who Sent you?” (True Story). Trust me Roadsmary’s Baby IS that good!
- Two Roads (Roads to Ruin)
- Roadsmary’s Baby
- Hooker Liberator
- Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA (Best IPA in America!)
Click on the links to learn more about these fine American brews and good luck getting your hands on Roadsmary’s Baby
Everyone had a great time “visiting” the different countries and tasting their way “around the world”. It was a lovely fall evening perfect for lounging on lawn chairs and mingling under the light of paper lanterns.
The Paper lanterns were the most popular Instagram shot of the night. I caught this sweet moment of my Nephew checking them out.
My brother-in-law had a killer playlist going until well after the sun went down. With the big movie screen and speakers we were wired for sound during cocktail hour. After we had cake it was time to watch the feature film.
*Drive up parking was reserved for Cozy coups and Radio Flyers…this little lady has the best seat in the house!
Even though we experienced some technical difficulties getting the movie going we were entertained by Shadow Dancers….
And had some fun with Shadow Puppets.
Here’s a shot of the Birthday Boy and my too cute Nephew sporting a vintage pair of lederhosen.
If you can guess what movie we watched I’ll sell you my pet parakeet Petey and give you my life savings so you can turn your van into a dog.
The Beers Around the World Party was a huge success! Everyone had a great time myself included. I’m already thinking about throwing another one for my next friendly gathering. This is an easy low-key event to pull off. You can even mix it up by serving wine or your other favorite libations.
Hope you enjoyed jet setting around the world!
Have a kick back with a good beer kind of day,