We switched up our format this year to freshen things up since the night was feeling a bit stale going into it.
I went with a fall theme versus Halloween theme and instead of passing out rounds of tastings to everyone at the same time and making complex rating sheets, we just put out all the beers for people to try at their own pace and then asked everyone to vote for their favorite at the end of the night.
Our new approach worked well. The evening was much more leisurely and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. But while the night was supposed to be about the pumpkin beer (Elysian Punkuccino Coffee Pumpkin Ale and Uinta Funk'n Patch Brett Ale tied for first, in case you were wondering), Doug and I both had a lot more fun with the other details of the party. So I'm going to focus on those instead. Sorry, pumpkin beer lovers!
In the past, we've just had crackers and cheese and asked our guests to fill in with other snacks and desserts, but since we were going for a more elegant feel this time around, Doug decided on three appetizers to round out our usual cheese spread.
We love the Green Bean Sandwich from Meat Cheese Bread, so Doug made mini appetizer versions.
Sundried Tomato-Stuffed Mushrooms from Smitten Kitchen fit right in with our cozy fall theme.
These Scallion Meatballs with Soy Ginger Glaze, also from Smitten Kitchen, are one of my favorite things that Doug makes.
Not all of our guests like beer and I've been slightly obsessed with kegged cocktails since the kegged Tom Collins worked so well at my 30th birthday party, so I used this usually beer-only patty to try out a new recipe.
I didn't get my act together soon enough to actually keg this one, but we served it out of Doug's uKeg growler, which worked well. This festive cocktail was maybe a little too drinkable... as evidenced by the fact that Kel and I didn't get around to trying many pumpkin beers since we were drinking cocktails all night.
Lion's Tail Remix- Batch Cocktail (adapted from Imbibe)
Makes about 24 servings
- 1 bottle bourbon
- 12 oz fresh lemon juice
- 8 oz honey syrup
- 5 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
- 30 dashes orange bitters
I decided my "colors" for the party would be white and metallics. I spray-painted orange mini pumpkins gold and rose gold, added some metallic stickers to spiffy up white mini pumpkins, and used our copper mugs for vases.
The plates, napkins, and tablecloth were all from Target (no surprise there).
A quick trip to the St. Johns farmers market for fresh flowers rounded out the decor.