Someone got “iced” at his birthday party…
This was extra funny for someone who pretty much only drinks craft beer (and wine and the occasional cocktail…but I mean you’d be hard pressed to find a bud light in this guy’s hand if he can help it)
Apparently it was also really cold and gave him brain freeze!
Before those shenanigans ensued, there was a lot of work to be done!
On Sunday we had over 50 people at our house, friends and family, to celebrate Brian’s 30th birthday which was actually on the 23rd!
The theme of the party? BEER. That was easy, but I had to do a little more than just serve beer, that was a given anyways. He had already brewed two batches just for the party!
So my thought was to create a little beer fest/tasting for the party! Complete with custom tasting glasses.
I had my cousin Patrick design a logo.
I worked with the great folks at Kappy’s in Medford and selected 6 local brews that I’d have on hand for a tasting.
It was actually really hard to pick out the 6 beers!! I wanted all local beers, preferably ones that maybe not everyone has tried, and I wanted a variety of styles!
Local was easy. There are a TON of Massachusetts breweries!
From left to right:
- Blue Hills Watermelon Wheat (actually I wanted Clown Shoes Clementine but they didn’t have it in stock, so I grabbed a few Watermelon Wheat for a light “fruity” beer). Canton, MA
- Strong watermelon flavor, but it’s natural watermelon flavor. Refreshing, I liked it, but I could see how some people might find it too fruity. Blue Hills has some great beers though!!
- I’m learning to like IPA’s. I’m not a fan of the very bitter ones. The bitterness is from the hops, BUT some IPA’s have a lot of hop aroma without being bitter…those are the ones I like. Also harder to find I think as IPA’s I originally wanted were too hard to get. But this was very good! Verging on bitter for me, but Brian really liked it and is happy we have extra left over.
- This is a Farmhouse Ale, a type of Belgian beer. Its light and refreshing but is brewed with peppercorns so you just get a little of the pepper taste/feel left in your mouth. Its subtle but you notice it.
- I was REALLY excited about this one!! It literally JUST came out. This is a nanobrewery in Everett, MA and they have some really interesting sounding beers. This was their newest and the bottles were actually had written with the date they were filled….5/20/12. I knew NO one at the party would have tried this one.
It is a Berliner Weisse Sour Ale brewed with lemongrass and ginger.
I am a big fan of sour ales, and this was delicious! Tart, refreshing, and a lovely ginger taste to it! Brian and I are both excited we have extra bottle of this now!
- This is a Yorkshire dark brown ale. Brian is a big fan of Pretty Things beers and this is no exception. I for some reason can’t remember this one aside from liking it :)
- Another Slumbrew! Named after Porter Square which is in Somerville :) This Porter is brewed with cocoa powder and conditioned with cacao nibs from Taza Chocolate (another local company!). This beer is delightful. I love the chocolate/coffee notes.
I didn’t know how the whole tasting would unfold at the party, but what ended up happening was that after people ate, we did cake…etc, people gathered around and we all tasted them in order :) It was really fun and I think Brian loved it. He said I did a good job with my selections…phew! It was SO hard not to ask him about it (that part of the party was a secret).
Another somewhat “stressful” aspect of this party was that I, myself, wasn’t really making much food! Most of the food was brought by family and friends. I usually have a hard time letting go of the reigns in the kitchen, but I knew for this many people I needed help!! Plus my aunts are all amazing cooks and are used to feeding a big crowd.
My mom was also a huge help getting things ready AND making food!
- deviled eggs
- mini blt “bites” (my friend made these, they were little cherry tomatoes stuffed with a bacon mixture…SO good!)
- layered Mexican dip
- Ancho Chili Chicken (a family favorite!)
- pulled pork
- burgers +lots of toppings (I even cooked up bacon and caramelized onions!)
- baked beans with bacon breadcrumb topping
- bean salad
- 2 different pasta salads
- potato salad
- grilled veggies
- hot dogs
- Cake!! 2 Amazing birthday cakes
- banana cake w/chocolate icing
Luckily for us it was an absolute PERFECT day weather-wise. Everyone was outside the whole time! So we set up all the food on the cabana bar.
In case you forgot our backyard looks like this (day after, I totally missed any pictures of the actually party!)
We’re also now in the possession of a new umbrella, fire pit, and that tent on the left!!
Birthday Cake? Oh yes. So funny story. I’ve mentioned my aunt owns a bakery and makes amazing cakes, well I had heard she was swamped with work so I didn’t want to bug her to make a cake for the party. So, I asked my friend who owns another amazing bakery.
Turns out my aunt did have time and ended up making a cake!
So we were blessed with TWO incredible cakes…by luck one was chocolate and the other vanilla.
My Aunt’s cake (her bakery is Honey’s Bakery and Cafe in Medfield, MA)
It was a rich chocolate Guinness cake (the Guinness was in the cake too), with a chocolate ganache filling.
The other cake was from the Danish Pastry House (Medford and Watertown, MA)
I had asked her to use the logo :)
This was a vanilla cake with a passion fruit white chocolate filling and fresh raspberries.
OMG. Cake heaven!! They were both INCREDIBLE! If you need a cake you can’t go wrong with either place!!
So basically the party was a BIG SUCCESS!! I’ve heard my family had a wonderful time, we had a blast, and couldn’t have asked for a better day :)
How do you handle hosting a big crowd? Have you ever had to host a big crowd before?? Do you delegate?
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Please email me ASAP at email@example.com and we will get you set up! The UFX sessions start next week!