Here in Minneapolis, the craft brew movement really seems to be hitting it’s stride. It feels like we hear of a new microbrewery opening almost every week, so with all the new brews at our fingertips, we started to wonder how we were ever going to try them all. Enter the brew tasting party. We’ve found that hosting a beer tasting party is a great reason to have friends over and sample several types of beers at once. And, hey! what would a brew tasting party be without beer flight paddles? Below is a step-by-step tutorial on how to make the ones we used at our Brew on the Roof Party. With just a few simple materials, you can whip these up in a matter of hours, and throw a beer flight gathering of your own!
- One 6′ long, 2×4 wood railing or stud cut into five, 13″ long pieces. We used a WeatherShield Plus Handrail from Home Depot and had them do the cutting for us. We chose a handrail board because we liked the profile, but you can also use a standard 2×4. Also note, weather treated wood is not necessary, but helps with wearability if spilled on.
- Electric Drill
- 2″ Forstner Drill Bit (Purchased at Home Depot)
- 20 tasting glasses. We bought ours at the Northern Brewer Retail Store in Minneapolis for $1/glass. However, I don’t see them on their website, so you can also order glasses from the Webstaurant Store; 24 glasses for $35.99/case.
Step 1. Lay ruler across the width of one end of the board (not lengthwise), and mark the center of the board. Do the same with the other end of the board.
Step 2. Lay the ruler lengthwise down the center of the board using your pencil marks from Step 1. as a guide, and make a mark at 2″, 5″, 8″ and 11″, so that there are a total of 4 pencil marks, 3″ apart, running down the center of the board.
Step 3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 four more times on the other 4 boards.
Step 4. Make sure the battery on your drill is charged. These babies require a lot of juice!
Step 5. Attach forstner bit to electric drill, and place the forstner tip onto one of the 4 pencil marks drawn on the board.
Step 6. Hold the board down securely, and drill down to roughly 3/8″.
Step 7. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 until each board has 4 drill marks each.
Place 4 tasting glasses on each board, fill, and serve!
Note: Flights are usually sampled from lightest to darkest beer, so as to prevent the dark beers from overpowering the flavors of the light ones.