Unconventional and uniquely entertaining, a virtual beer tasting may make a perfect party for your next get-together.
As more and more organizations run virtual meetings for their remote teams, two increasingly reported problems are meeting fatigue and audience participation. After looking at a screen all week for work, it is easy for team members to tune out of virtual events when there is no dynamic interaction. While companies look for solutions to this common issue, many are turning to specialized virtual events that engage their team members. One of these increasingly popular events is the virtual beer tasting.
These events are a unique spin on the reliable wine tasting experience, offering participants to interact with their senses in a designed culinary experience. Virtual beer tastings are now growing in popularity and variety due to a couple of distinct reasons. First, more and more teams are operating remotely due to health safety, convenience, worker demand and rising office retail prices. But beer itself has become a much more popular beverage for the average American consumer than it was in the early 2000s.
The increasing popularity of craft beer has, in turn, led to an increase in the number of craft beer enthusiasts in the U.S. Beyond that, more and more American consumers are casually exploring more craft beer as the number of craft breweries in America continues to climb.
Now, certain virtual event entertainment companies have stepped in to fill the gap in virtual culinary tasting experiences with expertly-crafted online beer tastings. This growing industry now includes events that feature food pairings and live virtual entertainment, making these events a fantastic option for organizations looking for fun and alternative virtual meeting entertainment.
Virtual Beer Tasting Explained
Comparable to wine or whiskey flight tastings, virtual beer tastings bring a brewery flight experience home to the guest. Through an online beer tasting event, your guests get to sip and sample their way through different beers. Typically, the styles of beers—as well as if they are sourced locally or internationally—are hand-selected by beer experts at online entertainment companies.
Though there are now several beer tasting event experiences available to book on the market, the best virtual beer tasting events focus on, well, the beer itself. Luckily, the availability of high-quality craft beer has drastically expanded in recent years. Because beer is no longer confined to light American lagers anymore, you can get beers included in your tasting experiences that are sure to please even the most discerning culinary enthusiasts in your organization.
In America, India Pale Ales—IPA, for short—have become the most predominant craft beer style for consumption. But the growing popularity of craft beer means there are many, many more styles to taste through. If your guests aren’t into the hop-forward flavors of an IPA, maybe they would enjoy the roasted-malt profile of a chocolate stout, or the crisp body and biscuity flavor of a Belgian tripel. Sour beers, such as a Berliner Weisse or Kettle Sour, are always crowd pleasers, too!
The wide diversity of available beer styles also means they can be paired with more food and treat options. Virtual beer tastings can include other tasting options, such as high-quality cheeses, chocolates, savory snacks and more.
Virtual beer tastings are further typically guided by a live event professional. The best of these live event hosts have experience not only in online meeting entertainment, but also in the craft beer industry itself. Live event hosts for virtual beer tastings are able to pass on their deep knowledge of beer tasting fundamentals along to virtual guests in an entertaining and captivating manner, turning any virtual event into a hit.
What Makes Virtual Beer Tastings Fun?
After a long week of compiling reports, digging into research or logging onto dreaded meetings, a virtual beer tasting event is a welcomed, playful experience for any remote worker. These events provide hands-on experiences and many of the participants have never experienced prior.
One of the best things about booking these virtual beer tasting events is that the logistics are pretty much covered for your organization. Online event entertainment companies such as Unboxed Experiences will iron out the shipping logistics during the planning process so each of your guests can have a beer kit delivered straight to their doors.
Delivery service like this helps eradicate the headache of sourcing and logistics for your event planning team. But getting product into the hands of your team members will go a long way in distinguishing your online event from others where they may simply only participate through a computer screen. These hybrid virtual beer tasting events aren’t purely online, where your guests are isolated in a remote location, but rather provide a physical medium for guests to interact with.
Further, virtual beer tasting events are often brand new to the average remote worker. A unique and innovative event is more likely to stick around in the memory of a remote worker (or a prospective client!) than other run-of-the-mill meeting entertainment solutions.
Virtual beer tastings events can also be educational for your team. Participants will likely pick up new knowledge on craft beer styles, brewing history and culinary tasting identification skills during a virtual beer tasting.
Through a virtual beer tasting, your team will learn to appraise and identify beer styles through sight, aroma and different tasting notes. During this guided tasting, your team will pick up some interesting knowledge they can then use to impress friends and colleagues.
And this may very well be knowledge that your team wants to learn. The interest in craft beer in the U.S. has shot up over the past decade as more craft breweries open in all corners of the country. Whereas craft beer at one point in time was a niche market for “beer geeks,” the increased market share of craft beer among the American public now shows that more and more people appreciate craft beer. The world of craft beer is similar to the large world of wine, where there are countless breweries, beer styles, cultures and flavors to explore.
Virtual Beer Tastings As Client Gifts
While virtual beer tastings are great online meeting entertainment solutions, they can also be utilized well for prospecting or retaining clients in remote settings.
Virtual beer tastings stand out from other client appreciation gifts because of the unique nature of the event itself. If you want to show an important client they matter to you ahead of any future deal or negotiations, delivering a box of craft beer and accompanying treats to their doorstep is an effective measure.
Think about it—oftentimes client gifts will simply be a bottle of nice wine or a spirit delivered to a client. While that is a nice gesture that is often appreciated, a virtual beer tasting takes that same idea and elevates it. Instead of one bottle of wine, your clients will get multiple cans of craft beer sourced from independent breweries across America. Maybe one of these breweries is a local beer maker close to your client’s heart or a lauded brewery that your client has always wanted to try out. These little details will make your gift stand out to important clients.
The interactive nature of the event will foster a connection between your organization and the client, as well. As your client learns new beer pairing skills alongside your sales or retention team, they will build a stronger relationship with everyone in the event. These kinds of special moments between clients and organizations can be the final element needed to close out a deal.
Most virtual beer tasting kits are assembled and delivered by the virtual entertainment companies that run the events, so your gift can be delivered to returning or prospective clients just about anywhere. Because these events are remotely held, as well, you can schedule any virtual beer tasting event to perfectly fit your client’s calendar. Again, that extra bit of planning can go a long way in helping to secure a client.
Beer & Cheese Tasting
As previously mentioned, the American interest in craft beer continues to grow. According to recent market research, the demand for craft beer is not slowing down and the market value for craft beer grew by $5 billion from 2020 to 2021.
“Globally, consumption of craft beer has become high. Craft beer culture is growing every day. A craft beer culture would not exist without consumers and brewers,” reads a February 2022 report from Fact.MR, a market research firm.
At the same time more and more consumers are buying craft beer, the general public also wants to LEARN more about craft beer. Virtual beer tasting and homebrewing classes are on the rise as a larger and more diverse group of beer drinkers look to gain as much knowledge about craft beer as possible.
Virtual beer tastings are the perfect way to feed that curiosity for your team. During a virtual beer tasting, participants learn to appraise and identify beers through sight, aroma and, of course, taste.
And because the world of beer is so massive and internationally diverse, your team will have plenty to learn! Did you know the Brewers Association officially recognizes more than 150 beer styles? These different beer styles originate from Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, Scandinavian countries, Latin American countries and other countries all over the world. After a virtual beer tasting, your team may be able to walk away and identify the defining characteristics of a German pilsner and how it differs from an Australian sparkling ale!
If your virtual beer tasting event also comes with a food pairing experience, participants will also pick up how to match food with beer like a professional.
For example, your team can learn how to identify beer and cheese pairings and why they work together. Did you know that hop-forward beers such as IPAs can elevate the sharpness of aged cheddar? Or that ales with complex malt characters, such as an amber ale, pair well with semi-soft cheeses like gouda?
During a virtual beer tasting, your team will pick up some interesting knowledge they can then use to impress friends and colleagues.
Booking a Guided Virtual Beer Tasting
We’ve already been over why it is helpful to let a virtual entertainment company help with your delivery logistics, but it is also essential to have a professional on hand to help lead your virtual beer tasting event.
Professional guides can include beer tasting experts like Cicerones, which are the beer world’s equivalent to a sommelier. If you’re including cheese pairings with your event, a professional guide to lead your event could be a certified cheesemonger who knows more about the wide world of cheese than you could possibly imagine. (Did you know there is a type of Sardinian cheese called “casu martzu” that contains live insect larvae inside the cheese?)
Having experts on hand will allow your guests to have their questions about beer and cheese answered, such as the origin or history of a particular beer style or the difference between ales and lagers.
These tasting professionals can also provide historical context to the beers you are tasting, adding another fun layer to your virtual event. Everyone in your event can learn how and where the first beer was brewed, or learn all about the famous Belgian monks who make beers in their abbeys.
Further, virtual entertainment companies will provide your team with hosts who are not only knowledgeable about the world of beer and cheese, but know how to put on a good time! Live event hosts are an essential part of any good virtual meeting entertainment and will keep your guests engaged throughout the entirety of your event.
Whether a host is running virtual ice breakers and party games, encouraging dialogue between remote workers or teaching everyone how to properly appraise a New England IPA, your live event professional will make sure your virtual event is unforgettable.
Because of the demand for virtual team building events or virtual meeting entertainment solutions, it is important to make your next virtual event stand out. Whether you’re rewarding your remote team for a great quarter, running an online party for new coworkers or putting on an event for a prospective client, a virtual beer tasting event is sure to demand the attention of your guests.
Virtual beer tastings are great virtual events because they provide a combination of hands-on products, interactive entertainment, educational fun and professional planning. These events also satisfy the growing curiosity many members of your team may have about the wide world of craft beer and gourmet cheese.
Online entertainment companies have live event professionals that will help lead your unique beer tasting event. These experts keep your team engaged and participating throughout the entire virtual beer tasting. Professional virtual entertainment firms will further iron out all of the planning logistics for you, such as scheduling and shipping hurdles.
Virtual events are essential for business solutions modern companies face, such as remote team building or client retention. Consider a virtual beer tasting experience for your next virtual event!