How to Host a Virtual Craft Beer Happy Hour

Sienna Serrao

3/31/2020
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Just because a shelter in place is in order and the bars are closed doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite 5 o’clock activity—or whatever time you please! Here are a few ways the world is staying social from a distance by enjoying some great craft beers with their buds.

Create your own virtual happy hour!

The first step is to organize a guest list with as many or few friends as you prefer—a slight warning since the available platforms are great but not perfect, too many guests can lead to talking over each other and some guests feeling left out.

The next step is to pick the platform you wish to use. The most commonly used platforms are Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and Skype. Make sure all virtual happy hour participants are familiar with the platform being used and are able to access them from their computer, laptop, or cellular devices. For example, you wouldn’t want to choose FaceTime if you are planning to meet with Android users whose devices don’t have that same function. People that have used Zoom say it works brilliantly with few glitches or connection issues, but requires a little bit of setting up, since each member has to create their own account and form an organized “meeting room” link that must be sent out to everyone partaking.

After you have gathered your group and picked your platform, it’s time to log on and start drinking! Although you can’t meet up there, lots of breweries are selling their bottles, cans, crowlers, and growlers to go. So go online and check to see if your favorite local breweries are participating and support them during this complicated time. If your brewery doesn’t do delivery and you don’t feel comfortable leaving your home, you can place an order online with our craft beer club and get them right at your doorstep!

Now that you have your beer ready to drink, think of some fun games that can be played through the screen with your friends. Odds are everyone has been inside all day...or week...or few weeks, and might not have much to talk about, and I can guarantee they don’t want to hear anymore about the coronavirus, so games are a great alternative! Thankfully, the Internet is full of fun games like virtual beer pong, so you can play virtually with your friends and make them drink while you sink all the ping-pong balls.

The final step is to have fun, be creative, and plan the next virtual happy hour party! In times like this it is important to step away from the gloomy news and indulge in some fun social interaction even if it has to be done from a distance.

Join in on virtual beer tasting!

Certain breweries are offering virtually guided beer tastings either hosted more personally on platforms like Zoom, or more publicly on platforms such as Instagram live. Specific companies are guiding virtual beer tastings where you typically get the featured beers and learn about the brewing process, the flavor profile, and some fun stories about each beer. On top of this, a great deal of the participating companies are donating part of their proceeds to staff members or bar tenders that are unable to work during this pandemic. You can also join our Craft Beer Club and get shipments along with the story behind the small, craft breweries, tasting notes, recipes and even some beer trivia! So you can all sip on the same brews, cook the same recipe and see how they all compare all the while quizzing each other to see who's the savvy-est beer drinker in the room.

All of these options are great opportunities to have some fun during the quarantine, all while supporting your favorite breweries. Stay safe and virtually cheers all your mates to good health!