A few weeks ago I was telling my friends I wished I had a go-to all-American beer. Whenever we are out I always order a Stella or try the local beers recommended. With summer coming up and things like baseball games, the Indianapolis 500 and pool parties on my agenda, I decided I needed to find an official preference on light beer. I have always wanted to taste all the classic American beers at once so I could distinguish which taste I like the best.
My roommate really ran with this conversation and decided we should host a blind taste test. We invited a small group of friends over to participate. Each brought a six-pack or so of one of the six beers we decided to taste: Bud Light, Budweiser, Coors Light, Michelob Ultra, Miller Lite, Natural Light. I created a little tasting worksheet for everyone to fill out as we went. You can download yours here and print it out for friends. Of course we had to have classic yellow pencils for writing. I really believe hosting parties is about the details!
For the prep, I took over the food while Danielle, my roommate, organized for the tasting. I have been wanting to make homemade queso forever and it sounded like the perfect pairing with beer. The green chile and cheese combination was a hit. Scroll down to get the recipe! While I was cooking, Danielle wrote the numbers 1-6 on plastic cups for each person to taste each beer. Then, we set out pretzels rods to have between tastes. Crackers or chips can act as “palate cleansers” for your guests and make it feel like an organized tasting.
The Taste Test
Danielle chose a random order for the beers that our tasters did not know. She poured a little bit into each cup for us and then delivered them to be tasted. We all drank the beer sample, thought about it, took notes and wrote guesses for what each one was. We all could definitely tell the difference when we tasted Miller Lite and of course, the good old Natty Light. At the end of the tasting when Danielle read out which beer was which, the fan favorite ended up being Bud Light!
I am so happy the beer tasting party ending up being a hit. Plus, now I officially have a story to tell behind why I chose to drink Bud Light. If you post pictures of your American beer tasting party on social media, tag me on @Gourmet_Gab or #gourmetgab so I can see! Cheers to the all American beer!
Chile con Queso
- 1 tablespoon butter or oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 small block of pepper jack cheese, shredded or cut into small cubes
- 1 small block of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded or cut into small cubes
- 1 cup shredded cheese (Colby jack, mozzarella, your choice)
- 3 tablespoons canned green chile, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Mince shallots and garlic. Warm oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots/garlic to pan and sauté for a few minutes until light golden brown. Careful not to burn!
- Add half and half. Whisk in flour.
- Simmer until the mixture thickens and little bubbles form.
- Reduce heat to low and add cheese little by little. Add chopped green chiles and stir.
- Add nutmeg, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
- If the texture is too thick for your liking, add half and half to loosen.
- Transfer to a small slow cooker to keep warm on low.
Love food. Love self. Love life.