Hostess With The Mostess

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AWESOME 30th Birthday Beer Tasting Bonanza (32 photos)


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I had been planning my husbands 30th birthday for the whole year and I never had so much fun. He is a huge beer connoisseur. In fact we both have an affinity for beer gardens and drinking some great micro-brews. After a trip home to Brussels, Belgium where I am from I instantly knew what the theme would be, a back yard beer tasting bonanza. Belgium is very well known for it's beers. I than started to look for inspiration and of course the first place I came to was Hostess With The Mostess. I set up a heated tent in the backyard (the party was in November here in Connecticut) and everyone was assigned one of four categories of beers to bring for the tasting. The catering was done by a good friend Tom who has a huge smoker and does parties on the side (Hot Hands BBQ). We had pulled pork, mac and cheese, ribs, brisket, sour kraut and bratwurst, bbq chicken, corn bread, red cabbage slaw, potato salad and green beans, all the makings of the perfect meal to go with some delicious beers. The design was inspired by the invitation created by designer Anna McClure from the Etsy design store Jack Master who also designed all the paper products. I had fun Octoberfest inspired signs made for each table, cup cake toppers, signs for each category of beer, a "hoppy birthday" banner and tasting sheets made. The centerpieces were large glass hurricanes (purchased at buy 1 get 1 50% off from Joanne Fabrics for my best friends bridal shower that I threw) I reused them again and filled them with peanut butter filled pretzels, pirates booty cheddar popcorn, ruffles chips and onion dip as pre-dinner bar snacks all purchased in bulk at BJ's Wholesale. I used bamboo disposable plates and utensils from for easy cleanup and had custom paper napkins made from that read "Justin is going to need some Tylenol tomorrow". I also but some great coasters from the Etsy store Lady Bug Press to put at each table seating (I absolutely love these). As guests arrived they put the beers in huge galvanized buckets that I purchase at Home Depot. Each bucket had a sign designed and printed by Anna that listed the beer categories (Ale, Lager, Stout and Seasonal). They than got to sign a poster that I am going to have framed that reads "Good People Drink Good Beer" designed by LuciusArton on Etsy, check out a slide show I made on my computer of my husband Justin's last 30 years, grab a custom made pint glass purchased and printed at that has a  logo "Beer Me" also designed by Anna, with a tasting sheet in it designed by Anna and a pencil to start the tasting. It made the perfect favor for everyone to take home and keep long after the party as a momento. They could list the beers to remember and the beers to forget to keep on their tasting sheets. For some additional fun I had a custom corn toss game made by Style My Corntoss from Etsy. I supplied them the same art work of the "Good People Drink Good Beer" poster and they re-created the design. An added special detail, I had them add  "The Nanas Established November 12th 2010". My husband and I were not only celebrating his 30th birthday but it was also our 2 year anniversary. The cake by Little Imagination Cakes was one of my favorite details of all. In was in the shape of a beer cap and the artwork was designed by Anna. It was carrot cake filled with a vanilla filling, my husbands favorite. There was none left, it was that good. Guests also enjoyed vanilla and chocolate cupcakes from Big Y with fun Octoberfest toppers. To end the night I had a photobooth from M Maler Photography where everyone got to enjoy taking pictures with props that I purchased from The Prop Market on Etsy. It was an unforgettable night and so much fun to plan. I everyone will find it inspiring and get to have their very own awesome backyard beer tasting bonanza.

Vendor Credits & Resources:
Photography: Done my me on a Canon T4i
Invitations, birthday banner, cup cake toppers, table signs, beer category signs, tasting sheets, cake art work and pint glass logo: Anna McClure Etsy Store Jack Masters,
Catering: Hot Hands BBQ 203-507-5125
Cake: Little Imagination Cakes -
Centerpiece Hurricanes: Joanne Fabrics
Bar Snacks: BJ's Wholesale
Disposable Bamboo Plates & Utensils: Joanne Hudson Basics
Customized Paper Napkins: For Your Party
Custom Pint Glasses: Custom Glassware
Coasters: Etsy store Lady Bug Press
Galvanized Buckets: Home Depot
Custom Corn Toss Game: Etsy store Style My Corn Toss
Beer Poster: Etsy Store Lucius Art
Photobooth: M Maler Photography
Photobooth Props: Etsy store The Prop Market
Rentals: Heated Tent, Tables and Linens from Taylor Rentals,

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Branford, Connecticut
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