Hosting A Very Homebrew Halloween Party

It's October, and that means Halloween just might be on your brain. If you're one to dive into the festivities every October the 31st, you may host a gathering with friends to drink and have fun. A homebrew driven Halloween bash can be a lot of fun and it gives you an excuse to brew more beer. Here are a few ideas to get you inspired about hosting a homebrew Halloween party of your own.

Serve Homebrew From a Pumpkin

A unique way to serve your beer is a great place to start. We recommend converting a pumpkin into a tap for a jockey box rather than installing a spigot on a pumpkin, but both are options available to you. This can serve as the focal point of your decoration and serve your homebrew at the same time. In this example, someone rigged up a smoke machine to make it look like the pumpkin was smoking a cigar.

pumpkin jockey box The Pumpkin Jockey box

If you can get a pumpkin close to your keezer, you may not need a jockey box and can just install the shank into the pumpkin instead of the wall of your keezer. This may cause a small drop in cooling efficiency as you now have a hole in with beer line going through (up to the tap in the pumpkin), but it's only for a night or two.

Pumpkin Carving Contest

If your guests live relatively close, have them come over a night or two before to have a pumpkin carving contest. Carving them on Halloween night is fine as well. Of course the winner will be decided via a vote from trick-or-treaters. If you are into drinking games, you can have the person who receives a vote for their pumpkin take a sip of beer (only a sip! Depending on your neighborhood, there may be a lot of votes).

pumpkins

Homebrewing Contest

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If your friends already have their pumpkin beer ready, or have some leftover Oktoberfest, have a friendly homebrew contest to decide who's the king of homebrewing in your group. Since you and your guests likely didn't plan this far ahead, you'll have to come up with a different scoring method than BJCP guidelines since there may be a lot of different beers in the mix.

Bobbing for Homebrew

Bobbing for apples is a common Halloween tradition. Bobbing for homebrew is a unique twist on the idea. The concept is the same but instead guests will dunk their heads for a bottle of beer. To spice it up, you can mix in a few commercial fall beers in with the homebrew bottles (or vice versa), and if you pull one up you win a small prize or have to wear a silly hat all night.

Blind Blending Taste Test

How many of your friends claim to be masters of their own palate? It's time for everyone to put their money where their mouth is. You'll want to break up into two teams for this, and you'll also need some commercial fall beers (preferably ones that come in 12 packs or more).

Once you have teams, have each player drink a bit from each of the beers (not blind). Then one player puts on the blindfold. The other team will make a blend of 2 beers 50/50 and serve it to the blindfolded member of the other team. They must then guess the two beers used in the blend. If they correctly guess, his team gets one point. If wrong, the other team gets a point.

Then you repeat but the team that served the beer will blindfold one person, while the taster's team will serve. This repeats (with a new taster each round) until you reach a point value you determine to be the winner.

pumpkin ale jack-o-lantern

Make the Whole Night a Big Contest

If you're organized enough, you can set points for each game / event you play to determine the overall winner for the night. If you and your friends tend to drink a lot, you can also incorporate some games from the Homebrew Olympics.

Most importantly, have a safe and happy Halloween. There's still time to brew pumpkin ale this year! Or if you plan on skipping the pumpkin beer craze, a bold holiday beer would be next on the docket, and will be aged perfectly for the holiday season.

by David Doucette
David is a full blown fermentation enthusiast who has dedicated much of his free time to learning and sharing the art of homebrewing. He's spent several years documenting and writing homebrewing information on his blog Hive Mind Mead. He's written over 60 articles between Homebrew Talk and Homebrew Supply.
written by David Doucette

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