How to discover a new favorite wine, beer, or spirit.

There are few social lubricants that are quite as effective as alcohol. There’s no denying that it plays something of a role in the social lives of many men. It helps us relax, feels good, and it honestly gives us a reason to spend time with our friends. However, too often “drinking with friends” is associated with binging and getting drunk, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re just looking for a chill drink, with no expectations of taking it any further, here are a few ways you can do that.

Visit a Wine or Beer Festival

While some people use these events as a cheap way to get plastered - it's a fantastic opportunity to discover a few new vintages and brews that you might not have otherwise tried at your local bar.


Have a Wine and Food Pairing Party

Wine tasting is far from a new hobby, of course. However, one way to enrich the experience is to also find foods to pair it with and to explore new taste experiences due to the combination of the flavors. One of the most popular examples of this is the wine and jerky tasting and pairing experience. At the name suggests, it involves plenty of wine and plenty of jerky.

One of the good things about this experience is that wine tasting is often thought of as pretty esoteric and unapproachable. However, jerky is so widely eaten and beloved it makes it a lot more welcoming to join in.

 beer taster glass at florida keys brewing company craft beer

Visit Local Craft Breweries and As For a Sampler

Sure, you might have your favorite brew that you always look for first in the drinks section of the store, but if you only stick to the big brands, you could be really limiting yourself. Your town could have a microbrewery or five that could worth taking a closer look at. You and your friends can take the time to explore a whole bunch of local and far microbreweries and their offerings.

Aside from taking a taste, you can learn more about the actual process of microbrewing and, if you’re feeling particularly creative, even apply what you have learned about the process to do it yourself. A lot of guys are starting their own brews and it gives you the chance to experiment and find your perfect flavor.


Start a Whiskey Club

Like wine, whiskey can seem to the outsider that it’s not so welcoming. Everyone has dealt with a whiskey snob at one point in their life or another, and it’s important to make it clear at the start that this isn’t what the whiskey club is about. If people prefer trying a drink with ice, with water, with ginger, or cola, then they’re free too. It’s worth having a try of the stuff straight first, but if that first sip doesn’t sit well, feel free to mix it up.

Otherwise, whiskey clubs are a great way to learn about scotches, bourbons, Irish whiskeys and more, and start to get a real nose for the breadth of flavors, from the most accessible and affordable bottles to some top-shelf stuff.

You and your friends can enjoy a drop of the good stuff and each other’s company without any pressure to get wasted. You can even make it into a hobby that teaches you a little more about your favorite drinks.