Make a beer tasting an event to remember with flavorful and fun finger foods served up buffet style.
To create the right aura for the buffet, we covered a plain table with soft, pliable chalkboard fabric topped with a fringed burlap runner.
Tavern-style finger-foods keep guests satisfied while they sample the brews on offer. Our menu includes wings, fried pickles, mac ‘n’ cheese bites, bang-bang shrimp, nuts, chips, pretzel sticks, and more. Cheese, vegetables, and fruit offer additional pairing opportunities.
Vintage tins and tubs, wood cutting boards, and baskets lined with parchment paper showcase the tasty offerings.
A vintage wicker chicken and a carved wooden pig serve snacks while honoring the bash’s barn setting.
If you’re in a time crunch, most pubs will prepare finger foods to go or even cater your get-together, but if you want to do it yourself, here are a few of our favorite recipes.
- Vegetable oil for frying
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ¾ teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups sliced dill pickles, drained
Pour 1 inch of oil into pot and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees F. While heating oil, whisk flour, seasoning, cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ cup water in a large bowl until smooth. Spread the pickles on paper towels and pat dry.
Toss half of the pickles into the batter and coat completely. Remove from the batter using a slotted spoon, let the excess drip off, and add to the oil. Fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes; remove with the slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Return the oil to 375 degrees F and repeat with the remaining pickles and batter. Serve immediately with remoulade sauce.
Bang Bang Shrimp
- ½ c up mayonnaise
- ¼ cup Thai sweet chili sauce
- ¼ teaspoon Sriracha
- 1 pound shrimp shelled and deveined
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ¾ cup cornstarch
- vegetable oil for frying
In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, chili sauce and Sriracha. In a second bowl stir the shrimp from the buttermilk and let excess liquid drain away. Coat the shrimp in cornstarch.
Add 2-3 inches of oil to a heavy pan and heat to 375 degrees F. Fry the shrimp until lightly brown, 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove with the slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Once all shrimp is fried, coat with the sauce and serve immediately.
Garlic Parmesan Wings
- 1 lb. chicken wings
- 1-2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 1 stick melted butter
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- ¾ cup shredded Parmesan, plus more for topping
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss chicken wings with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Place wings on top of wire rack and bake until golden and crispy, 50 to 55 minutes.
To make the sauce, stir together melted butter, garlic, parsley, Parmesan, and red pepper flakes. Add wings and toss until coated.
Sprinkle with more Parmesan, and serve with ranch or caesar dressing.
Mac and Cheese Bites
- 1½ cups uncooked elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar jack cheese
- Nonstick cooking spray
- To fry the bites:
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- ¾ cup plain breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil for frying
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly.
Slowly whisk milk into the flour mixture, until sauce is smooth. Bring it to a boil, reduce to low heat and simmer for 1 minute.
Stir in the shredded cheese. Continue to cook, while stirring, until cheese is melted.
Remove from heat and fold the pasta into the cheese sauce.
Spray baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon macaroni and cheese into pan; packing it down slightly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until macaroni and cheese is completely cooled.
Place flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Cut chilled macaroni and cheese into 16 pieces.
Dredge each mac & cheese bite lightly with flour, dip in eggs, then coat with bread crumbs.
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Fry about half of the bites 1-1½ minutes per side, remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat with other half of the bites. Serve immediately.
And yes, we included dessert: mile-high frosted cupcakes perched on top of beer-can towers. We stacked our collection of vintage beer cans in grandstand style and used Museum Putty between the tiers to keep them from toppling.
Don’t miss our next post! We’ll show you how to make a keg stand, tasting flights for four beer flavors and set up a tasting get-together.
© Caruth Studio