St. Paddy’s Happy Hour

By Sandra Downie, Sandra Downie Events and The White Library Blog
Photography by J. Fiereck Photogrpahy

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and it’s a great day to chill out and relax with friends and family. As my husband is Irish, Scottish, and Italian, we celebrate this festive and cheerful day every year. I designed this party for him and five of his closest friends to get together after work – they are really going to have a fun time!


A yummy idea and a hot trend that isn’t going anywhere: tasting parties. They are so much fun because you offer small servings of delicious foods and beverages, and everyone gets to experience a bunch of different flavors at one sitting. Wine tastings are done so often, I thought a beer tasting happy hour was the way to go, and so befitting St. Patrick’s Day.

I wanted to design a party that was in keeping with the traditional colors associated with St. Patrick’s Day and the Irish flag. I collaborated with the talented Katie of Green Apple Paperie for the design of the invitations, rating cards, and all the paper products. She did a wonderful job bringing both of our ideas together.

When deciding on the food, I tried to pick happy hour food that you would find at a restaurant or bar. So I decided on trail mix (goes well with beer!), sliders, loaded mashed potatoes, and shrimp cocktail.

I purchased the serving supplies I used for this party at Pier 1 Imports. They have the cutest tasting party serving pieces and I find them to be reasonably priced. You can pick and choose the pieces you want, or you can buy a set.
Party Tip: Offer a variety of food to accommodate people who may be vegetarian or watching their weight.

I purchased five different beers that offered varying tastes. Labels were then removed (with a little help from goof off for some of the bottles) and relabeled with numbers 1-5 to coincide with the rating cards and clear mini-tasting cups.

The tasting cups each receive a little bit of each beer for guests to taste and rate. The beer rating cards are given to guests once they arrive and are used to rate the taste of the beer with 1- 4 stars.
Party Tip: When hosting a tasting party, offer at least 4-8 different beverages, depending on the number of guests you are going to have over.

However you choose to toast, remember to consume responsibly and designate a driver. Sláinte!