Bringing Craft Beer to an Untouched Market

Emily and Matt Garland (center) at a Tapped event

For a craft beer lover, it’s a pretty great feeling to meet someone resistant to different styles of beer – or beer at all – and be able to convert them with a taste. For husband and wife team Emily and Matt Garland, this is part of their job. They own and operate Tapped Craft Beer Events, offering private beer tastings.

“Most of the people we reach are not craft beer people,” said Matt. “We’re getting totally untouched people,” added Emily. “We want to expand the craft beer community through our events.”

The idea for Tapped came about when they were still dating and started getting involved with the beer community in New York City. They noticed a void in beer events, that most were at bars and no one was running private ones. When the two asked around and found interest in the community, they decided to go for it. Tapped was launched in January 2011.

Their clients run the gamut from corporations – such as Google and Deloitte – to alumni clubs, to individuals planning birthday or bachelorette parties. Emily arranges the format of the tastings, which are either mix and mingles, a seated guided tasting, or combination of the two. She uses local producers such as Ovenly, Slantshack Jerky and My Friend’s Mustard and creates tasting sheets to accompany the event with space to take notes.

A host – Carolyn Edgecomb, Jonathan Moxey, Chris O’Leary, or Damon Oscarson – guides the event and gives notes on the beers. Hosts also provide knowledge on other beer topics, like the brewing process or homebrewing. Guests also have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the beer with the Tapped staff during the event.

When planning an event, Emily says, “I get a feel for what [the client] wants to get out of it… we try to do everything very customized. Small details make a big difference.”

“We’re introducing craft beer to new people in a fun, relaxed way,” said Matt.

“It’s so cool when you see them turn a corner and start to get into it,” Emily added. “I love seeing people’s reactions, seeing people converting from macro to craft.”

All photos courtesy Tapped Craft Beer Events

Chris O'Leary (left) hosting an event

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