The Palate Deck: Playing Cards for Beer Tasting
The Palate Deck: Playing Cards for Beer Tasting
Playing cards that offer beer information and casual tasting guidance for the many conversations that happen over beer.
Playing cards that offer beer information and casual tasting guidance for the many conversations that happen over beer. Read more
About this project
The Palate Deck is a set of cards that fuel your conversation while drinking beer. You and up to 3 other people play cards that feature common flavors and sensations to match what you’re tasting. More than just playing cards though, it’s an in-depth beer education that even tells you about what you’re experiencing in a beer and why... for any beer.
The Palate Deck is for anyone who loves good beer wants to learn more about it. And really... do you need any more reason than that?
Okay here are a few:
- You have your favorite beers, but couldn't explain what it is that you like about them.
- A beer you love tastes a little off one day, and you'd like to know why.
- You record the beer you drink using apps like Untappd or Ratebeer, and want better ways to describe what you're tasting.
- You sample interesting new beers with friends and talk about them.
- You work at a brewery, beer-focused taproom or restaurant and would like to train your staff, or provide your customers with beer-tasting tools.
The Palate Deck helps you evaluate the beer you're tasting by creating a conversation and having you play the appropriate cards to create a visual diagram of the beer’s appearance, aroma, and flavor profile.
You don't have to be a beer expert to use it, or even know anything about beer! There are different levels of play supported, from basic to very complex. This allows anyone to get started with the Palate Deck, regardless of their past tasting experience, but also provides experienced beer tasters with more advanced vocabulary and descriptions.
A basic session works like this. You start by laying out three evaluation cards, Appearance, Aroma, and Taste. Then, tasting cards are dealt evenly to all players, who individually sort through them to pick the cards that match the beer they're tasting.
Going around the table clockwise, players suggest their cards one at a time and see if the table agrees. This is where it gets interesting! Different palates can interpret a beer in different ways, which leads to great discussions over nuances of a beer. The purpose isn't to be correct, it's to find consensus. Because hey, tasting is subjective after all.
More advanced sessions bring in extra tasting cards, more evaluation cards, and a new dimension in the form of the intensity scale so that instead of simply saying a beer has a spicy note, you're able to indicate exactly how spicy you perceive it to be.
If you want a better understanding of how the Palate Deck works, make sure to give it a try.
Every tasting card contains one primary word or phrase that drives gameplay. But you’ll also find complimentary words that offer similar tastes, a technical description about why that flavor or sensation could be present in a beer, and basic information on a tasting word’s categorization and frequency.
A complete inventory of all cards is available on the Palate Deck website.
All prices are shown in Canadian currency, which makes the USD price a lot cheaper. The USD prices shown below are approximate.
If you'd like additional copies of the Palate Deck, just increase your pledge by $30 CDN + $3 shipping ($23 + $2 USD) for each additional copy, or see the Tasting Room tiers.
Every backer gets a set of stickers including Palate Deck logos, a beer color scale, and the four ingredients of beer illustrated along with various types of beer.
Some reward tiers also feature limited edition Palate Deck tasting glassware. This is a 9.5oz (281mL) poco grande glass with the Palate Deck script logo and marked lines for 3oz (89mL) and 6oz (177mL) pours.
Why this glass? I’ve sipped beer from dozens, if not hundreds of different styles of glassware and continually come back to tulip-shaped glasses as my favourite general-purpose glass for almost any style of beer. The tapered sides allow beer aromas to concentrate, and the flared opening allows you to really get a good sniff of the beer you’re drinking.
The smaller size of this particular glass is perfect for sampling beer with others, as a smaller pour doesn’t look out of place and allows for a good amount of foam. You can easily split a 12oz bottle four ways by pouring up to the 3oz line, or split a 22oz bottle by pouring just under the 6oz line. And there’s still enough room in the glass to allow you to split the bottle if fewer people are trying it.
All backers who pledge $30 CDN or higher will receive a PDF copy of the Palate Deck. If you just can’t wait, you’ll be able to print out and play using this temporary deck while waiting for manufacturing and shipping.
Have Palate Deck creator and Certified Cicerone® (beer sommelier) Dave Shea come to your office (or anywhere else) and conduct a guided tasting session with up to 12 people. Everyone in attendance will get their own copy of the Palate Deck, as well as the limited edition Palate Deck tasting glasses (see above). Must take place in Vancouver, Canada, or full travel costs covered. Beer costs are not included, but specific beer selections will be customized to your team's tastes during a prior consultation.
Design a custom 54-card version of the Palate Deck for your brewery or tasting room. Work with creator Dave Shea directly to customize a deck with your logo and brands, and choose tasting from 400 tasting words the ones that best match your beers. You will receive 500 copies of this custom deck. Full terms & conditions will be sent to all backers of this level for review.
The idea behind the Palate Deck formed after many sessions of sharing good beer with friends. Beer is a social drink, and with the rise of craft beer we increasingly like to talk about what the beer we're tasting.
Everyone already knows plenty about culinary and beverage terms for basic tastes and smells, thanks to the fact we’re conscious humans who consume food and drink. These are the closest thing we have to a universal when it comes to describing what we taste, and they can absolutely be applied to beer.
What the Palate Deck offers is a structure for your conversation and a cheat sheet for your beer vocabulary. There’s much more to it of course, but if you really want to know what’s causing something in your beer, there’s extra information on each card to give you some context about why you’re experiencing that flavor or aroma.
Dave Shea is a Certified Cicerone® (beer sommelier) and BJCP-certified beer judge. He’s a co-founder of Vancouver’s Farmhouse Fest Saison and Wild Ale Festival, and a long-time home brewer who finds the occasion to brew commercially every so often. Outside of beer, Dave is also well known in the web design & development community.
The target is to have all single-copy and multi-pack rewards levels shipped early in the new year, with a projected arrival date of April 15, 2017. All backers entitled to one or more decks will receive a printable Palate Deck gift card they can use if they intend to gift the Palate Deck during the coming holiday season, as well as a printable PDF to get an early start using the Palate Deck while you wait.
Will there be stretch goals? Definitely. If the campaign is successfully funded, all will be revealed about the nearly-completed Second Edition expansion set, along with some fun extra surprises.
You can find high-resolution logos and product photos in the Palate Deck Press Kit.
For all inquiries, please contact email@example.com
Risks and challenges
There are always risks associated with a new project like this one. It's not uncommon for a production schedule to slip, for any number of reasons.
At the time of launch, the Palate Deck's design was 97% complete and ready for printing, with some details purposely left for finalization with the help of backers. There are no additional design dependencies for the First Edition.
The biggest external risks lie in manufacturing and distribution dependencies. I have sourced both printing and shipping fulfillment providers, and priced out fulfillment costs from initial proofing all the way through to final shipping and postage. The projected timelines have factored in best estimates from both partners, and I've made every attempt to minimize risk and provide an accurate estimate.
But of course, best laid plans... any unforeseen circumstances that cause significant delays could force the timelines to slip. And while I may not be able to control these, I will keep backers fully updated as fulfillment progresses.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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