It's quite interesting at times here at KL---when me and the tasting group guys would be having some bottle share, usually at a friend's craft beer bar--that we would inadvertently attract some curious looks from some who happens to be at the bar--some would just give that "what's going on" look, while occasionally some would walk to us and ask....
Bottle share is something geeks do all over the world especially those living in US/EUROPE where supplies of awesome varieties /big names brew/fresher beers are a lot more accessible than here in ASIA, though having said that, bottle sharing session is still something geeks in ASIA quite often do.
瓶子分享会是Craft 文化中常见动作，算是品酒会的代名词，也是让Craft Beer 变得更有趣，更接近一种分享文化感觉的动作。
Yes, bottle sharing is quite common really for geeks within the craft community, but it's something very new to newbies, even more curious looking in the eyes of non-craft drinkers.
To all you newbies/non-craft drinkers--here's the basic idea of bottle share session--it's like going to a restaurant alone--that's only so much you could order/eat all by yourself--but having a few friends sitting around the same table, you could order/try out a lot more varieties, and eat in smaller portion.
Is there any rules/set format for a bottle share session? i guess apart from making sure what everyone bring to the session is "not far off or of equal standards/same level of hype"( i know--it's so subjective--but geeks would know how to figure that part out--and sooner or later newbies who care to elevate palate profile would too)---how one likes to do it, be it jumping/mixing it up or vertical, a bottle share session can be quite flexible really.
JUMPING/MIXING it up
this is like going to a restaurant and making sure the dishes ordered are a mix of different flavours profile--you want a mix of taste rather than 1 dimensional, put it in a beer tasting/bottle share session, it's like making sure you have varieties of at least 3 or 4 distinctively different styles, in fact if we were to linked this to say a 10 course dinner, it would be like having your appetizers/main/dessert/s--with palate cleanser/s in between.
Though it is quite natural to start the sharing session in the order of lightest( in terms of abv/style of beer/body and such) to biggest hitters(or biggest hyped/names) like a step ladder style of drinking, where there's a certain concern that if one were to drink a "heavier"beer( say a double ipa) and then only a pale ale---then our palate would not make a fair judgement of the taste profile of the supposedly "lighter" pale ale, that it might just taste less flavourful than it should be or even plain bland.
虽然每个人喜欢的方式可能不一样，不过在分享会中一般会从口感酒体或酒精度比较“轻量”的瓶子开始，比如说瓶子选择中有ipa, double ipa的话，会先从比较轻的ipa 喝起，又或者说有porter, stouts 的时候，会从比较轻的porter 喝起，这样做是有点道理的，因为一开始喝口味比较重的再喝同类型比较轻的就可能会对比较轻体那支觉得太淡太轻，味蕾有欠公平对待。
Having said that, a "jumping/mix it up" tasting session really can be quite flexible, if you are not having a dead serious tasting notes related or say BJCP exam style tasting--then it can be more relax, though the "light to heavy rules" kinda relevant, but sometimes a little reversing of the rules could work too as long as your palate stays alert (don't drink much more if your palate has gone to sleep--it's a waste of good brew!)
This is quite popular too with some geeks.
if we were to put it in layman's terms, it's like buying the same brand/same taste profile of a particular cheese--say maybe all 10 or 20 of them--the only different would be the year the cheese made.
Yup--you got the idea, vertical tasting is basically SAME brand, styles of beers but brewed and bottled in different years.
Essentially, vertical tasting is about trying to find out what TIME can do to a beer when cellar/kept properly, it's an interesting way of trying to find out what changes can TIME and cellar conditioning/weather and other external factors could caused to a beer though it's by definition the same brand/style of beer.
Vertical tasting 是不少啤迷会做的事。
Personally i would think vertical tasting is not for newbies/ if you are not fond of a certain beer style OR don't have a certain understanding of that style of beer as it could become a little overwhelming drinking say 6 to 10 or 15 of the same beer at one session though it might be in smaller pour size.
END of the day, no matter which style of bottle sharing you prefer, the key to a bottle sharing session is NOT about how many bottles were shared/killed--or how many Whalez were slayed( the "joke" is that this is more of a First World Problem in the states and yeah i hear you saying it does matter on social media post)---the fun of a bottle sharing session should be about sharing--drink less in volume--let palate stays alert longer to taste better/taste more--and make some friends if you will.....