The Nobler Experiment Six Pack Challenge

The competitive spirit has bred all sorts of great ideas in human history…

A few months back my little brother and I were shopping at my favorite Beer Store in NYC. Good Beer, which we’ve posted about before (see review here), happens to be a few doors down from my apartment and also happens to have one of the greatest craft bottle selections in NYC. So yes, they get the majority of my money. This one afternoon, Joseph and I decided to curate a six pack, each choosing 3 unique beers to share and judge each other accordingly; because we’re brothers and we judge. Turns out, this simple afternoon activity was kind of perfect: a great way to taste multiple beers while showing each other just how much we appreciate the other – you know, by being mean to each other. And thus, the Six Pack Challenge was born.

While the two person run-through was fun, the real sweet-spot for the Challenge is with six participants. Being that I don’t have 5 brothers (I’ll leave my commentary on those that do for my next blog…), I turned to the closest proxy: the Noblers. Despite a handful of confusing emails leading up to the event (“Is this a speed competition?”, “Do I need to have a six-pack? Because I haven’t worked out in years”) our group of six descended upon Good Beer to build the best six pack. Two competitions in, I can tell you this is one of the most enjoyable gatherings we’ve got going these days; nothing brings the Noblers together more than beer and competition. So it seems only fair we now share the fun with you:

The Rules of the Game:

  • 6 Participants (3 Teams of 2)
  • Each team builds a six pack of 6 unique beers
  • Each team purchases 2 of those six packs (6 unique beers x 2 each = 12 beers per team)

Once purchased, head back to your apartment/house for the tastings. From here on out, the game is pretty simple:

  • 6 Rounds (3 beers per round) – Each team presents one beer per round
  • Each beer (remember you should have 2 of each) is split between the 6 participants. So each round, every participant is drinking a 1/3 of a beer
  • To score, the 4 participants who are not on the team that selected the beer weigh in on a scale of 1-10. A rough guide to the scoring:
      • 1-3: Dislike, would not order under normal, not-drastic circumstances¬†
      • 4-6: Like, would drink again but wouldn’t necessary seek out or order if other options exist
      • 7-8: Like A Lot, would seek out due to overall quality or intrigue
      • 9-10: Holy Shit, that’s a damn good beer
  • Throw out the top and bottom score and take the average of the two middle scores (example – If the beer scores a 9,7,6, and 8 you would take the average of 7 and 8 and the beer would score a 7.5
  • After the 6 rounds tally up the total score to decide a winner

Here’s the thing, a lot of great stuff has come from running the Nobler Experiment over the past few years but this might be our greatest gift to society. And I’ve come in dead last each time we’ve played this so you know I’m not even biased. It’s a wonderful way to bring your buddies together over great beer and great competition. So start your own Six Pack Challenge and share the enthusiasm with us on instagram (@noblerexperiment) and facebook ( As for me, I better get my act in gear because there should probably be a rule about coming in dead last three times in a row…

One additional note: 

If you have an odd number of people, you can still make the concept work. Last night for example we only had 5 people so instead of teams we went the individual route. Each individual chose 3 beers and purchased 2 of each. This way, each person was still contributing a six pack but they were only judged on 3 beers. This made 3 rounds of 5 beers instead of 6 rounds of 3 beers but the end result was the same. Great competition, 6 beers a piece, and a Dan Sicina victory…


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