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Brewing love: Weddings tap beer craze

LSJ.com - Aug. 27, 2012

Couples increasingly ditch mass-produced beverages in favor of ones with greater significance

ALBANY, N.Y. — You may now chug with the bride.

Toasting the bride and groom with Champagne is de rigueur. But recently, couples hip (or is that hops?) to craft beers are shaking up the wedding reception scene by insisting on serving the brews they love on their big day, everything from local ales to home brews concocted by the bride and groom.

It’s not unusual for stouts and pilsners to flow at receptions or for rehearsal dinners to feature “beer flight” tastings of different craft brews. The high-end Baltimore caterer Chef’s Expressions offers hors d’oeuvres consisting of a shot glass of beer and a burger slider.
One couple even set up tasting stations with beers from around the world, said Anja Winikka, site editor of TheKnot.com. Another couple who met in the Yukon served beer from Yukon Brewing in an ice-packed canoe.

Several trends

While craft beer has been making inroads for years, wedding industry people have really noticed its presence increasing in the past year or two. Winikka explained that the tradition-bound wedding industry tends to be slow to latch on to trends. She also noted that more couples are paying for their own weddings, and thus are less bound to expectations of what others want.

Plus, beer is really fun.

“What you’re seeing is that instead of the signature cocktail — like the fruity, weird martini thing that a lot of people were doing five, 10 years ago — couples are saying, ‘That’s not really our style, so we’re going to do a beer flight at our cocktail hour,’ ” Winikka said.

Similar to food push

The brides and grooms demanding local brews are no different from the growing number of Americans scouting farmers market for local corn and grass-fed beef. And just as it has become easier to source food locally, it has become easier to find a local brewery. Jerry Edwards of Chef’s Expressions points out that unlike wine, good beer can be made anywhere.

In Chicago, that means couples asking for beverages from hometown brewers like Metropolitan Brewing and Goose Island, said Dan Scheuring, event service manager of Blue Plate catering.

Craft adjustments

And some craft brewers are starting to take note of the trend.

In Albany, C.H. Evans Brewing Co. has a beer trailer suitable for pulling up to wedding receptions. Brewer’s Alley in Maryland offers a “Wedding Alt” (an altbier is a German-style brown ale) in bottles that can be customized with the newlyweds’ names.

And last month, the nation’s largest craft brewer, the makers of Samuel Adams beer, offered for one day only a “Brewlywed Ale.”

Personal touch

Can’t find the perfect beer to have and to hold on your wedding day? You can always brew your own.

Chris Lehr and his fiancee, Robin, made five different beers for their wedding in Austin, Texas, last year.

Guests toasted the couple with Champagne while the wedding party toasted with a brown ale from northern California. But otherwise the alcohol choices were all barley-based: pale ale, India pale ale, German-style kolsch and honey hibiscus wit. They also gave away bottles of homemade porter.

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The Moleskine Beer Journal Help You Remember Your Favorite Brews

TRENDHUNTER - Nov 22, 2012

The Moleskine Beer Journal Help You Remember Your Favorite Brews

For the beer connoisseur or the occasional drinker, the Molskine beer journal can help you keep tabs on your favorite brewed finds.

Each page is designed to encourage the drinker to write down some of their notes while trying a new libation. It’s the perfect way to help remember what you’re drinking and how you liked it before you get too tipsy to recall. The journal also features a glossary for quickly finding your notes, advice on how to perform the perfect pour, types of glasses to use and how to analyze a new brew. In addition, the Moleskine beer journal features handy tips for homebrewing your own beer with space to jot down recipes and addresses. When you’re using the Moleskine beer journal, be sure to write in your thoughts quickly before the brew begins to cloud your judgement.

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