Friday, July 3, 2009

wedding beer.

Since it will inevitably come up, I will take this time to mention that I'm getting married next month.  My fiance, Travis is a wine enthusiast.  Go figure.  You can follow his posts on the the subject at

Getting married brings up many issues.  One at the front of both of our minds was alcohol.  We're getting married on a Sunday evening so we decided to eliminate hard liquor, and stick with just beer and wine.  He immediately knew some wines he wanted to serve, which were affordable, good, and accessible to our guests.  His job was easy.  Give a party goer a choice of white or red, and they'll generally be happy with the results.  My job was a little tougher.  Give a guest the choice between IPA or German-style pilsner and you get a blank look in response.  I had to choose beers that were not only accessible, but comparable to the macro-brews Joe and Jane Average know and love.  
Living in the Philadelphia area, I also knew I wanted to choose mostly local brews.  I live 10 minutes from Victory Brewing Company, 15 minutes from Sly Fox, 45 minutes from Yards, and so forth.  To not choose at least a few local brews would be a damn shame.
My final choices are:
Victory Lager, Downingtown, PA:  comparable to Yuengling, but less obvious 
Victory Prima Pils, Downingtown, PA:  a hoppy, German-style pilsner; bitter, crisp and delicious
Lafayette Matrimoni-Ale, Lafayette Hill, PA:  a lovely, mellow summer ale in the saison style with strong citrus and spice; I'm telling my guests it's comparable to Blue Moon/Hooegarden; the event appropriate name is also a plus
Yards Pale Ale, Philadelphia, PA:  this beer is crisp, hoppy, citrus-packed and perfect for an outdoor reception at the end of summer
Magic Hat Wacko Summer Seasonal, East Burlington, VT:  a maltier, herbal, sweeter brew, which is hot pink in color thanks to the addition of beet juice; if the description doesn't get them the unusual color and red-heart label will; a gimmick beer done well
Shiner Bock, Shiner, TX:  My fiance is Texas-born and so is 60% of our guest list.  I don't even want to imagine the madness that would have ensued had I left this off the roster.  A German-style Bock; darker, sweeter, and overall not a terrible brew given its cheap price tag and macro status.  It wouldn't be my first choice, but I'm not ashamed of its presence on the beer list.

And NO, there is not a light beer choice on the list.  I have never imbibed one of these "light/lite" beers, and I do not plan to start on my wedding day.  Our guests can either deal or we can provide them with sparkling water and a drop of yellow food coloring, which is essentially the same thing.  If they hem and haw over the absense of Bud and Corona, I will be more than happy to hike up my dress, piss in a glass, and garnish with lime.

All of this aside, my wine-obsessed fiance is a fantastic guy.  Our wine/beer dynamic is not at all dissimilar to our Christian/Jewish dynamic.  We will have an interfaith ceremony with both a minister and a rabbi present.  This will then be followed by an interdrink reception, in which good, affordable wine and beer will be equally represented and enjoyed.  Hallelujah!


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