Choosing beer brands for wedding celebrations.
Beer Brands. A journey through weddings and beer history.
by Bill White, Brew Master.
Did you know that beer brands have been such an important role in the act of marriage. And that common words associating with the festivities surrounding a wedding find their roots in beer?
For example the word Bridal comes from the brewing history. Before the Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom all brewing was done by women. The brewing equipment went from mother to daughter for centuries. A lady who brewed beer was called Brewster. And at this time water was unsafe to drink. So beer became an essential part of the diet. The fermentation for the beer was at room temperature, so it was ale.
The history of beer brands are fun to have at bachelor parties.
For important events the Brewster would brew up a special beer for the occasion. This ale was given to the guests at the bride’s shower and festivities surrounding the wedding ceremony. And its name was the Bride’s Ale. Over time the two words merged to become the word Bridal. Thus the Bridal Shower evolved from beer. The special beverage for that occasion.
Commercialization of the brewing industry has taken most of the brewing out of the home. But that does not stop us from having beer part of joyous bridal celebrations.
CHOOSING YOUR BEVERAGE THEME FROM BEER BRANDS.
As you plan for your special day why not include a link to the past by including a Bride’s Ale in your beverage planning?
How do we choose a beer? And what beer should be part of your wedding? The answer is easy. Pick a beer or a few beers that you and your guests like. Or choose beer brands that fit your wedding theme.
White is the first color that comes to mind when I think of weddings. So let us begin with a white beer. The word weisse in German means white. A great beer to choose would be Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier shown on the right. Weihenstephan is the oldest operating brewery in the world. Records show that the monastery got the rights to brew in 1040 AD. Finally over 968 years later it is in Canada too.
Beer brands like the Bavarian style Weissbier.
This Bavarian style Weissbier is a refreshing wheat beer. Wheat lightens the flavors and makes the beer easy to drink. The yeast to brew Weissbier contributes a spicy clove like character. And it provides a hint of banana. The beer is lightly hopped to balance the palate. Try one and test your sense of smell and taste. See if you can pick up the hint of clove and banana on the nose? On the taste you will find these flavors balance nicely with the contribution of the malt. A different taste. It is a very easy drinking and refreshing on a warm day. The richness of flavors makes it an ideal companion all year round.
And note that the beer is Hefe which means it comes with yeast in the bottle. The yeast makes it cloudy but adds flavor and B-vitamins as a bonus healthy beer.
Beer Brands show how Oktoberfest began in honor of the Bride.
Speaking of Germany. Did you know that the largest world fair began as a wedding celebration in Munich?
Crown Prince Ludwig and Therese of Saxe-Hildburghhausen’ wedding on October 12, 1810 was a big celebration in the meadow die Wiesn. And it was the first time that royalty invitations were sent to the common folk to come and celebrate their marriage together. This annual celebration has become known as Oktoberfest outside of Munich. In Munich it is still known as die Wiesn (the meadow). Millions of people visit Munich annually to join the celebration. And to this day it is still held in the meadow known as Theresienwiese  in honor of the bride.
Beer brands have different colors to pick from.
Another color that is popular in today’s world is green. And if you are planning a Green Wedding there are local organic beers available. In Toronto the Mill Street Brewery was the first with its Organic Lager. It is a light refreshing golden lager. If you are looking for more malt and hop character a Nickel Brook Organic Lager with its slightly amber color is another option.
Beer brands pairing.
Beer is a wonderful compliment to food. As it is more versatile than wine especially when matching with spicy, sweet or oily foods.
• Lighter lagers and ales compliment finger foods and snacks.
• With seafood like calamari and shrimp, the wheat beers like Weihenstephan Hefe Weissbier, Mill Street Belgian Wit or Brussels White add a pleasant spicy and citrus note.
• With chicken or beef satays  a light amber or red beer with a hint of caramel character from the crystal malts blends nicely with the sweeter sauces of the satays. Cameron’s Auburn Ale or a Dos Equis Amber would be great choices.
• With a beef carvery or lamb lollipops the richer flavors of a Black Oak Nut Brown or Neustadt’s 10W30 match the stronger character of the red meats.
Beer brands with cheese.
At the cheese tray more decisions have to be made. It is easy and fun. Just remember the lighter flavor beer goes with the lighter cheese. And more flavorful beer brands with the more intense flavor cheese. Beer is a natural match for cheese. Unlike wine where the oils in the cheese can interfere with the subtleties of the wine. Beer with its carbonation and low pH possesses a cleansing ability for the palate. The second sample of cheese or beer will be as flavorful as the first. Finding the best or the worst matches is an enjoyable adventure. A cheese and beer pairing can be a nice backdrop to a bridal shower.
Check out the beer brands pairing for the sweet tray.
When the sweet tray arrives with fruit and cakes the orange slices pair with a Great Lakes Orange Peel Ale. The apple with a Nickel Brook Green Apple beer. Peaches with a McAuslan Apricot Ale. And the chocolate covered strawberries with Belgian Fruili. It is a wheat beer brewed with 30% strawberries provides an amazing match. Tiramisu can pair with a Mill Street Coffee Stout. Or a Black Forest Cake with a Black Oak Cherry Porter are novel ways to wrap up the food pairings.
The wedding history of beer brands can be part of your honeymoon gifts.
With the celebration complete it is time for the honeymoon. Once again the source of this word is comes from ancient Babylon and Sameria. After the wedding ceremony the bride and groom had to stay together for one full cycle of the moon. To assist in making the month even more enjoyable the couple was given beer that contains honey. The purpose of the honeymoon was to ensure that a child was conceived. The enjoyment of honey beer from a full moon to a full moon became known as the honeymoon.
The next time you are attending a wedding it would be a nice gesture to give the bride and groom a Lake of Muskoka or a J. R. Brickman Honey Beer. And a note to explain that the honey beer is in recognition of the original concept of the honeymoon.
Beer brands can be done with a special beer tasting.
And finally when the newlyweds return from their honeymoon they want to thank all those who made their wedding a success. This can be done with a special beer tasting. A beer and cheese matching. Or a dinner where all the courses include beer as an ingredient. And an appropriate beer. This would be a novel way to learn more about the taste and flavor matching. While expressing thanks to those who made your special day one to remember.
Another beer pairing article you may like to read.
• Beer Pairing w/salmon fillets, cheeses.