Saw a tweet from @THFBeer_Nate yesterday about making beer and labels for a friends wedding. It reminded me of my wedding 8 years ago. At that time I had only been brewing for about 5 years and was still just doing extract beers, but everyone really loved my beer. My soon to be wife suggested I make the beer for our wedding because everyone loved my brew and we were working off a shoe string budget. Its much cheaper to make 2 cases of beer then buy 2 cases(at least for the beer I like)
Since I only had the capacity to brew 2 batches at a time I had to plan this out carefully in order to have everything ready in time. With a guest list of 100 friends and family plus wine and other beverages, I figured an average of 3 beers per person knowing some wouldn’t have beer and others were under age, which worked out to about 12 cases of beer or 6 batches. We choose 3 beers styles that I felt would cover most beer drinkers. I started Brewing my first 2 batches about 4 months out, an Oatmeal Stout. I figured the oatmeal stout would last the longest, so it would make sense to start with that beer. Next was an IPA a couple weeks later, followed by an English Ale a couple weeks after that. Because these were all bottle carbonated beer (no kegs) I need enough time at the end to get a good carbonation. This meant for me, I need to be bottling the last batch about 3 weeks before the big day.
Brewing was the easy part, the hard part was labeling the beer and coming up with names. Me being the Master of Phrases, Wordsmith Extraordinaire, and Sultan of Syntax, yeah right I’m dreaming again… However my wife is and she came up with some great names and catch phrases for our Wedding Beer:
- Cold Feet Oatmeal Stout – Marriage is not a word, but a sentence
- Ball & Chain English Ale – This is what 2 months salary really gets you
- The Little Mrs. IPA – For those days when a dozen roses won’t get you outta the dog house
We ended up with about 60 guests who really enjoyed the wedding and beer. Thanks to some good planning, little love, and hard work, brewing beer for my wedding worked out well. In all 10 cases of beer were consumed (more then I anticipated for the number of guests). Unfortunately the 9/11 terrorist attack occurred 4 weeks before our wedding and with the flight restrictions and panic, most of our guest that had to fly opted not to come to Jersey. The remaining 2 case of wedding beer (minus 1 of each style) plus food, blankets, flashlights, and other need items were donated to the 9/11 relief effort.