Beer for a wedding?
This question came up a while back, but I thought it was worth reviving for another discussion. My fiancee and I are getting married in Florida next month, and I've been given the job of picking out three beers for the reception. Its a smallish wedding (only probably 180 guests) and since we live in North Carolina, we can pick from both NC and FLA beer selections.
I'm trying to be sensitive to the heat Florida in May and the fact that we're just having a dessert reception, not dinner. Can you think of three beers that might fit the following categories?
I'm think about going for three beers in this breakdown:
one mass-produced beer folks will have heard of- PBR, Bud Light, etc.
one local beer that is worth drinking- Sweetwater 420, Terrapin Golden Ale, etc.
one beer that I pick just because it will be fun to have- I have no idea where to go here. Maybe a brown ale of some kind?
I would love to hear some other folks' thoughts about summer wedding beer since I'm new here. Thanks!
I like your thinking, especially since Sweetwater and Terrapin are both GA beers. Go Georgia! ;-)
If budget is a concern at all, the 420 is a good idea (accessible, not too expensive). But it won't go that great with dessert. A wheat beer might be nice- Hoegaarden or Paulaner hefeweizen (which is about a buck a bottle in 12-packs here). Don't know if you're buying bottled or kegs.
The mention of stouts or Chimay also brings up an idea- how about a cheese course? A smooth stout like Sam Smith's oatmeal and a triple cream brie are a thing of beauty. And you can find a cheese pairing for just about any beer you can imagine.
Other ideas- if you like the Belgian notion, Unibroue's line of beers is excellent and a couple bucks cheaper typically than actual Belgian beers. Blasphemy, I know, but being pragmatic. And not suggesting it as a real replacement for Chimay Grand Reserve, but that might break a bank somewhere. And there's also the Saint Somewhere beers- Belgian-style saison and brown, brewed in Tarpon Springs.
And if money's no option, there are a lot of vintage-dated beers out there. Allagash has several for example. Might make a nice goodie bag item to have a 2010 beer for guests to keep and remember your wedding by (and pucker up, if you gave them a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot and they drank it too soon).
I'd do something like Blue Moon Belgian or another white ale. Or try some of the seasonal summer brews, which tend to be flavored with citrus and/or spices. If you want to complement the dessert aspect (I assume there will be chocolate) a chocolate stout could be another way to go. Congratulations on your wedding! Have a great day.
I think you want to go with 3 different styles if you are going to have just 3 beers. If you are locked in to the macro lager for one of the 3, then maybe a wheat beer and a pale ale/IPA as the other two options.
Not sure what is available there, but maybe common ones like Allagash White or Unibroue Blanche De Chambly for wheat. Then for pale/ipa you can go with something like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
I agree with your first two choices, those sound like good warm weather options. For something fun, I would go for something to pair with your desserts. Maybe a chocolate stout, a porter, or a barleywine. I think any of those would be unexpected, and could be served in smaller, fun glasses with the desserts. Just a thought.
If it's just desserts, I'd probably look for at least one option that can work as a dessert pairing. It's not local, but you may be able to get a deal on one of Lindemans fruit lambics. While they can be sweet, for dessert they work pretty well. Another possibility is a lacto stout.