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Aug 6, 2010 07:09 AM

Wedding Beer

We need three beers for our wedding. We are getting married next weekend and really wanted a summer beer but not Sam Adams. I was able to locate after much work the Blue Moon Summer Ale so that will be one.

I want to get a "light" beer but don't care which the current plan is Michelob but we could also go Amstel. I don't think the Amstel is worth it and that some people may actually think they don't like it. Any other recommendations on a light beer would be appreciate but that isn't my main concern.

The final choice is between the Brooklyn Lager and the Brooklyn Pennant Ale. I really like the Ale but it is very mild and similar to the Michelob (from a novice w/ an unrefined palate). I'm also not sure that everyone will like the Brooklyn Lager as we are in PA and Yueingling is the go to around here and is a very very different lager from the Brooklyn.

Any thoughts on the overall reception of the Mich, Pennant Ale, BM Honey Ale vs. Mich, B-Lager, BM Honey Ale choice would be appreciated. I'm mostly concerned with the thoughts of the average joe. I'm fairly certain most of my guests will not be interested in a hoppy or heavy beer since it will be about 90 outside where our cocktail hour is.


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  1. We hosted a wedding for 120+ people, many of whom were "average Joes", and almost all the beer we provided vanished (2 full kegs), and we did not have any macro-swill. So long as what you're providing tastes good and is approachable, people will drink it - especially if it's free.

    Are you buying bottles/cans or kegs? That'd be an important detail to have.

    10 Replies
      1. re: fvineis

        Well, first thing I'd say is that if you can find cans, that'd might worth the effort. They are much better protected from light and oxidation. Bottles can get lightstruck and turn skunky in 15 minutes of full sun if in a clear bottle (like Yuengling).

        If that's not an option, then at least make sure you buy the bottles in closed cardboard cases.

        Fresher is better with bottles, so buying something produced locally might be a better option than anything imported.

        I think the Brooklyn Pennant Ale is a great choice, and I'd definitely do that over Michelob. Why buy a giant corporation's adjunct-laden macro beer when you can buy something made locally from real ingredients?

        I agree with your idea about going lighter - especially given the weather. You might see if you can get New Belgium's Skinny Dip - that's a very tasty light beer that goes well with hot weather.

        1. re: Josh

          I've never seen Yuengling in a clear bottle...where are they selling it like that???
          I agree that Brooklyn Pennant would certainly be a better choice than Michelob Light. Michelob Light sucks, plain and simple.

          That said, Michelob _Classic_ is, however, a solid and _very_ well made American Lager, several cuts above most others of its type (and it is an all malt brew to adjuncts there); given its quality, a real bargain too.

          1. re: The Professor

            Hrm - could have sworn I saw it in a clear bottle in NYC two years ago. It was dark in the club though, so I could be wrong. Either way, unremarkable at best.

            1. re: Josh

              Yeah, Yuengling uses green glass for several of their beers nowadays- the "Lager" and "Chesterfield Ale" (IIRC their porter spent some time in green bottles, too). And because they're "throw-aways" the glass seems even less tinted than the old green returnables that they used for their ale (altho' it used to also show up in brown bottles, too) - they could easily be assumed to be clear, especially given the slightly darker color of the "Lager", in a dark club. Their other beers "Light Lager", "Premium" "Bock" "Black & Tan", etc., still use brown bottles.

              The Lager (which is what most people are referring to when they say "Yuengling"- but since I pre-date that beer, I still have specify) is remarkable only because it not only saved a pre-craft era brewery, it allowed it to grow and expand, while competing head-to-head (in it's NY-FL distribution area) with BMC. Not many US brewers of that era can say that- most didn't even "survive" much less grow to be in the top 5. It's certainly not "craft beer" but nor is it a typical adjunct "light lager" or "light beer"- that alone makes the beer's story - if not the beer itself - somewhat "remarkable".

              Because it's still "regional", to beer geeks outside the region I usually compare Yuengling's popularity to that of Shiner Bock or NB Fat Tire- an accepted "other" beer for the non-geekery who might otherwise drink BMC or a macro import.

          2. re: Josh

            My daughters wedding had a keg of NB Sunshine wheat. Everyone wanted to try the "new beer". It was gone long before the Bud Light, and everyone seemed sad.
            One step at a time.

            1. re: Bobfrmia

              My daughter's wedding is coming up in October in Seattle. They're going with Mac & Jack's African Amber.

            2. re: Josh

              Actually beer can get lightstruck in under 45 seconds in full sunlight in a clear bottle and one minute in a green bottle. The brown bottles hold up a bit better but they can get lightstruck as well, more like15 minutes.

              If you can find them, there are some really good micro-brews available in cans now.

              By the way, Miller Light is in a clear bottle but doesn't get lightstruck. This is because they don't use fresh hops in the swill, but a hop extract that doesn't have the isohumulones that break down into 3-methylbut-2-ene-1-thiol to form the skunk taste/odor. I think there are some other brews that do this as well.

              1. re: JMF

                Youd be surprised what famous brewers use hop extract in their beer. Its not necessarily a sign of poor quality beer. Vinnie Cilurzo even admits to using it in his award winning Pliny the Elder which is certainly one of my favorites and quite celebrated among the beer enlightened. Of course it only replaces the 90 and 45 minute additions. Everything else after that is pellets. But if you are just bittering why not use oils?

                1. re: Insidious Rex

                  Yeah, Miller High Life and Pliny the Elder....very similar beers!

        2. I'd go with some wheat beers, either hefeweizens or wits. And perhaps Dogfish Head's Festina Peche

          2 Replies
          1. re: chuckl

            Put out a keg of PBR with no name on it. If anyone asks, say the caterer picked it, and you think it is an IMPORT.

            Will disappear like magic!

          2. Why not serve Yuengling as your light beer? The Light Lager certainly has more flavor than most watered down suds. The Premium Light is basically your typical American light beer. Either is available in both cans and bottles. That way you can satisfy the hometown crowd and free yourself to serve either of the Brooklyn brews. (Personally, I’d go Yuengling Light Lager and Brooklyn Pennant.)

            While I agree with Josh wholeheartedly about the virtues of good canned beer, I am afraid that many folks still view beer in a can as cheap. Bottles are a step up, especially imported ones. “Oh, and kegs is damn fancy . . .” Sorry for the Cletus moment, but I couldn’t resist. Besides, at least I’m not suggesting that you fool your guests with Pabst.