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Wedding Reception Beer

Hi there! Looking for some advice on 3-4 different beers to serve at an upcoming wedding reception.

Would like some choices which appeal to a broad swath of people (from the older uncles to younger cousins.) Some of our guests are *very* into beer - we have several microbrewers in the family - and others would drink Miller lite all day.

Trying to strike a balance between avoiding the Miller/Bud/Coors world, and not delving too deeply into the esoteric craft planet either.

We're huge Dogfish Head fans, and used to live across the street from the Rehoboth pub, so would love to do exclusively DFH...but not sure if that would appeal to people? 60-minute is a definite, though. We were also thinking Punkin, since it's a fall wedding, but again...not sure if that's too "pigeonhole-y."

Other than that - considering Yuengling since we'll be in PA, and we know lots of people like it. Maybe one more? Would love suggestions! Food pairings are ribs, salmon, pasta, so we're kind of all over the map.

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  1. We went thru this recently for a baby shower and instead of trying to please the guests, we decided to be "beer ambassadors". We chose our locally brewed IPA which we proudly told our guests was brewed just a few miles from here and it turned out to be a big hit.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JAB

      Local is definitely a big selling point these days. People react quite favorably when told a beer is brewed a few miles down the road.

      1. re: Jim Dorsch

        A few greater Philadelphia beers to consider -

        Sly Fox Pikeland Pils- a very good pils, and its available in cans,

        Yards Brawler - English Mild Style that is low in alcohol, and would cross interests from the ordinary beer drinkers that want a "dark beer" to those people that want to drink a micro and are not hop heads.

        Victory Hop Devil - Great IPA--- though may be overkill if you have 60 minute.

        My suggestion for the Yuengling is use it as the lite beer for folks, and then get two or three micros. Get Yuengling Lite rather than regular Yuengling.

        The Punkin is a great beer (though hard to get... ) Also not cheap. Of all the pumpkin beers I find it the least cloying.

        If you want to go stout, you could go Lancaster Milk Stout, a wonderful beer that is brewed in PA as well.

        Weyerbacher Fest beer is a good choice if you want an Oktober Fest style beer.

        Stoudt's Beers like Scarlet Lady, or their Oktoberfest would be great choices.

        Congratulations, have a great celebration and let us know what you chose.

    2. I'd avoid a ton of variety at a wedding reception type event. Too much choice, as cool as it can be to beer heads, can be intimidating or back fire among the general public. You could end up with all the Yuengling gone in 45 minutes and two cases of stout left over. Id also avoid specialty beers like the pumpkin beers or anything that could be defined as a niche beer. This isnt the setting for that kind of experimentation I would think and pumpkin beers tend to be an acquired taste even among beer heads (although if its your thing by all means sneak in a sixer or two for your consumption and maybe a few folks will be drawn to it as well). I agree you limit yourself to 3 or 4 starting with a "basic" like a yeungling or a sam adams and then going the local route as suggested by others and adding a solid pale ale and/or an "approachable" IPA, and a GOOD pilsner and/or well done standard lager. As cwdonald suggests, in PA you could pick from breweries like Victory, Stoudts, Sly Fox, Penn Brewing, Yards, Troegs, etc., etc. who all make decent brews of those styles. Plus in PA it is much easier to get variety when you are choosing kegs I have found. Sixtels is often the way to go if you are worried about getting too much in a full keg. Depends how many people are coming.

      Im actually having a wedding reception in October and weve chosen Oktoberfest as the theme so the beer choices became easy: a keg of german oktoberfest and a keg of german lager (spaten or Hofbrau or Weihenstephaner or Paulaner or something along those lines) and several cases of Franziskaner Weiss along with a case of Jever, Victory lager, a few dunkels and some cider. No light beer will be served. But with a theme you have an excuse.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Insidious Rex

        Good points, all - Jim and JAB, definitely into the local idea, and CWD, thanks for the great suggestions. Love the image of the "Oktoberfest" theme, Rex, sounds like you and your guests will have a blast!

        I agree that too many choices will be overwhelming - our caterer recommended against that for the exact reason Rex mentioned (you run out of Yuengling in an hour and then non-beer-heads get annoyed.) Will go over some of the options with future hubby and let you know how it goes... thanks again for all the help :)

      2. I would go with a macro lager, an introductory craft beer (another lager, a golden colored ale, or amber that is not big on hop character) in case the mainstream lager runs out, and two craft selections that you really want to drink.

        4 Replies
        1. re: LStaff

          Alright, we've narrowed it down (we think?) Input please!

          Yuengling
          Dogfish 60-Minute
          Sly Fox Pikeland Pils

          Then we'll have a couple cases of PBR for the groomsmen, and some sixers of Punkin for my man and me.

          What do you think? Will we miss the Bud Lite? (Future hubby thinks people will be upset with the lack of a light beer, but I feel like DFH 60 is eminently drinkable, and the Pikeland's not heavy either...)

          Thoughts on the variety?

          1. re: berriehappie

            "Will we miss the Bud Lite?" Will you be serving Big Macs or the like?

            1. re: berriehappie

              By "Yuengling" it's assumed you mean the Yuengling Traditional Lager? Switch that to their Yuengling Light Lager and you've got a light beer, too.

              1. re: berriehappie

                I think they are great choices, all I would do is make sure you buy more yuengling than dogfish and sly fox.combined.