Summer Weddings and Craft Beer – A Good Fit?

credit: Dave Shea of

credit: Dave Shea of

Summer Weddings and Craft Beer

Most people I know understand that I’m up to my eyeballs planning my wedding. We just passed the two month mark on the wedding countdown calendar. I’m calling vendors galore, setting up meetings, trying to make sure deposits are paid, etc. I need a drink. And voila! A light bulb came on over my head. Most of this wedding stuff is being produced DIY (Do-It-Yourself) because that’s how I roll. I’ve always been one of those hands-on types. Besides, that’s a great way to save some cheddar when it comes to your big day. When the time came for me to choose my booze selection, I went over all the prototypes – open bar, beer & wine, pre-mix cocktails, etc etc. I thought to myself that one thing I could definitely do to make this even more of a DIY-style wedding would be to cook up some homebrew for everyone to enjoy. Enter my good friend/colleague/fellow brewer and beer lover Irving. I threw the idea out to him a while back and we brainstormed what styles of beers we wanted to do. Since this will be a summer wedding and the heat will most likely play a factor, Irv thought it would be good to do a Saison – light to medium body, refreshing, not too bitter or dry, just about right. Something that plenty of our guests will enjoy. Sounds like a plan. Me on the other hand, well I decided to tip my cap at the large group of fellow craft beer lovers who will be attendance. I’ve been on this mission to brew a clone of Russian River’s Pliny the Elder for quite a while and I thought this would be a great time to do it. Go big or go home right?

Wedding beer toast

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My only concern is this – would introducing a high gravity Double IPA to a wedding reception in the middle of summer be a good idea? Despite the fact that plenty of the attendees will know what I’m trying to do here, I have to be on the lookout for those who dive in headfirst, so to speak. Plenty of people underestimate the power of those brews, its effect will often creep up on you. Secondly, with the sun and the heat there is a great chance for dehydration. Alcohol only exacerbates this problem. Better have plenty of bottled water on hand. All that being said, I’m pumped at the chance of brewing my take of what is widely considered the best beer in the world and presenting it in draft form to those who are coming to my little party. The first thing I need to do is up my game when it comes to my brewing equipment. I’ve got a few extra bucks set aside for brewing materials and I’ve been wanting to upgrade anyway. Now is a good time to do it. Even if I’m only doing a five gallon batch, this is going to be all-grain, the old-school way. None of that extract crap for my guests, no sir. You’re coming to my party, you’re getting the real deal. All-grain baby, all day. I’m anxiously awaiting this wedding and reception – let’s just call a spade a spade, it’s a freakin’ party – and hoping that what Irv and I have planned for everyone will be more than just satisfactory. I want to wow people. I’ve got some pretty high-minded critics coming. Like I always say, go big or go home. Cheers…

credit: Jim Wall of

credit: Jim Wall of

About Jason M

Texas Style - Having grown up down south, I've grown an appreciation for the "bigger is better" mantra. Bigger and bolder flavor is something I crave in my beers. Some people are hop-heads, all they drink are IPA's and other hoppy beers. Others are big on wheat beers. Some like it dark. Me? I'm an all-the-above kind of guy. I've had a love for all varieties since I was young and that has not changed. Good beer is good beer.

I'm constantly seeking out the latest and greatest new variety, because despite having an old-time favorite beer, drinking the same old flavors over and over gets old. That being said, I've got to try something new, explore my boundaries. After all, variety is the spice of life, no?

Favorite Beers - Unibroue La Fin du Monde, Founders Backwoods Bastard, Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine

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