Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Bro's Special Day...and How I Infiltrated it with Beer!

Congrats to Mick and Nic on getting married!

It was a couple of hectic days leading up to it trying to do what I could to help the day go smoothly for them. Mind you, with the bride and groom both being engineers, it was planned so well I was actually trying to find things to do to feel like I was being useful to them. This was sorted with me brewing a beer for the day. With the Mulberry not holding up very long after brewing, by the time we went to pick up the keg the day before the wedding, it had started to sour off a bit. Luckily the keg was not full and had some spare jars of it available to dilute in some warm water and add to the keg to fill it and bring back some sweetness to balance out the beer.

That afternoon we had the rehearsal and dropped off beer and wine (luckily the keg fitted in the fridge) at the venue, where after thinking I was just going to be a signing witness in the ceremony, I was to be standing next to Mick for much of the ceremony, give a short announcement before, and be 'chairman' of the ceremony (literally, I was in charge of moving the chairs behind the happy couple during the times they were standing or sitting down). Then, upon finding the matron of honour wished to make a speech at the reception, I was asked to do the same. What I needed was a few 'stouts' to 'steady' myself over dinner that night with the two families, so a Coopers Stout and Guinness did the trick at the Union Club Hotel in Fitzroy. Finding one of Mick's mates was drinking a Carlton Draught, I quickly ordered a Coopers Pale for him to try and counter the effects of all the chemicals he had just ingested, and was happy to see a few of the girls trying out Little Creatures Bright Ale.

A potential mistake the night before a wedding was for my sis and I to head out to see a few bands, with the Twoks and Dancing Heals (a band I had been promising the drummer [previously of Dirty Pink Jeans/Roaring Years] I would come and see for a year) playing nearby. With a pint of Coopers Pale I felt old with the volume level being way too high, and a bit disappointed with Twoks only playing a 4 song set after the 'rockstar' late arrival of Xan. Still, managed to get to bed by midnight before Mick was around just after 8am to get on with sorting out things before the ceremony. Having picked up food, flowers, a few other bits and pieces, and giving Mick some time to relax and get changed, we arrived at the venue an hour before the ceremony to set up the courtyard for the post ceremony afternoon tea. I managed a quick taste of the mulberry as I set up the keg to find it at least fit for human consumption before realising there was only 30 mins before the ceremony was to start, so had to run to where my folks were staying to shower and change before running back to the chapel just as the bride was about the arrive. With the priest putting in my cuffs, my dad doing my tie, and mum pinning the flower to my jacket, I jogged down the aisle, made my announcement (which Mick had already done in my absence), and stood beside Mick just as the bridal procession began. Luckily the rest of the ceremony went smoothly, and was happy when it was done and I could just start pouring beer for the crowd. It was pouring pretty heady as seems to be from the tap we have for it, so was having to do two half pours for each pot.
Still, the addition of the fresh mulberry syrup not only countered the sourness well (actually, probably too much), but the additional sugars really added some body to the beer, that was tasting a bit too thin and watery before, and with the headiness gave it a wonderfully velvet texture on the tongue that I probably liked the most about the beer. Of course, in the setting of a wedding, everyone was being very nice and saying good things about the beer, and I do agree it was a very good refreshing brew and happy to see there was no residual sweetness to cloy the tongue, making it easy to go back to, sip after sip. The sourness/tartness came very late in the midpalate but created enough depth to give the brew some character. The closest I had to some critical feedback was from my aunty who said that it wasn't her sort of thing, but that it was still nice. Of the 20 litres I had, about half of it was gone in the hour and half we had after the ceremony. It was funny, not many people came up to try it while I was pouring out beers, but everytime I walked away to get something else for the table, I would find all the beers I had poured gone, followed by random people coming up to me to comment on the beer and ask a few questions (which I happily answered of course). Still, I managed to mingle a little bit before we had to pack up and head to the reception. Was happy to see Joel had been able to make it, so we had a taste of the beer together, he helped me pack up, and I gave him a Rogers as a roadie to get home on (trust it, I only had to open one beer bottle the whole day and I cut my finger while doing it).
Seeing I had to help pack up the courtyard, pack the hire car with any leftover beer and wine, drive it back to Mick's before I trammed it to the reception, I was also one of the last people to turn up at Matteo's to continue celebrating.

Of course, my brother had sorted out the wine at the venue for the reception, so only three beers were had over the whole evening by our whole party. I had one of them (LC Pale Ale) as I arrived, and it didn't last long as I started to unwind. Quickly getting a photo with the happy couple and chat to a few more people, we were directed to our tables, and from there I was on the special selection of wine Mick had sourced for us. I went with the Riesling with the mushroom ravioli, and the Pinto Noir with my beef main, but stayed away from the Chardonnay that was a bit too dry for my taste. Mind you, the dessert I had without any wine, as it didn't need it! I was enjoying the wine so much I was probably a little tipsy by the time I had to get up for my impromptu speech, which helped me get through it but probably made it a terrible speech. But like the beer, people were saying nice things anyway.

The next day, Mick dropped off the half filled keg, and seeing he didn't get to taste it on the day, we poured a few glasses for him and Stew to try...again, nice things said. Stass has come over to pick up the keg, so was using the time til he arrived to drink as much of it as I can, and seeing it is only 3%, I managed a couple of litres before he came over, to drink a bit more with me before he left with it. I would say it will deteriorate pretty quickly from here, so hopefully Stass gets on it to finish it soon.

Well, it was a good experience to be able to provide a beer for another wedding, and this time it was one of my own, and am happy to say it came off pretty well for me. I guess I need to thank my brother for trusting me to provide beer for everyone at the wedding, and to the bride's family, who we are still getting to know. So far, so good...



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