Friday, October 21, 2016

Wedding Beers

I'm getting married Tomorrow!!!!! Yay!!!!
As both Hannah and I are a bit crafty, we have tried to make what we can for it, and then asked friends and family to be involved with other aspects that reflect their skills and likes. For one, this saves us a bit of money, and two, it adds a nice personal touch to the celebration, which we both really want for our day.
Seeing my craft is in the beer realm, and I have a 3 tap keg fridge, I thought making 3 beers for my wedding would be pretty cool, and so I have resurrected this blog for this post.

Beer 1: Wit U 4EVA
Yes, all the beers will have wedding themed names, and this one was actually one I had been playing around with before starting to plan the wedding. It was originally called the Mandawit as it was a try at making a Belgian Wit with some Mandarin peel from my parents farm. Now, to bring part of the farm to the wedding and seeing my parents will be moving from the farm soon, it was the perfect choice to have at the wedding. I played around with a few yeast strains and malts to get the balance of tart and sweet, but keep it a lower alcohol beer that would please the masses. Having an abundance of mandarin peel has meant I could go hard with this aspect with a 10 min boil addition and dry hop (using vodka to soak the zest to kill off bugs before adding to the fermenter. For a slight touch of spicy bitterness (only 14IBU) I've used an old favourite in Perle, which I think will work well with the yeast. For me, this beer is all about the yeast for a slight spice, slight tart character, that pairs well with the citrus and overall provides a refreshing beer at 4.8%.

Beer 2: Love Lager
Originally I was just going to make the Bogan Beer Munich Dunkle I had made at Mountain Goat a couple of years ago. But then, after the trip overseas this time last year (when I proposed to Hannah), I could not help but be inspired by a craft beer bar we went to in Vienna (Mel's Craft Beer Diner), and so decided on a Vienna Lager. With the red look and sweet character, malt is king in this sort of beer, so may well be my personal favourite from the line up. As with all the beers, the malt I have sourced is from Gladfield, even if it meant getting it from Melbourne (with some great help from Dermott at Beer Co., who even gave me some experimental hops to use in the next beer). The Shepards Delight malt has really helped get the colour I was looking for, and the southern German yeast (could not source Vienna) really allows the sweetness to come through in the beer. Having said that though, I think by using my go to bittering hop Warrior, the perceived bitterness may be higher than the 20 IBU that I designed for. On the hop front, and another homage to my family farm, I've dry hopped with Simcoe and Centennial to hopefully give it is rose water aroma, to match my mum's rose garden, which she has raided and carefully traveled to bring roses to our wedding. So maybe not the combo many would look to have in a beer, but with the red look, sweetness taste and floral aroma, it really will be a 5.2% lager that symbolises love quite a bit (even a bitter finish for those that don't have the best live life...)

Beer 3: Big Day IPA
Obviously, hops are the main ingredient in this beer, with me being able to get some just released hop varieties out of NZ to get this beer around the 60 IBU to go with the 6% alcohol. This beer is personally special to me, as it was originally designed by Stass, and keeping to our home brew roots of this being a first time brew.
Obviously with a good malt base behind it with some Munich, caramunich, and also experimenting with a Toffee malt from Gladfield, really hoping to balance of the citrusy bitterness from the Brooklyn hop, and nice juicy aroma from the Idaho 7 hop. But hoping to balance the aroma out with a little Nelson Sauvin. I suppose Stass would have more to say than me on this seeing it is his beer. Still, I've done some slight tinkering depending on the ingredients I could get my hands on.

Overall, I hope to cover all the bases of malt hop and yeast in each beer, to give the wedding goers an idea of what each ingredient can bring to a beer. I guess though, it really is a beer journey, which I love to go on myself, and what better event than my own wedding.

Seeing we are less than 24 hours to the wedding now, I'll let slip a few secrets of beers that I think will help with the journey.
I hope all those that will drink beer at the wedding will start on one of my favourite beers to start a session on...Lindemanns Faro. Sweet, but spritzy and refreshing, I love how this beer changes from sweet to tart over the palate as you leave it on your tongue for 20-30 seconds. A true delight and good low alcohol to start on. Obviously the home brews would be next on the list, and people can hold on any beer they find to be their favourite and drink it til the keg runs dry. As a Brewer at 4 Pines Brewery, I've also been stockpiling a range of beers from the free case I get every month. So kolsch, pale, Amber, hefe, Doppelbock and double cascadian will also be available wherever people's taste lie.
Then as dessert approaches, 2 of my all time favourite dessert beers will be in show. As the wedding cake (which Hannah made) is two tiers, there obviously be a beer to go with each tier. So the bottom tier of chocolate mud cake should be paired with the Rogue Double Chocolate Stout, and the top tier of caramel mud will be paired best with the amazing Southern Tier Creme Brûlée imperial milk stout!!!
Enough said!!!