Wedding Bells and Beer

David | Blog | August, 01 2010 | 2 Comments

A week ago I spent 90 minutes at a wedding reception of a young couple I had never met. Let’s call them Emily and Frederick.  Their wedding planner hired me to help with a surprise from the bride to the groom. Seems that young Fred is a beer geek. So at their gorgeous reception, Emily wanted to have one of the three bars serve nothing but great beer.

 The wedding planner, we’ll call her Vera, asked me to provide a really nice list of beers and alternates—enough so that we could cover a good cross section of styles to appeal to the 200 + guests. We would have sample glasses so that the guests could try different beers, but also full-sized pours for those who just wanted a long pull on something that struck their fancy. We settled on 11 different beers ranging from Hoegaarden to Bourbon County Stout, and I showed up a few minutes early on Saturday afternoon.  The place was an art space near Lake Michigan, filthy with beautiful art works and eventually with beautiful people, a good number of them around 23 to 25 years old. The first bar I came to had a sign that read Freddy’s Bar, and there were cases of American and Belgian beer behind it. I worked with a great bartender from the catering service and together we gave the guests plenty to enjoy. Emily brought Fred in and he was surprised and thrilled. Vera made sure the photographers got some shots of them hanging at the bar sampling great beer.

The other two bars offered frozen drinks, a full line of liquor, and nice wine selection, but none of it was nearly as interesting as the beer, according to many of the guests. This is what beer in America is today. The youngsters from the wedding party have grown up sipping their daddies’ Sam Adams and Sierra Nevadas and they know whether they prefer hop bombs or sour Belgians.

 So, next time you are planning a wedding or another big event, don’t settle for the pedestrian. Dare the planner to include great beer. Of course, if he or she seems perplexed as to how to go about it, you might want to mention Cheese and Cheers.

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