this beer, I thee wed," intoned Victoria Savage, co-owner of
Washington State's North Fork Brewpub, Pizzeria and Beer Shrine.
this sound too good to be true?
not dreaming - more breweries and brewpubs are putting the "ale"
back in bridal.
not so much a trend, as a return to the roots of wedded romance. In
the Middle Ages, you could expect to get hitched with your honey's
beer in hand -- quite literally, the "bride's ale."
brewpubs cater to couples for rehearsal dinners, wedding parties,
receptions--even ceremonies. Some brewers, such as Savage of the North
Fork Beer Shrine, Jack Joyce of Rogue Brewery in Newport Beach, Oregon,
and Karen Berger of Homer Brewing Co. in Homer, Alaska, even are ordained
to conduct marriages.
makes couples choose weiss weddings? First, brewpubs and breweries
that cater to couples offer great beer, a kitchen accustomed to catering,
and well-designed spaces for parties.
and Ian Sadkovich of Madison, WI, chose the Delafield Brewhaus because,
"We wanted our friends and family to have really great beer -
we had four different kinds, all on tap."
wanted a more casual atmosphere, and because it was a summer wedding,
we had a buffet of grilled foods, such as chicken breasts and beef,
salad and appetizers," explains Jenny Sadkovich. "Our guests
breweries design outdoor spaces for couples and parties, too. In Illinois,
the Walter Payton America's Roundhouse brewery offers a lovely courtyard
beer garden and gazebo designed for receptions and weddings. August
Schell Brewing Co. in New Ulm, MN, has hosted several receptions at
the beautiful brick brewery mansion, with tall arbors covered in grape
Victoria, B.C. Spinnaker's offers both a fabulous brewpub with shore-side
restaurant and bakery, plus private suites, perfect for the couple
seeking to seal their vows ASAP.
had entire wedding weekends, where all of our eleven suites are filled
with members of the bridal party," says Paul Hadfield, owner
of Spinnakers. "We kick off the weekend party with a brewery
tour, cruise the Inner Harbor on our cocktail boat, and return dockside
for dinner in the Garden Suite."
Columbia attracts hundreds of honeymooners, so it makes sense for
the brewpub to cater special events and weddings. Spinnakers acquired
the Garden Suites in 1998, completely renovating the building. Tucked
away quietly down a boardwalk behind the bakery of Spinnakers Pub
and Restaurant, the suites are meant for adults only, with contemporary
Asian furnishings and luxurious amenities. Each suite has a queen
size bed with beautiful linens and down duvets, plus a jacuzzi tub
with candles for evening soaks-and easy access to fabulous beer.
looked after lots of details, from flowers, foodstuffs, even fitting
rooms, for the wedding of Darlene and Phil Atkinson (see the bride
in blue, above). "Darlene used one of the suites as her changing
room for the wedding ceremony," recalls Atkinson, "and that's
something I'd never have thought of on my own."
the beer I worship," confesses Atkinson. "We deliberately
held our wedding on Friday afternoon - right before Paul puts up the
cask conditioned ales on draught. Chances are, most of our friends
(see photo below) would have been at the pub then anyway."
weddings typically feature a wide selection of beer styles, unlike
most banquet halls that restrict beverage choices to the selections
from "approved" caterers. "Delafield just turned on
the taps for our party, and guests had their pick of house brews,
so there was a nice variety," says another Delafield groom, Bill
Johnson. "Our friends all enjoy craft beer, so this was something
special for them - and we had terrific food." Chef Kurt Linke
produced a complete banquet with prime rib, roast turkey and "all
the trimmings," according to Johnson.
said, brewpubs can also be refreshingly casual spaces that welcome
a diverse community.
the Mississippi in St. Louis, Tom Schlafly has had at least a dozen
weddings at the Tap Room-and a few untraditional celebrations, too.
had several commitment ceremonies for gay couples. In fact, in one
week, we had one party for a lesbian couple and the other celebrating
the ordination of a Dominican priest taking up vows with God."
Schlafly says, "We designed the brewery to be an open and inviting
space-and so we offer a pretty broad tent."
that a beer tent, for brewed bliss.
of this article appeared in BREWING
NEWS and online at BEER.COM.