One may think that beer and fitness can’t exist in the same blog. Well, here they are. Existing. Oh, no I didn’t! Yeah, I did.
So far picking out beer is becoming my favorite part of wedding planning. Finding something special for your guests personalizes your big day more than a bottle of Bud ever could. Plus it’s something your groom will get behind doing with you. Here’s how I’m becoming a craft beer bride.
1. Consult the Venue.
You never know what funky rules your venue might have so be sure to ask before you bring in the kegs or vintage canoes filled with bottles. You might even be pleasantly surprised and find that they offer their own awesome micro-brewed menu. Craft beers are becoming increasingly common at weddings but they still aren’t standard so just make sure you’re following the rules.
2. Go Local!
There are over 2400 craft breweries in the US. Going local and picking brews from where your wedding is not only helps narrow it down but can also reduce your prices. It also gives you the chance to visit the breweries for tastings and form relationships with the people who work there. If you can’t find anything to tickle your fancy close to the wedding location go for brews from you and your groom’s hometowns.
3. Think About the Menu.
Good beer is like wine. Its flavor can change with what you’re eating and vice-versa. You need to keep in mind what type of food you’re serving and when. If your festivities are outside in the sun odds are people won’t want to be bogged down by a heavy stout. Being savvy about beer pairings can step up your reception and make for an interactive experience your foodie friends will appreciate.
4. Total Wine It.
If you have the privilege of living next to what I affectionately call The Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory for adults, take advantage of knocking out your shopping at one place. Total Wine has a great web site you can use to help make a list before you go. When you’re ready to shop hit up the aisles that sell bottles and cans individually. You’re already getting married to a guy so don’t marry yourself to a six-pack of something you haven’t tried if you don’t have to.
5. Get Decent Glasses.
Those pretty craft beer glasses help elevate the flavor and makes you look fancy. Standard wedding etiquette forbids brides from drinking out of the bottle so be prepared to class it up and brush up on your glass knowledge. I found a set of 6 different beer glasses for specific types of brews (instructions included) at Total Wine for 20 bucks. You can also go the personalized route and get yourself and the groom, the wedding party if you like them enough, engraved beer glasses online. They make for great photo ops!
6. Take Notes.
You’re not going to remember how you felt about the IPA you tried two weeks ago. A notebook is a must! Take notes on the color, the head, the flavor, and grade it. I use A-F but it could be just about anything as long as you know what you were saying when you look back and make final decisions.
7. Don’t Go Crazy.
Don’t go crazy in more ways than one. Don’t blow your budget. Don’t freak out over picking something. Don’t pick a dozen craft beers (unless that’s what you really want!). Don’t waste your money on obscure flavors no one will want to keep drinking (if bacon beer is your thing, kudos). Use beer as a way to cut down on your liquor and make it easier on yourself, not harder. Best of luck to you, my innovative bride. I raise my glass to you.