Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Pints Go Marzen In

A few days ago we realized that, while we had spent a fair amount of time trying to choose wines to serve, we had spent relatively little time thinking about beer. We didn't want to be lazy and serve Corona or some crap like that. And while my love and admiration for Yuengling is greater than should be allowable for a mass-produced domestic lager, the committee voted it down. And by "committee" I mean Emerson.

So we toyed around with the idea of serving local craft brews, which fits in very well with our focus on locally produced and sustainable food choices. But while the Triangle actually has a great selection and variety of microbrews, they tend to run close to 10 bucks a six-pack. Add the 75c "corking" fee per bottle if we choose not to get Heinekens from the caterer (like that would even be a choice) and we have another case of the committee voting in the negative. And by "committee" I mean me.

So if you can't go with the oldest beer in the country, and you can't go local, what's left? Seasonal! We're both suckers for Oktoberfestbiers, and a pale lager that's not over-hopped seemed perfect for a late summer / early fall wedding. But with so many craft beers as well as major labels making a beer they call "Oktoberfest", exactly how do you choose?...

Beer tasting! Last weekend Emerson I and trucked our way over to the beer store (a chore, I know), and snatched up every beer labeled "Oktoberfest" or that had some sort of visual aid on the bottle that implied we should be drinking it in October, such as an orange leaf or a scarecrow. And then we sat down in front of the Mets game (watched them kick the Phillies' collected asses, but I digress) and tasted away. With notes!

Almost every beer we tried would have sufficed, since we culled the obvious losers at the store, but we pretty much landed on two. First, Spaten. Made in the traditional Marzen style, it's pale with just enough sweetness to balance out the light hops. It's truly refreshing and a quintessential Oktoberfestbier. (Of course, nothing else in this wedding is German and importing twelve-ounce bottles from across the Atlantic isn't exactly sustainable, but I refuse to dwell upon this fact any longer than this parenthetical statement). Our second choice isn't technically an Oktoberfestbier, though to it's credit it doesn't claim to be: Redhook Late Harvest. A classic American red ale, it was full flavored yet smooth; should be a great choice to go with dinner, especially if the weather is on the cooler side. Also, it's from New Hampshire; the connection should be obvious.

Now, I suppose this also an appropriate time to wax nostalgic over my halcyon days as a study abroad student and my October excursion to Munich and the Hofbrauhaus, a madcap adventure that I'm sure was entirely unique to me and my buddy Adam and that no other college student experienced in the years leading up to, or the years following, that fateful trip where I drank beer out of comically gigantic glasses with 2,000 other American and English college students and which is undeniably the most authentic experience one can possibly have in a foreign country. But I won't mention it, because it has little to do with my big gay wedding 12 years later. Although I am now vaguely inspired to start a new blog all about the utterly unique and unprecedented experiences I had in college...

5 comments:

Rockstarbride said...

m'm .. corona ..

Desaray said...

don't do it.

Regan said...

Don't let Anders hear your blasphemies about Corona.

hwong14 said...

Our love for Yuengling is so great that it is a must-have for our wedding in Louisville. Never mind that you can't GET it anywhere in KY -- friends, family, and we ourselves will be driving it in between now and May, on the drives we'll be driving anyway for holidays, etc. I look forward to treating our guests who won't be expecting it so far west (it's not even that far west!), and to introducing it to our guests who are born and bred Louisvillians. Microbrews will also be making an appearance.

Anonymous said...

And what is wrong with a German beer? My ancestors found it quite tasty! However, being the modern matriarch that I am, screw the beer, what Champagne are you serving?