Recently, two of my oldest friends Yas and Ally got married in Marylebone town hall . They are staunch supporters of my brewing efforts, and I was excited when they asked me to brew a beer for the wedding. To my delight it was a hit, unless everyone was just being polite. The bride, who is a very talented illustrator designed the label (she also designed my blog banner), and I think it’s gorgeous. It’s perfect for a summer wedding, and it reminds me of certain Beaujolais nouveau labels. I don’t really have a brewery name that I use, but we thought the label should have a brewery name. ‘Velocity Brewing’ and the little penny-farthing man is a motif that Kevin and I have been toying with lately. Of course no wedding beer would be complete without some puns: ‘Matrimony-ale’ and ‘beerly beloved’ make it on there. It was served before dinner at the restaurant.
I wanted this to be a fairly easy drinking, light beer with a hoppy finish, and I must confess that I looked to brew365’s account of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale for inspiration. I based the hopping schedule on that, but I complicated the malt bill somewhat. The late hops are all cascade, there’s amber malt in there to give it a biscuity body, a light caramel malt for sweetness, and I used my current favourite yeast, the super clean San Diego strain from White Labs. Here’s what I brewed:
'Matrimony-ale' -36L- OG 1.044 IBU: 35 Malts: 5.5kg Pale Ale Malt, 250g Amber Malt, 250g Pale Crystal Malt, 200g Wheat Malt. Hops: 20g Dana (60 mins), 25g Challenger (30 mins), 50g Cascade (10 mins), 100g Cascade (end of boil) Yeast: White Labs 'San Diego Super Yeast' (WLP 090)
I assumed about 85% mashing efficiency but you may have to adjust malt levels based on your own system. Additionally, I treated my water with calcium sulphate and calcium chloride, with the emphasis on the sulphate level to accentuate the hop flavour somewhat. Because my water is quite hard, I also added roughly 100g of acidulated malt in order to lower the mash ph to the correct range, but this would depend on your own water. I used Carrageen as a fining agent at about 15 minutes left.
I brewed this beer again at the weekend because I felt like I didn’t drink nearly enough of it when I was in London (I had three in the restaurant, and began to feel a little self-consciously greedy). I also think it’s a good summer drinker. For the second round, I doubled the 10 minute cascade addition to 100g, to ramp up the late hop flavour. I also had to substitute Northdown hops in for the Challenger.
To the Bride and Groom!