Matrimony-Ale: A Wedding Beer Recipe

Photo by Ben Smith (Thanks!)

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!

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3 Comments

Filed under Recipe

3 responses to “Matrimony-Ale: A Wedding Beer Recipe

  1. kenanddot

    Not wanting to criticise, duck, but the offset quoted section where you give the recipe vital statistics doesn’t display properly on an iPad (it cuts the lines off halfway through pale crys…).

    • kenanddot

      It sounds very yummy, by the way, and I should have said that first, cock.

    • stoutfellow

      That’s intentional. The iPad can eat my road dirt. I’m waging a one man war on iObjects. On real computers you get a scroll bar to read the rest of it. If your inferior object can’t handle it that’s not my issue.

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