Matching Beer to our Wedding

Caroline: What a perfect day! As fun as the ceremony was, I was SO glad to be handed a Natty Bo (National Bohemian, Baltimore Beer) as we walked through the gates to my parents backyard for the party.

I would say besides the act of getting married, the most important part of the day for us was the beer and food. There was alot of thought put into what we wanted, what we thought others would like, and what was meaningful and fun.

Caroline: My family drink has always been a Manhattan. At dinner parties growing up it was what the grownups always drank and my grandfather used to let me eat the cherries out of his. My dad loves to tell the story that apparently when I was about 12 I told the guests of a dinner party that “I love the smell of bourbon, it reminds me of my childhood.”

To say the least, bourbon soaked cherries hold a special place in my heart.

So, instead of a champagne toast, we did a Manhattan toast! Just to get the party rolling…

Kiehne Family Manhattan

60 ml (2 shots) Makers Mark Bourbon

15 mls (1/2 shot) Sweet vermouth

2 marachino cherries

splash of cherry juice

2 ice cubes

DRINK and be converted

Kris : Getting married in the USA is a definite bonus if you want great kegs of beer at your wedding. Sadly we have ridiculous excise tax on alcohol in Australia, making it super expensive to enjoy great craft beer. The first keg we opted for was Flying Dog Old Scratch Amber lager, brewed in Frederick, Maryland. It is a malty beer with subtle caramel character and hop bitterness brewed in the ‘Steam’ or ‘California Common’ style. A great beer for lager and ale drinkers alike.

Kris: A true favourite beer of mine to drink while in America is Oskar Blues Dales pale Ale from Colorado. It’s a 6.5% American Pale Ale chock full of European malts and a hefty amount of American hop goodness.

Kris: Caroline and I both love Milk Stout, so a quarter keg of Lancaster Brewing Co. Milk Stout from Pennsylvania was our next choice. It is a great version of this style. It is slightly sweet with hints of chocolate and coffee.

Caroline: I got the boys pewter beer steins for the wedding…I think they went down well.

Kris : No party in the States would be complete without a Double IPA right? We decided to give The Pyramid Outburst IPA from Seattle a crack. It’s a ‘casual’ 8.5% IPA with some serious hop character. It is 80 IBU and has a sweet malt profile with massive cirtus and spice aroma and flavour from the use of NW USA hops. I am glad we only got a quarter keg of this beer, otherwise the party could have been over a lot earlier than it was.

Kris: I must say a massive thanks to Galen, head chef of Dogwood Restaurant and his amazing staff for catering for the wedding. It was exactly the kind of food we love to eat and it seems everyone attending loved it as much as us. If you are ever in Baltimore, Maryland I recommend dropping in and checking it out. We started out with some amazing canapes. I loved the individual corn soup with Marland crab and the seared tuna with wasabi. The mains were as equally great. Best of all the ingredients are all sourced locally. It was all amazing, I was particularly excited to try the Corvina, a tasty white flesh fish caught off North Carolina.

(photo from Katheats, my cousin)

Caroline: Thankyou Galen and Bridgette! And all staff that helped! The food was out of this world! Galen was wonderful to work with; I told him some things I definitely wanted to make an appearance and he helped us put a fun spin on them. For example, I really wanted baltimore crab chowder and he recommended doing them in shot glasses rather than in a bowl. And there was a beautiful crab custard instead of the standard crab cake. There were awesome lamb boreks like ones me and Kris used to get all the time when we lived in Melbourne at the Queen Vic Markets. He made a menu for us that was so personal and creative and delicious!

(photo from katheats)

After dinner the party really got going…Me, my dad and my brother sang a few bluegrass songs and friends and family joined in.

and we all danced the night away……

(photo from Katheats)

It was such a perfect night shared with friends and family. Amazing food, beer and music. All our favourite things.

Duck Neck Sausage and Ale Chutney matched with my IPA

Kris: It’s been a bit hectic lately, so it has been a while since posting on the blog.
We’re back!
It’s Autumn (Fall for Caroline) and eating Duck matched with some hearty ales is my favourite way to enjoy the crisp Tasmanian evenings this time of year. I am also starting to enjoy the fruits of my labour after busily homebrewing the last couple of months. I thought my Tasmanian IPA would be a great match for some homemade Duck Neck Sausage with Ale chutney.

Duck Neck Sausage and Ale Chutney

1 duck neck

1 duck breast

20g almond meal

20ml thickened cream

fresh sage

fresh oregano

2 garlic cloves

1 rasher bacon

3-4 walnuts

olive oil

salt and pepper

1 large potato

4 brussel sprouts

40g butter

2 ripe tomatoes 

1 small brown onion

1 red chilli

100ml IPA

40g raw sugar

fresh parsley


Thinly slice the brown onion

Fry on a medium heat in some olive oil until translucent

Add finely chopped chili and sugar

 Cook for a few minutes

Add the beer and tomatoes

Season with salt and pepper

Simmer the chutney until thick (about 25 minutes)

Stir through some finely chopped parsley

Chill the chutney in the fridge

Chop the duck breast and blitz it in a food processor until minced

In a bowl combine the duck mince, almond meal, cream and a few chopped walnuts

Add some finely chopped sage, garlic and oregano 

Add some finely diced bacon

Combine all the ingredients

Season well with salt and pepper

Cover and set aside

Remove the fat from inside the duck neck

Stuff the duck mince mixture into the duck neck

Make sure it is packed really tight with the mixture

Using toothpicks, seal up each end of the duck neck

(I left the sausage uncovered in the fridge overnight. It dried it out and makes the sausage more crispy)

Thinly slice a large potato

Preheat an oven to 200 C

Fry ther sausage on a medium heat until the duck skin is brown and crispy

Place the sausage in the oven and cook for 15 minutes

Fry the potatoes in the left over duck fat in the fry pan

Steam the brussel sprouts for 10 minutes

Refresh in ice water

Remove potatoes and fry the brussel sprouts in the butter and a clove of crushed garlic

Season the potatoes and brussel sprouts with salt and pepper

Let the sausage rest for a few minutes and slice thickly

Plate it up with the fried potatoes and chutney

Serve with a side of the brussel sprouts

Kris: I bought a whole duck and seeming it was such a nice day outside, I thought I would drink some of my IPA and carve up the duck.I removed the neck, the legs and breast. Make sure you have a sharp knife.I used one breast and the duck neck for this recipe. I am going to do Duck confit with the legs and the other breast. The rest of the duck I am going to roast and use in a Vietnamese style soup.

 Kris: I am pretty happy with my home brew IPA. Its 6.5% and I used all Tasmanian grown hops. It has a good balance of biscuity malt and hop bitterness. I think I will dry hop it more next time to get a bigger, fruity hop aroma . It was a great match with the Duck Neck Sausage and Ale Chutney too.