Baltimore Crab Feast with Natty Bo

Caroline: You can’t go to Baltimore and not eat some Maryland crabs! The day before the wedding we had everyone over for beer, BBQ and steamed old bay crabs! Oh the tastes of home!

Kris: I can’t visit Baltimore without eating Maryland Crabs and drinking National Bohemian (Natty Bo). It was great to have a crab feast on the night before the wedding, especially for our friends and family visiting from Australia and New Zealand.

Kris: I am not usually a lager drinker, but I do love drinking Natty Bo when we are visiting Caroline’s family in Baltimore. It is a clean, crisp, refreshing lager and is a great match to steamed Old Bay crabs.

Kris: I thought it would be great to taste some interesting American craft beers on the afternoon too. My 2 favourites were the Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti and the Dog Fish Head 120 minute IPA. The Yeti is a rich Imperial stout with Chocolate, caramel and coffee characters with some piney/citrus hop aroma and a dry finish. It is also aged in Bourbon barrels which gives it a touch of oak and vanilla flavour. The 120 minute IPA is an extreme IPA! I have had the 60 minute and 90 minute IPA’s from Dog Fish Head before but this one takes it to the next level. A whopping 18% ABV, it is chock full of high Alpha hops. It is dry hopped for a month then aged a further month on whole hop cones. It is packed with sweet malt and huge aroma and flavours of the classic citrus and pine from the use of American hops. Definitely a beer to share with friends.


Caroline: The remnants of a Baltimore crab feast.There is nothing better than some fresh steamed Old Bay Crabs and Natty Bo’s shared with friends and family on a beautiful summers day. Even Winston enjoyed the afternoon.

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.