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.

Freshly Picked!

Caroline: Something about fruit you pick yourself makes it taste better! Don’t you think? I love this time of the year when it seems like everything in the garden shoots up and is ready to eat all at once!

Kris: We have a small, productive vege patch, but on our Tuesday off this week it was a treat to forage and cook out of our friends Matt and Bridget’s garden. There is nothing more rewarding than cooking with the freshest ingredients and it’s always great to enjoy some delicious food matched with some fantastic beer and wine. These are just two recipes (below)we prepared and enjoyed for dinner.
Caroline: While Bridget and I picked strawberries and raspberries, the boys dug up some potatoes, baby asparagus, fresh garlic, and zucchini flowers…

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

(Serves 4)

4 zucchini flowers

100g goats chevre

1 piece preserved lemon ( finely diced)

1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic

1 Tbs chopped dill

salt and pepper

 olive oil


 Mix the goats cheese, preserved lemon, garlic and dill in a bowl

Season with salt and pepper

Preferably leave the mixture over night

Stuff the zucchini flowers with the mixture

Coat the flowers in olive oil and fry on a BBQ for 2 minutes on each side

Kris : I love matching food with beer, but as I have said before, I do enjoy wine also and I think Riesling is my favourite varietal, especially if they are dry, citrusy and mineral-y. The 2009 Trimbach was a great match for the zucchini flowers and a classic example of Alsace Riesling.

Caroline: The zucchini flowers were awesome. The flower itself is so soft and delicate and the softness of the goats cheese made it so beautiful to eat. The stuffing was zippy and salty, a perfect appetizer..

Caroline: I love dinner parties with these two, there is never a shortage of amazing drinks to choose from! We sipped on G&T’s while we prepared the rest of dinner and had some reds on hand to match with our dishes.

BBQ Quail with Fresh Garden Asian Salad

(Serves 4)

4 Quails

3 Tbs Oyster Sauce 

1 Tbs soy sauce

2 Tbs good quality honey

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1/2 red chilli (finely diced)

4-5 slices fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic

2-3 star anise

1/2 tsp ground coriander


Combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, ginger, chilli,sesame oil,honey, garlic and spices in a bowl and stir until combined

Place the quails breast side down on a clean chopping board and flatten with the palm of your hand

Place the quails in the marinade and rub into the skin of the quails

Leave the bowl (covered) in the fridge overnight

Heat a BBQ and grill the quail for 6-7 minutes per side

Baste the quail with the extra marinade during cooking

Allow the quail to rest for 5 minutes before serving

I also made a simple, fresh salad straight from the garden to serve with the quails. I harvested mesculin, mint, basil, coriander flowers and radish and made a dressing with sesame oil and lemon juice.

Kris:I thought we would try Meantime Brewery’s Union Vienna Amber lager and Innis and Gunn’s Rum Barrel Aged Scottish Ale with the dish. The Union is a 4.9% Amber Lager, which was an ideal match with the quail. The sweet malt complimented the sweetness of the BBQ Quail and it’s clean, crisp finish cut through the richness of the marinade. The Rum Barrel Aged Ale was also an ideal beer to compliment the sweetness of the quail. If you are wanting to drink wine, a cool climate Shiraz or medium bodied Pinot Noir would work well.Thanks to Matt and Bridget for letting us forage in their garden. It is one of our favourite ways of cooking.

Caroline: These quails were delicious, they were so fat! Plenty to munch on. Cooking them on the BBQ added this great smokiness and char-y flavor to the skin making it crunchy and sweet! These two beers were a great match as well, they were really malty so they complimented the sweetness of the bird really well. It was a perfect match.

What a fun night! Bridget made lemon curd tarts with meringue and passionfruit and an awesome cocktail to match…I’ll see if i can’t nab her recipes to share!