Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wedding Brew and Benmarl Winery

This weekend was the weekend where I served my Newest American Pale Ale, aka CrystALE recipe, at my friend's Kate and Shaun's wedding which was at the beautiful Benmarl Winery in Marlboro, NY. The weekend was awesome. We spent a lot of time at the winery, setting up for the wedding, the rehearsal and then for the actual ceremony and reception. We didn't get an official tour, but I took it upon myself to nose around a bit and check it out. The wine cellar was my favorite. There were stacks of full barrels, a "Vintage" room filled with bottles from the 50's and 60's and then through the barrels there was the fermentors, bottling line and label station. I could begin to see the start of my brewery with all the fermentation equipment and barrels around. I was in heaven.

My biggest excitement came on the actual wedding day. I had brewed 4 cases of my beer for the reception. All 4 cases were gone by the end of the cocktail hour (actually more like an hour 40). I was extremely happy, and slightly bummed I didn't make more. All night I had people approaching me telling how awesome my beer was. My sister-in-law, who is a graphic designer, helped to make the labels which were also a huge hit. We didn't' start making the labels until Wednesday and they had to be done on Thursday, so needless to say it was rushed......which would be why I missed spelled "bottled". Oh well, It was a gratifying experience nonetheless. One of the guests was actually a brewery at the Barrington Brewery & Restaurant in Great Barrington, MA. I spoke with him for a while about the beer, brewing as a profession and other things and the one thing I remember fondly was the constructive criticism he gave. He was very impressed with the beer and though it was a very marketable beer. He also though there was a hint of an off flavor in the finish of the beer, but couldn't detect what it was exactly. I had hoped I could have had more so I could have reviewed it again myself, but I guess I could have worse problems.


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