Food & Drink: Hoppily Ever After
Why serving Utah beer at your wedding is a brilliant idea
is a big deal
Pilsner, Kölsch, Hefeweizen, Cream Ale
“I call Hefeweizen the gateway beer of craft beers,” says Squatters’ brewmaster Jason Stock. At Squatters Pub Brewery in downtown Salt Lake City, Hefeweizen is the number-one selling draft beer. Private events manager Lauren Boyack pairs their American Wheat Hefeweizen with the pub’s lighter catering fare like scallops on polenta, and Wasatch’s Provo Girl Pilsner with seafood and marinara-based pizzas. Chris Haas, brewmaster at Desert Edge Brewery, recommends cream ales and Kölsch for weddings because they’re crowd-pleasers. “Kölsch bridges the gap between Coors drinkers and craft beer connoisseurs,” he says. Try Desert Edge’s Courtney Marie Kolsch, named for Haas’ niece. He’s also a fan of helles-style lagers, which he served at his own wedding. There’s a reason that roughly 90 percent of all beers consumed worldwide are lagers. Three reasons, actually: they tend to be light, crisp, and refreshing. Rio Connelly, brewer, beverage director, and part owner of SLC’s Avenues Proper, recommends their helles-style Sam Dogger Lager. “It goes great with something salty like fish and chips,” he says.
IPA & Imperial IPA
Porters, Stouts, & Other Dark Beers
Fruit & Veggie Beers
Tips on Tap
You have a tasting to decide on the cake, so why not pick your big-day beverages with a beer tasting? Hit downtown Salt Lake’s bar scene to do some drinking, er, research. Opened this spring, Beer Bar pours more than 140 beers, 30 on tap, and beer cocktails, plus it offers 13 gourmet sausages made locally by Chef Frody Volgger served on rolls from Eva’s Bakery. There are also Belgian fries with homemade dipping sauces, developed by consulting chef Viet Pham of Forage fame, like curry ketchup, roasted jalapeño aioli, and Utah fry sauce, natch. The bar boasts the state’s only certified cicerone (a sommelier for beer), Kyle Trammell. Also visit The Bayou and Beerhive Pub.
Beer is Budget-Friendly
Lauren Boyack, private events manager for Squatters and Wasatch Pubs, says you get a lot more bang for your buck with beer. “In general, beer by the glass is cheaper than wine by the glass, but it all depends on the type of beer you serve,” she says. Purchase bottles and cans of local brews at State Liquor Stores, or buy Squatters and Wasatch beers by the case, the most economical option, at the Utah Brewers Cooperative in Salt Lake (1763 South 300 West). It’s not legal to buy kegs in Utah, though Mary Crafts notes they might be allowed at your event if it’s at a restaurant or venue with the proper liquor license.
Wild Card (beer cocktails)
Make a splash at your event with trendy beer cocktails. Mary Crafts suggests serving signature beer cocktails with themed food stations. Instead of traditional Moscow Mules, shake things up with Culinary Crafts’ Italian Berry Mules made with a touch of aged balsamic vinegar; pair them with a station of fresh-pulled mozzarella, grilled bread, and heirloom tomato duxelle.
Speak with your caterer about their recycling services or set up a recycling area near trash bins at your event. Have empty beer bottles leftover from your rehearsal dinner? Repurpose them as wedding centerpiece vases or have guests sign them in lieu of a guest book. “One of our couples did this, and then turned the bottles into a light fixture for their home,” says Cuisine Unlimited’s Emily Lavin.
“Beer” for Non-Imbibers
For underage guests, teetotalers, and sweettooths, Mary Crafts makes old-fashioned root beer floats with Wasatch Brewery’s non-alcoholic Brigham’s Brew, vanilla-bean gelato, and soft gingersnap cookies. Cuisine Unlimited serves booze-free Apple Beer, made in Holladay, and Howie’s Premium Root Beer, made in Pleasant Grove.