E and A’s Craft Wedding

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A month ago to this day, the author attended a wedding with a decidedly unique and personalized “craft” theme.

(Well, enough with the pretenses of anonymity. Most of the people who bother to read this blog and are still around despite the lengthy hiatus already know who I am, and most likely were present at the wedding itself. So yes, the wedding was mine, and I’m the luckiest guy in the world to be married to a woman who not only gets my little quirks and idiosyncrasies, but complements them with her own.)

Thus, it was a craft wedding, fittingly held in the eco-friendly Cocoon Boutique Hotel, with a vintage-rustic theme; highly personalized, and full of arts and crafts and D-I-Y elements and definitely not the traditional Filipino wedding. I still can’t believe it took less than five months to plan everything, and resulting in a table setup as below, with paper flowers and spray-painted and laced-up craft beer bottles (which once comprised my collection).

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To maintain a semblance of privacy, however, this entry shall focus on the aspects of said event that are relevant to the blog, that is, the copious amounts of craft beer that fit in perfectly with the emphasis on handmade elements.

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That said, the craft beer motif wasn’t limited to the mere beverage selection. The boutonnieres and corsages of the entourage were all bedecked with bottle caps from some of the favorite breweries of the couple (mostly mine, I admit). We tried to find a link of sorts to match the caps with the bearers in terms of personality, color preference, and of course, favorite beers.

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I had to seize the opportunity and make sure that we would have only the best drinks at the wedding, primarily so that everyone would be hoppy and happy and buzzed and ready to dance. Hence, we had to have our so-called “Nupti-ALES”. Of course, as we were serving both proudly Filipino craft beer and some European brews from the bride’s aunt that I handpicked for being the best of their respective styles, we had to include food pairing tips in the menu. We were supposed to limit the beers to one or two a person during dinner and then open the bar after the reception program proper, but we had so much good beer flowing from our friends that there was no stopping the fun.

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Speaking of friends, the reason there was so much good beer was because of these guys. I admit to being close with some of the more prominent craft brewers in the country, from Pasig to Cavite to Baguio to Palawan, and we are thankful as heck that these guys not only supplied beer for our wedding, but even honored us by offering a discount or even gifting the brews outright. So again, thank you to ourwonderful friends at Great Islands Craft Brewery, Happy Accidents Brewing, Craftpoint Brewing Company, Katipunan Craft Ales, Palaweno Brewery and Xavierbier for making our wedding the smashing success that it was.

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Above-depicted is the mind (and tastebud) blowing NNNNDAle from Mario’s Happy Accidents Brewing, served on tap, but specially bottled as a wedding souvenir. I was able to have a taste test when I picked up the keg a couple of nights before the wedding, and the hoppiness was through the roof (and therefore more than enjoyable for hopheads like me). The IBUs were closer to 150-160 than the initially-computed 266, but who cares, right? (Anything higher than 100 doesn’t add any bitterness, according to Greg Koch of Stone)

Thank you again to Mario and Ling for this fantastic brew – the hoppiest beer we’ve probably tried.

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Perhaps the favorite beer of most of the guests that night was the Groomzilla Pandan Porter from Craftpoint Brewing Company. The label was a semi-surprise, as the designe was fully conceptualized by the boys of Craftpoint, but with my semi-unwitting participation. Pretty much all the guests enjoyed not only the unique label design but also the surprising flavor. I wasn’t sure how well pandan (known for lightening the flavor of food) and a robust porter would go together, but this was excellent. The guys outdid themselves here, no doubt.

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Unfortunately and understandably, I was not able to take full tasting notes on the other beers (but of course, I had been able to previously taste test everything).

Katipunan Craft Ales supplied us with a couple of kegs of their new and improved recipe of Dear Fred, a pale ale with cold-brew coffee. This was a subtler and more enjoyable blend than the original that I had tried back during the first Books Bites Brews Food and Beer Pairing Dinner.

Palaweno Brewery graciously flew over a case of their Ambog Ale, a hoppy amber ale that totally completed our Palawan vacation last March. Incidentally, Palaweno holds a special place with us as a couple as it was at their pension house/brewery that we “actually” got engaged, and not in El Nido, as we posted on Facebook.

Xavierbier supplied not only a couple of kegs of their delicious Pugaw IPA, but also lent a second kegerator free of charge for the other brewers, and were very hands on not only in delivering the goods, but making sure everything went smoothly.

Unfortunately, the introduction of Palaweno and Xavierbier to the local craft beer scene also coincided with our engagement and therefore the dearth of new entries here. In depth, albeit delayed write ups about these up and coming yet already well-established breweries shall follow fortwith.

Finally, the last beer sponsor was Great Islands Craft Brewery. Allan had brewed a batch of his famous Chocolate Hills Cream Stout, but the unfortunate damage caused by Typhoon Glenda affected the fermentation process as the refrigeration in his part of town was cut off for almost a day. Thus, there was a hint of sourness in the beer. He offered to substitute a pale ale that he had also brewed, but after a quick taste test, I stuck with the chocolate stout, but decided to rename it Bright-Eyed Bride, in honor of my new wife whose eyes light up every time she passes a bakery or dessert aisle. Great news is in store in the near future for Great Islands, and I’ll be sure to be on it as soon as it breaks. But that’s as much as I’ll offer for now.

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Our wedding cake was also “craft” or “artisanal”, being specially made by our friend and jiu-jitsu teammate Aisa Atilano of AA Cake Designs. The only request was to have macarons, and the rest were left up to her. The cake was not only beautiful, but tasted delicious, although by the time all the macarons around it were wiped out, things degenerated into a cake fight (not surprising, as the couple entered the venue to the sound of D-Generation X’s theme music).

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For the couple’s toast, it was a must to get La Fin Du Monde instead of champagne, being one of the premiere, and now, elusive, corked ales. The name was fitting too, in not cheesy. Until la fin du monde shall we share our love after all.

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In line with both the arts and crafts and craft beer themes, the wedding souvenirs were sets of drink coasters which I made myself. Please consider that a disclaimer if you are a wedding guest and in any way unsatisfied with the quality and craftsmanship of your souvenir.

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While I thought against it at first, the bachelors’ game was a beer-drinking contest. It was supposed to be a water-drinking contest featuring San Mig Light, but for one reason or another, I decided against it. Instead, a selection of Paulaner brews were laid out in front of selected “volunteer” bachelors. The last one to finish his beer would “win”.

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The winner (or loser, depending on your point of view) had craft beer bottle caps stuck on his suit and had to be either frisked, fondled or molested by lucky (or unlucky, depending on your point of view) bachelorettes. The one who ended up without a bottle cap received the purportedly coveted bridal garter.

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Thank you to everyone who attended and who made the event what it was – the most amazing day of our lives. From our loving parents and siblings to the young and young-at-heart members of our entourage, to our family and friends, and of course, the fantastic members of the craft beer community who attended not as suppliers, but as dear friends.

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