Samuel Adams weds ale, marriage

Love-struck couples and passionate craft brew drinkers­ toasted the steamy romance between marriage and beer yesterday morning at the third annual “brewlywed” celebration at the Samuel Adams Brewery in Jamaica Plain.
Two couples were married and five others renewed vows between towering green hop vines in the brewery beer garden. Other beer fans scurried to purchase 750-milliliter bottles of Brewlywed Ale, available at the brewery only this one day each year.
“We’ve been brewing together since we met seven years ago,” said Katie Gustainis Vela of Cambridge, who renewed vows with husband Tim Gustainis Vela.
Samuel Adams founder Jim Koch toasted the couples while justice of the peace Henri Gough presided over the ceremonies.
“The word ‘ale’ is rooted­ in the word ‘bridal,’” Gough said.
Josh Fernandez of Somerville arrived at the brewery at 4:45 a.m. to be the first to score a precious taste of Brewlywed Ale. It’s a cage-corked “bride ale” with complex Belgian-style aromas and spice notes. Samuel Adams brewed just 200 cases of the beer.
He intends to give the bottle as a gift to a beer-loving friend who marries in July.
“I think it’s a really nice gesture for them,” he said. “Plus, it’s cheaper than a blender.”
Brewing celebratory beer for weddings dates back to medieval times, said Koch.
The beer-wedding trend has taken off in recent years, part of a wider cultural movement spurred by the explosion of craft breweries that has put an upscale shine on beer’s former Joe Six-Pack image.
“(Our) research shows more and more couples opting for craft beer over bubbly at wedding receptions,” said Kellee Khalil, founder and CEO of wedding planning site
Her site reports a 14 percent uptick in beer-related searches in the past four months, while breweries are fast becoming a popular spot to hold weddings.
Guests yesterday nibbled on Samuel Adams Summer Ale knockwurst from Karl’s Sausage Kitchen of Peabody, cheeses provided by City Feed and Supply, and Boston Lager wedding cake baked by Delectable Desires Pastries, both from Jamaica Plain.
They also toured the brewery and noted that Samuel Adams this spring began selling growlers to go of one-off specialty beers. The cooler yesterday was filled with glass jugs of Samuel Adams saison, rye stout, maibock and double pils, among others.
Brewlywed Ale is gone but there is one more chance to have a special Samuel Adams beer at your wedding.
Brewer Bob Cannon will visit the home of the first couple to donate $10,000 to Brides Across America on Friday at noon. He will help that couple brew their own wedding ale. Brides Across America of Georgetown provides wedding gowns for military brides. Go to for more details or to make the purchase.

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