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ingredients

Some weddings you leave with glazed nuts …  the almond kind. The plan for ours is to have our guests leave with a fresh commemorative beverage. I am an enthusiastic home-brewer and whilst my skill base is by no means even ‘adept’ I continue to surprise myself by creating delicious concoctions for a fraction of the price it costs to buy them … and it’s a whole lot more fun! In the past, I have made chilli pale ale, apple and pear ciders, ginger beers, stouts, draughts, and quite a few more.

So, as one of the numerous DIY aspects of our wedding for the last few months and for the next few, I am brewing beer. Lots of beer. We estimate that a maximum of 120 guests will be joining us at our home for our wedding ceremony and reception, and I’d love each person to be able to take home a frosty one to drink later, and keep as a little bit of memorabilia. I thought I’d share my process with you lot so that other grooms out there, that may be feeling like they aren’t contributing to the plans much, can do the same and actually be excited about it too.

So, the first thing to wrap your lips around is the cost. It is dirt-cheap. First thing is your brewing setup – you can go to any good homebrew store (there is usually at least one within 5 suburbs of everyone) and they should have a starter kit for around $99 which will give you your fermenter, bottle caps and a capper, your tools for measurement and in some cases even your first batch of beer ingredients. This cost is a one off for most, unless you’re like myself and have 2 or 3 setups going at once! The second cost is your ingredients.

You will need:

  • Your can of brewing mix (anywhere from $20 – $40)
  • Brewing sugar ($8)
  • Other brewing mixes to enhance the flavor with, eg. hops ($10) – Optional
  • Water.
  • Get all your friends to save their beer bottles, big or small, for you to use.

That’s it! You’re looking at anywhere from $40 to $60 for your batch of brew, which within two weeks will equate to 23 litres of beer (around 25 longnecks or 60 stubbies). That’s pretty darn good value at 66c a stubbie, or $1.60 a longneck.

ingredients

For the ins and outs of brewing itself there is a plethora of information on the internet, it can almost be overwhelming so I suggest get friendly with the person at that homebrew shop you go to – they are a very valuable resource and each time you go back in for your next batch you can ask about your previous one and what went wrong etc.

For me, brewing the beer is only half the fun. In the past I have created labels for my brew as a bit of fun and I sure as hell was going to with wedding beer! Having a background in graphic design this part comes easy, and free for me, but I’m sure most men could convince a mate with Photoshop and Illustrator to whip them something up. I have made my labels in the same fashion and style that I made our invitations..

I then got them printed onto sticker paper at our local printing shop, chopped them up and stuck them on.  Ta-da!

ingredients

ingredients

So far for our guests I’ve brewed an Apple & Kiwi cider (bought 4kg of kiwi fruits on special, pulped them up, strained and just popped it in the fermenter with everything else), a dark ale, wheat beer and have now got a Czech Pilsner and Mexican Ceverza going.

They look ace together, and it’s just something you wouldn’t expect to get at a wedding. In the same way it’s overwhelmingly satisfying to cook a delicious meal for friends, the same applies to giving them a tasty drink to enjoy.

P.S There’s nothing like some old jars with a few stencils on ’em to drink your homemade brew from. 🙂

Enjoy!

Photography by Brent Dakis

 

Ms Gingham says: Just like many of our brides make cookies for favors, so is Brent doing his tasty bit with what every Aussie loves … grog! Great idea Brent, thanks for sharing!

Brent says: I’m that guy with the absurd ideas, the only difference is that I end up making them happen. I’m young but feel very, very old. My partner and I met three years ago and within that time I started my own jewellery business, we have had a son who is now 18months, CJ is 18 weeks pregnant with the next, we moved to the forest and bought a home, opened up a fashion retail store, Limerence, that stocks only handmade and Australian items, and are now getting married. Our mother’s joke that we won’t have anything left to do for the next 50 years. I make jewellery, practice graphic design, I love my wine and my music collection and in general, when I get a moment to think about it, I love my life.”

Read more from Brent here.

Who knew Jimmy Choo also did a men’s range? They debuted this month with a suave look on their website. The range includes shoes, boots and trainers and has that delicious design sense that Jimmy Choo infuses into their women’s collection. Plum suede, buckles, snake print leathers, burnished leather even glitter. A stylish addition to your wedding day attire.

Images from Jimmy Choo

Image from Brent’s collection

I’ve decided that iPhones are a bad idea for people like myself.

Permit me to explain..

I am that person, everyone knows, who has ridiculous ideas and absurd suggestions that most people leave and pass off as impracticable – however, I tend to actualize them (friends roll their eyes at me a lot). I also get easily over-excited, obsessed and involved in whatever seems to pop up next in my life.  So of course, just before bed this evening (I have an 18 month old, bed time has shunted itself forward a few hours ..) my partner CJ suggested I check out Polka Dot Bride and consider contributing. Three minutes later my application is in, and I jump in bed. If my iPhone was the equivalent of CJ’s brick Nokia I wouldn’t have received the prompt confirmation to contribute to this unique blog. Now for most people, they’d go to sleep, and get around to it tomorrow – maybe. I, however, would have lay there thinking about what to write until 1am before deciding to get up to write it anyway. So here you all are! The result of my brain spilling onto the screen so that I can go have a good night’s sleep!

Now that’s out of the way I’ll briefly tell you a little of our story so far …

My name is Brent, I’m 23 but it seems I live the life of a 33 year old.  I am a jewellery designer and graphic designer who lives at the foot of Mt. Dandenong in Victoria.  My partner CJ and I run a retail space here called Limerence which stocks all Australian, Handmade and sweatshop free jewellery, fashion and art. We have an 18 month old son Hunter, and CJ is currently 18 weeks into her second pregnancy. CJ is also a fashion designer (our styles work very well hand in hand) and we are due to marry in October this year. To further emphasise the sometimes extreme nature of my personality, and to put things into perspective a bit, I will have known CJ for 3 years come August and we’ve already done all this!

As with most things I commit myself to, I pour everything I have into it. I am hoping that I can pour everything I have (I might have to draw a pie graph to break up how much I can pour into each element of my life at the moment) into giving the readers of this a bit of a giggle, and a bit of an insight into some of my (and our) unconventional ideas, thoughts and processes around ‘the big day’.

Just to give you something to look forward to I’ll let you know that I am making our rings, CJ is making our outfits (hers, 3 grooms men, 3 bridesmaids, and helping me with my suit), we are having our reception at our home and the whole event is heavily DIY and environmentally conscious.

I’m going to bed now … I’ll tell you all about how great my sleep was later.

x Brent

 

Ms Gingham says: Thanks to Brent, the newest addition to our Groom blog, for entertaining us with his tales of obsession. I’m really looking forward to seeing how much he can pack in over the next few months in the lead up to his and CJ’s wedding.

Brent says: “I’m that guy with the absurd ideas, the only difference is that I end up making them happen. I’m young but feel very, very old. My partner and I met three years ago and within that time I started my own jewellery business, we have had a son who is now 18months, CJ is 18 weeks pregnant with the next, we moved to the forest and bought a home, opened up a fashion retail store that stocks only handmade and Australian items, and are now getting married. Our mother’s joke is that we won’t have anything left to do for the next 50 years. I make jewellery, practice graphic design, I love my wine and my music collection and in general, when I get a moment to think about it, I love my life.”