Wedding planning can be a stressful, expensive and drawn-out process.
Or it can be simple, unique, quick and take place in the hops garden at the Samuel Adams brewery.
On Wednesday Samuel Adams will host its annual release of Brewelywed Ale at the Jamaica Plain brewery where couples can also tie the knot inside the hops garden. This is the third year Sam Adams is putting on the event. During the first two years, nine couples said “I do” while picking up their brew.
“It’s kind of a cross between the Running of the Brides and a beer fest,” said Jim Koch, founder of the Boston Beer Company. Koch added that he’s been drawn in to some ceremonies as a best man and even a bridesmaid. “You’ve got people in wedding dresses and tuxes and then you’ve got people who just came for the beer. It’s a lot of fun.”
The event features the one-day release of Sam Adams Brewlywed Ale, which was limited to 200 cases. Additionally, the day features private brewery tours, sampling of beer-infused wedding fare and an on-site justice of the peace that will marry couples or help them renew their vows.
Kate Foster, 30, was never interested in having a big wedding, so when a family friend who works for Sam Adams told her mother about last year’s event, Foster e-mailed her fiancé, 31-year-old John Helter.
“I actually thought it was a joke,” said Helter of getting Foster’s email suggesting they get married at the brewery.
But eight days later, after taking some unexpected days off from work, getting their marriage license and quickly picking out a dress and a suit, the two were married in the hops garden.
“It was just gorgeous. Their hops garden area, they had it all set up with white beautiful chairs out, a string quartet playing in the background, flowers; it surpassed any expectations for what I wanted it to be,” said Foster.
The couple, who live in Pennsylvania, toured the brewery together on one of their first trips to Boston.
“We’re not a fancy hotel or a big church or an elaborate venue,” said Koch. “We’re just a brewery. It tells you something about the importance of beer in all of our relationships.”
Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.