I had one thing in mind for my wedding's homebrew. Would my relatives drink it? Almost all of them are drinkers of American Light Lager.
My wedding was to be on a covered bridge in Kentucky. A lot of my family history is tied into the bridge. The bridge and my family both arrived in the county around the turn of the 20th century, So I decided that I would brew a Kentucky Common, since it was just added the BJCP guidelines this year and it is a historical beer tied to pre-prohibition Kentucky.
At the wedding:
I had a corny keg of KyCommon and a cooler of commercial Yuengling lager. Not a lot of drinking to seemed go on at all. My few family members that have explored beer some liked my beer. It was drinkable and approachable while providing those roasty notes from the black malt and a little caramel from the Caramel 40. Despite the darker appearance (which made some apprehensive) it did not have too much mouthfeel like the less experienced drinkers had connected with "dark beer".
I also made a 8.1% Marris Otter IPA for my bride. She had a six pack of bottles which she barley finished 2. I made the IPA with chinook and cascade hops from two Kentucky Hop Yards. Boyds Bottom ($4/oz) and Bluegrass Hopyard (free). I used about a pound of hops for 5 gallons.
this is the ky common a week after the wedding.
I will post a pic of the IPA the next time my wife opens one (tonight when she gets home from work)
What I took away from the experience:
1)A dryer beer is more approachable for some less experienced beer drinkers. (my kycommon finished at 1.015, not dry
but dryer than other "dark beers" that my friends and family have tried.
2)This was my first kegging, it was SO MUCH EASIER.
3)Chinook and Cascade aren't the best combo, the cascade seems to over power the chinook. (the bluegrass hopyard hops being free we're the most consistent in quality. I picked these hops and some plants were much healthier than others.)
I also attempted a Barleywine to give to some family as a gift to take home. (It got an infection 6 months out)