"Groom Finds Cure For What Ales Him". That was the headline of the Columbian newspaper article featuring my husband and I when we got married almost 23 years ago. You see, our first date was brewing a batch of beer, Charlie Papazian's Holiday Cheer Ale; we got engaged in Brugge, Belgium while on a Belgian beer tour; and we did our celebratory toast at our wedding reception with Rodenbach Alexander, the beer we were enjoying when Paul popped the question. For the record, I was totally sober when I tearfully and excitedly said, "Yes!".
A year and a half later, I was pregnant with our first kid. There's an old custom in England and Colonial America that an expectant mother would prepare a high-gravity ale and cask-condition it for 7-9 months, drink a little of it during labor to ease the pain, and then bathe her newborn in the beer. In our case, Paul was the brewer, I didn't get a chance to imbibe before heading in for an emergency C-Section, and Erin did not get dipped into a beer bath. But hey, we did get to share the Baby Bath Ale with our friends in our homebrew club, Oregon Brew Crew!
Two kids and many pints later, beer is still a big part of our lives. Paul and I have fun going to brewpubs wherever our paths take us and we geek out on Untappd, an app for keeping track of the beers we sample. I've only brewed twice since our first date, but Paul is back at it now that the kids are in college. We recently bought a kegerator so we now have two of his homebrews on tap. If you ask me, the Columbian's headline should have been "Bride Finds Cure For What Ales Her".