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I haven’t been able to click a mouse lately without reading something about this morning’s royal wedding. The ceremony is over (catch highlights here) and the newlyweds are currently partying it up with hundreds of their dignitary guests. But, as you may have heard, especially if you get most of your news from breweries, bars, and beer pundits like I do, there will be no beer served at any of today’s festivities.
On Monday, the Daily Mail reported that the royal couple, neither of whom are big drinkers, banned beer from the wedding. A source tells the British tabloid, “It was always their intention to give their guests a sophisticated experience and they have chosen the food and drink with this in mind.” The same source indicated that beer was inappropriate to serve in the presence of the queen.
Since then, the internet has been bombarded with opinions (like this one and this one) about the sobering situation. It is easy for Americans to complain, considering that our president serves his own home-brewed beer at the White House. But it should be noted that so far the Obamas’ honey ale has been swilled at the White House Superbowl and St. Patrick’s Day parties—not exactly regal affairs compared to a British royal wedding.
Today, the popularity of imperial stouts and India pale ales, which both originated in England, shows the country’s undeniable influence on the world of beer. Countless numbers of beer fans were turned on to the glory and wonder of a good beer by sipping their first British ale in an English pub. Despite their initial emotional response to the royal beer ban, I bet most would admit that beer is very much a commoner’s drink in England. (I mean, did you see all those silly hats in Westminster Abbey this morning? Imagine one of those ladies holding a pint of beer. I don’t think so.)
Still, I have a feeling at least one of these bottles of herbal Viagra beer made especially for the occasion by Scotland’s BrewDog will find its way into the festivities today, or perhaps in the royal bedroom tonight.
Photo by Ewan-M/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license