Apparently, one out of every three and a half people on Planet Earth will be glued to their television sets (or the live video on YouTube) to watch Kate and Wills say “I do” inside a very large London church. 

I most certainly will not be one of them.  Besides being a fairly staunch republican [1], the self-perpetuating media hype has well and truly put me off.  For example, the Stuff website now has a dedicated Royal Wedding section which features a range of articles (including one urging people to get their children to draw what they think will happen at the wedding and send them in) and a dedicated blog titled “The Princess Diaries.”  The blogger is the otherwise excellent Greer McDonald who is being sent to cover what she describes as “one of the biggest stories of the year” for Fairfax.

Now, I don’t consider it a big story or an important event but normally I would just let it slide past with only a passing cheap shot or two [2] but suddenly beer got involved.  I read about this story at Pete Brown’s Beer Blog though the news was apparently broken by the Daily Mail.  First, here is the key quote from a ‘royal insider’:

“There won’t be any beer. Let’s face it, it isn’t really an appropriate drink to be serving in the Queen’s presence at such an occasion.”

“It was always their intention to give their guests a sophisticated experience and they have chosen the food and drink with this in mind.”

Here are edited highlights of Pete’s considered response:

“What a shameful, depressing, snobbish, bigoted, blinkered, rude, clueless, cruel, idiotic thing to say… that use of the word ‘inappropriate’ shows that this is a deliberate, calculated snub… And so Britain’s national drink – the thing for which Britain is best known after the royals themselves – is barred from the wedding of Britain’s future monarch…  The royal family has stuck two fingers up to one of the last remaining manufacturing industries in their kingdom, especially to the plethora of breweries who have created special commemorative beers for the big day…
Even Prince Charles’ own beer, sold under the Duchy Originals brand, is apparently good enough for him to make a fat profit from, but not good enough to supply to his son’s wedding… don’t show one ounce of support for these beer hating snobs.”

The story went global with celebrity blogger Perez Hilton writing “Hide ‘dem brewskies!” while Lexie Sloan at the “Oh No They Didn’t” blog said “if there was no beer or hard alcohol at my wedding, my family would riot.”  To be honest, Lexie is not really that famous but I just really wanted to quote a blog called “Oh No They Didn’t!”

I have to say that I agree with Pete Brown on this issue – as I do on most issues apart from his baffling support for the Barnsley Football Club.  The decision to exclude beer is not some ancient royal tradition, quite the opposite.  According to the Wellington (UK) News, William’s grandfather, the Earl Spencer, brewed a special beer to mark his birth in 1982.  A year earlier, 147 Royal beers were made to celebrate the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.  I must concede I have enormous Charles and Di Wedding pint mug in my collection. [3]

Earlier still, in 1977, over 70 English breweries made commemorative brews for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.  Today we see just how much those kind gestures were appreciated.

Pete – and many others – made the excellent point that Prince Charles is the proud instigator of the Duchy Originals range of organic beers but they won’t be on the tables at his son’s wedding.  The message seems to be “it’s good enough for you lot but I wouldn’t serve it to my own family.” [4]

I thought I was angry when I finished reading Pete’s blog but today I found something that made me almost vomit with rage.

It was the news that one of the performers rumoured to be performing at the Royal Wedding reception is – of all people – Jay-Z.  So, beer is not “appropriate” but Jay-Z is.  The Queen apparently cannot be allowed to even see a pint of an honourable product made by her own subjects (and taxpayers) but can listen to an American rapper ‘sing’ some of his hits such as “Money, Cash, Hoes” or “Ignorant Sh*t”.  Her Majesty may actually enjoy his track “Money Ain’t A Thang” however.

So, to mark the Royal Wedding, here my first ever “Top Ten Malthouse Beers which are better than Jay-Z”:

1. Tuatara APA
2. Epic Mayhem
3. Emerson’s Pilsner
4. 8Wired Hopwired
5. Twisted Hop Sauvin Pilsner
6. Ben Middlemass Nota Bene
7. Croucher APA
8. Three Boys Oyster Stout
9. Hallertau 3 – Copper Tart
10. Every other beer in the place apart from fruit beers, Harrington’s Ginger Beer and Sol.

Bring on the Republic!

[1] My only slight reservation is that this stance means I’m in agreement with Keith Locke about something which never feels quite right.
[2] Exactly as I did last week when I mentioned “the Royal Wedding of Prince William (solider, no fixed abode) and Catherine ‘Kate’ Middleton (very rich commoner, Brixton) who may well be twelfth cousins, once removed.”
[3] Bought for $2 at the Statue Bargain Barn and intended to be thoroughly ironic.
[4] Harsh but it really is hard to put any other interpretation on the decision.


Beer Writer
Real Beer New Zealand
Beer and Brewer Magazine


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