Is a beer at the wedding a good idea? URSA MAIOR interview.
There are many beer lovers, even among the Newlyweds. What is more, a lot of young couples dream about the wedding with beer accent. Poles, most willingly, would exchange traditional polish vodka for lighter and more refreshing drink – beer. However, you have concerns, if it is a good idea to serve a beer at a wedding.
You should definitely play with a beer at the wedding. Of course, it can be a theme of your reception! Additionally, if you would like to go further and organize it in the beautiful mountains, we have a ready-made plan for you! Bieszczady, brewery URSA MAIOR and You. Polish mountains, different kinds of beer and crazy dances – is it not a perfect match?
Microbrewery URSA MAIOR is located in a small town Uherce Mineralne, in south-east region of Poland – Subcarpathia. Right there, thank to Agnieszka Łopata and her team, the unique beer URSA is manufactured. Produced from scratch, fully natural and local. It is a product made by real beer enthusiasts. It was a pleasure for us, to make an interview with them. We asked about their favourite beer flavours, if it is hard to lead the brewery away from big cities and finally “Is a beer at the wedding a good idea”?
Your brewery is called Ursa Maior. This name can be confusing. Can you explain it?
Ursa Maior means in Latin Great Bear. This applies mainly to the bears having their refuge in the Bieszczady mountains. What is more, it refers to the constellation, which you can enjoy on the Bieszczady sky (free from artificial light!) and indicates connections between brewing culture and bears.
It is worth mentioning that Bieszczady mountains are one of the wildest corners of our country. Its greater part is overgrown with beech forests, full of unheard elsewhere plants and animals. These are Polish ponies, Aesculapius snakes and lynxes. The higher parts of the mountains are pastures. Right there, in Bieszczady National Park, brown bears have a refuge. It is the country’s largest population of this species.
So that, you work far from large cities. Can we purchased your products only being on-site?
You can always come to see how the brewery looks or to do some shopping in the company store. It is also the only spot, where you can meet the same brewer lady working with malt, serving a beer, or selling in the shop. Whereas, for those who cannot come, we run an online store and a pub in Cracow.
We work mainly with local producers and suppliers. For example, we sell brewer pretzels invented in cooperation with a local bakery. Or handmade chocolates with hops and malt, handed over by local chocolatier. We are a partner for local hotels, restaurants and tourist equipment rentals. What is more, we provide a gallery ‘Ursa Major’ with an area of 300m². It hosts concerts and other events with the participation of local artists. Most of the production is distributed on the local market, about an hour drive from the brewery.
On your website you have written that Ursa Maior is “Beer, Art and Music”. How do you understand it?
We believe that it is an art to brew the unique beer. You have to get involved and to put your whole heart into everything you do. With a well-chosen music, handicrafts and other art figures it forms a coherent wholeness. This is perfectly integrated with one of the most important moments in life – wedding.
Is it possible to visit the brewery? Family gathering or a bachelor party in such an unusual place would be a unique attraction.
Absolutely! We recommend to visit Ursa Major, if someone wants an exceptional setting and atmosphere. We provide the production hall, which is an amazing place. Here you can taste beers brewed right on-side, having huge tanks behind your back. The air is filled while the aromas of beer and ingredients used in its production right there.
You have already produced 21 different beers in total. What are the differences between them? Are they all available for purchase?
Depending on the season, we have six to ten types of beer available in sale. They differ in recipes, flavour and aromas. We have lighter or stronger beers, more bitter or sweeter – really flavourful thanks to the different varieties of hops. In a word – everyone will find his or her favourite one. The names of our products are also worth mentioning. Beers “Deszcz w Cisnej”- “A rain in Cisna town” or “Żar na Wetlinie” – “Extream heat at peak Wetlina” refer to the region and create a bond with the Bieszczady mountains. Others, such as “Rzeźnik” – “Butcher” or “Dwa Misie” – “Two Bears” support local initiatives.
If the Young Couple decided to serve unique beer at a wedding, it is possible to brew small amount of a special beer for such occasion?
The single batch of beer is very large, so that it is impossible to do a special type for one occasion. Therefore, we would be happy to choose something from available types of URSA beer.
Which one would you recommend, if asked to serve a beer at the wedding?
The world of beers is very diverse. That is why we would propose a selection of at least three kinds of beer to hit the various tastes. The optimal set could contain something lighter, matching the starters or cold dishes. For example “Rzeźnik” – “Butcher” or wheat beer “Rosa z Kremenarosa” – “A dew from Kremenaros shelter”. The second type would be more intense in taste, with more hop, perfectly matching fried or baked food . Such as “Śnieg na Beniowej” – “Snow at Beniowa mountain”, “Megaloman” – “Megalomaniac” or “Pantocrator”. For fans of strong beers we suggest “Wataha” – “Wolfpack” or “Przemytnik” – “Smuggler”. These styles can be combined with desserts.
Additionally, URSA beers will beautifully present on the table and exposure. Each bottle has an elegant shape and is decorated with eye-catching detail label. What is rarely seen on beer labels, there is an information about the recommended serving temperature and the dishes that match the beer.
Let’s imagine that wedding guests are exceptional connoisseurs of beer. Can you do something as an attraction with a beer at the wedding?
Such highlight we can do with a practical presentation about beer culture. During the course visitors will learn how beer is produced. Starting from choosing ingredients, through the blurring and hopping processes, up to bottling and storage. In the next part we can discuss serving and tasting rules. Visitors will see different types of glass for beer and learn what is an appropriate temperature of serving.
It also seems to be a good idea to prepare unusual gifts for wedding guests, naturally with a beer accents.
It is usual to order unique gifts in our shop. Those can be handmade beer cups – pokale or handicrafts. We recommend handmade wooden boxes with burned inscriptions. Of course full of tasty URSA beer! One time we give such wooden box with dozens of bottles of beer to groom. He stared at it until the end of the wedding. We can also add personal wishes or pendants with a dedication.