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Notes on a Brew Day for Someone Else's Wedding, Pt. 2: Marie avec Visage-Sale

Sometimes, when you wake up with the flu but you've already measured out and acidified the strike water and weighed the grain the night before, and you're now at zero hour for bashing out a biere de garde commissioned for your cousin's wedding reception, well sir ... sometimes you just gotta start heating the water, go puke, wipe your mouth on the brew sheet, and then mash in.

Too much info? Alright, how about this: Marie avec Visage-Sale - it's what I will generously call my own loose French translation of my cousin's and her fiancee's startup farm outside Menomonie, named for a historical figure of the region:

At one time, a rather good looking young squaw, named by the boys "Mary Dirty Face," was purchased by a mill hand, as a wife. Mary utterly repudiated the pale face, and refused to share his bed and board, so [p. 276] he seized the goods he had given for her and burned them, and to have ample revenge out of his wife's relations, he procured a gallon of whiskey, put some ipecac in it, and invited the Indians to have a big drunk with him. Every available red skin put in an appearance, the whiskey was soon disposed of, and such a woebegone lot of Chippewas never struggled together to invert their stomachs. As soon as they were sufficiently recovered for concerted action, they sounded the terrible war cry, and started to hunt him down, but George, realizing what he might expect, and not being willing to become their victim, escaped. While their war paint was on, vengeance against the whole white race was threatened, but the affair was soon quieted.

from A History of Northern Wisconsin (vol. 1), The Western Historical Company, 1881  

"Utterly repudiated the pale face" - good on ya, Mary, you could obviously do better. And George The Mill Hand: clearly a class act. Glad you were able to head off the vengeance-against-the-whole-white-race thing after you stole back the "dowry" you had to trade for a partner instead of resorting to, you know, courtship and pitching woo; and then setting fire to said "dowry" right before you gave Mary's kinfolk that doctored frontier hooch that made them throw up. That's pretty much exactly how I remember my honeymoon, too. Huh. Reverse peristalsis seems to be a recurring theme in this post. I promise I will now shrug it off and move forward, just like I did on this brew day. Anyhow, the beer: a biere de garde, a classic farmhouse style, in honor of a couple of young farmers. Since the reception will be outdoors on Labor Day weekend and it could be hot, I'm brewing it to a more historically-representative lower gravity than the higher-octane "De Luxe" bieres de garde we're more familiar with today. And because it's for September, I'm going for an Oktoberfest-ish color. And because I like biere de garde, it's a 10 gallon batch:

Marie avec Visage-Sale

10 gallons, all-grain Target OG 1.052


  • 10 lbs MFB Pilsner
  • 7 lbs Munich 20 EBC
  • 12 oz Aromatic malt


  • 152 F for 60 minutes
  • 170 F for 10 minutes


  • 2 oz Palisade (whole, 8% aa) @ first wort
  • 0.5 oz Palisade (whole, 8%) @ 15"
  • 2 x Whirlfloc tablets @ 15"


  • Chill to 66 F, O2, and pitch
  • WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch (harvested & washed slurry from the IBR Pale Ale)
  • Ferment to TG, then rack and crash cool for the "garde" phase ...

The 029 started throwing lots of sulfur at about 48 hours, as the airlock bubbling began to slow. At the time of this writing, we're a few weeks into the secondary, SG 1.014, with great clarity and a bright malt flavor that's completely supplanted the sulfur.  Next up: keg and carb in anticipation of le grand jour. Oh, and hey: how about an extract version?

Marie avec Visage-Sale 5 gallons, extract

  • 1 lb Belgian Caravienne (steep)
  • 6 lbs Pilsen malt syrup
  • 1 lb Pilsen DME
  • 1.25 oz Palisade @ 60"
  • 0.25 oz Palisade @ 15"
  • WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch
  • I recommend not puking on brew day if you can help it.