Toast is wedded bliss, with groom’s own brew

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A groom has come up with a unique way of marking his wedding to his long-term sweetheart – by hand-crafting a beer, which he has named Ball and Chain Ale.

While most men might pick a touching song from the couple’s time together, Alex Arkell was clear about how he was going to add a personal touch to their wedding day.

He is the youngest member of the Arkell’s brewing dynasty, based in Swindon, Wiltshire, and has ensured guests at his wedding to Alice Braithwaite, 27, will able to raise a glass of specially brewed beer.

The 27-year-old proposed to Alice over a romantic meal and they are planning to get married at Ms Braithwaite’s family home in Northumberland on January 26.

While some brides might have taken offence at the tongue-in-cheek name, the couple actually came up with it together – on the grounds that it attracted the most laughs.

Mr Arkell, head brewer for the family firm in Swindon, said the ingredients of his traditional ale were the same as that of a successful marriage.

“Beer is brewed from malt, hops, water and yeast,” he said.

“Most malts are made from barley, much of it good English barley. Hops are the female flowers used for flavouring and stability. The yeast is used for fermentation. Marry them together and you have malt and hops for content, stability and flavouring and yeast to rise to the occasion.

“I’m hoping Ball and Chain will become fundamental to a contented married life for us both. It’s been fun creating a beer to mark the most important day of our lives.” People will be able to raise a glass to the couple when the ale hits pubs next week.