7 Tips to Serving Craft Beer In Style At Your Wedding

Draft In Style Bar Top Sign

Photo by Devon Donnahoo

I recently had the wonderful opportunity of being a guest blogger for The Bruncheon where I wrote a post offering 7 tips to serving craft beer in style at your wedding. The full article can be found here, but you can also read below. Enjoy!

I want you to think back to the last wedding you attended and let’s explore it from a guest’s perspective. What do you remember the most? Was it the flowers or the cake? How about the invitation you received months prior? Or perhaps the bride’s dress? These are all extremely important if you’re the bride, but one significant aspect that gets overlooked are the guests themselves. And this is a bit ironic because isn’t that one of the main reasons people have a wedding? To be surrounded by family and friends and make sure they’re having a wonderful time? I’ve attended many weddings and the two things that always stood out were the music and the alcohol. After reading countless blogs and articles now that I’m in the industry, I feel relieved that many people feel the same way. But let’s focus on the alcohol for now because I may be able to offer something fun and creative, especially if you’re a beer enthusiast.

The craft beer industry is booming, and people are finding unique ways to incorporate this theme into their wedding. Brewery weddings are becoming popular, but unless you’re a beer geek, this may not seem very appealing. So, another option can be to bring an element of a brewery to the wedding. How about a craft beer station?

The idea for Draft In Style was born out of sheer frustration. In other words, having a passion for craft beer and the lack thereof at weddings. I’ve only attended a few weddings where beer was served, but it was the cheap stuff. This boggles my mind because no one serves the cheapest vodka, whiskey or wine at their wedding so why should beer be any different?

Unfortunately, I can’t help you with an actual craft beer station if you’re not in Los Angeles or a surrounding area just yet, but I do want to educate you as much as possible, so you would know how to properly plan one yourself. Just remember, the key is to keep it classy, so here are 7 tips on how you can accomplish this!

7 Tips to Draft in Style

1. Pick the right beer. Notice how I said the right beer, not the best beer. And depending on the number of taps, you want to balance out the selection. In addition, consider how familiar people are with the beer itself. 805 might not make my top 10 list but that’s completely irrelevant. There’s a reason why we’ve served it at several weddings -people want to drink something they’re familiar with. Also, try supporting a local brewery, especially if you have more than one tap. If the brewery itself is too far from the venue, see if a local BevMo! or liquor store can order it for you.

2. Avoid bottles unless it’s a very casual barnyard type wedding or it’s a home brewed batch with custom made labels.

3. Buy a keg, but DO NOT use a party pump -it’s not a frat party. Build, buy or rent a jockey box, but make sure it’s wedding appropriate. A picnic cooler is not okay.

4. No plastic cups! I really hope you go with a nice tulip glass but if you can’t because of venue restrictions or price, please consider using disposable glassware. I can’t tell you how tacky it’s going to feel and look, especially in photos. You can either purchase 10 oz. stemmed wine glasses or 12 oz. pilsner glasses.

5. Get it delivered. Don’t ask family members to pick up the alcohol. Just trust me on this one.

6. Hire a “beertender” or make sure your bartender knows how to handle a keg. You don’t want your brother or best friend trying to adjust the CO2 or run into any issues when they’re supposed to be having fun instead. Also, most people don’t know how to pour. You don’t want your guests getting beer all over them.

7. Do your math properly so you don’t run out of alcohol. If you’re doing a beer and wine only reception, consider buying an extra keg and bring a bunch of growlers in case the keg doesn’t tap out. Or, you can buy several 22 oz bottles as back up. If you don’t end up using them, you can return it or take it home! If you do end up using them, here’s what you can do: get a galvanized bucket and either put a bow on it or use some sort of decor to dress it up. Put a bunch of ice in the bucket and pop it on top of the bar. It’s that simple.

If you would like some more ideas and inspiration, feel free to reach out. Cheers!

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Breweries

We support local breweries and love introducing some of our neighborhood favorites at our events. If your customers want to serve your beer but can't have the party at the brewery, let's take the brewery to the party! We'd be more than happy to coordinate with you and serve it ourselves or, better yet, arrange rentals with your brewery so you can skip the jockey box and draft in style.

Venues

We love when venues refer us to their clients, but what we love even more is when they refer us to other beverage caterers. If you have a preferred vendor you enjoy working with, by all means, keep working with them. Most bartending companies don't serve draft beer and if they do, it's not craft. Furthermore, it's usually served out of a bulky, boring kegerator, or even worse, a picnic style jockey box. So if you want to give your clients better craft beer options, consider offering one of our bars. We would be delighted to coordinate rental services to another bartending company. And if assistance is needed with the keg selection or assembly, we'd be more than happy to help.

Catering

We have worked with some of the top caterers in Los Angeles and always look forward to these collaborations. Not only do we save our clients time and money, but we help each other when we combine logistics and utilize our resources wisely. Additionally, if you want to provide your own bartenders, that's completely fine with us. It takes an army of talented vendors to create an amazing event and we simply love working as a team.

Bar Service

With today's high standards and rapidly evolving craft beer scene, even the top hospitality companies can't keep up. The beverage catering industry is booming with talented mixologists and experienced sommeliers, but where are the sophisticated beer folks when you want to draft in style? No need to drink a Bud Light out of a bottle anymore. From now on, you can enjoy your saison in a tulip glass with class! We support local breweries. What's your favorite beer?