Post # 1
I was talking to my caterer this week about the best way to keep our bar budget in check. We originally planned to serve beer by the bottle, but she said that if we bought kegs, the price per serving of beer would drop by half! (There is a separate staffed bar area, so our wedding wouldn’t look like a keg party or anything.)
The big drawback is that if we go with kegs, we will only be able to offer 2 (maybe 3) beer choices, but if we went with bottles we’d be able to offer like a jillion different beer varieties. What do y’all think? We are already trimming the bar budget by only offering beer and wine. Do you think our guests will hate us if they only have 2 different beers to choose from? Also, I’m not a big beer drinker, so which 2 kinds of beer should we serve?
(And just background…we would use bottles as backup. So if/when the kegs run out, we will keep serving beer, it will just cost us more.) Thanks for your feedback! This is all foreign territory to me!
Post # 3
If it’s going to save you literally HALF on your beer budget, I say go for it!
Most people who drink beer are accustomed to having limited selections at these kinds of functions, and most people who drink beer are also usually just happy with free beer! If you did use bottles, you’d probably find that there was much higher demand for some brands than others anyway.
My suggestion (based on 6 years of bartending my way through college and now grad school) is to offer 1 "heavy" beer and 1 light beer. The most popular light beer (at least where I work) is Bud Light by far. I would suggest offering Bud and Bud Light, or maybe Bud and Miller Lite (also very popular) if you want to serve two different brands.
You also have the option of serving one regular beer and one dark beer, but this would depend on if the type of crowd you’ll be serving has any interest in this kind of "fine" beer.
I say go for it! No one will think a thing of it, and you’ll save yourself a nice bit of money in the meantime. Good luck.
Post # 4
Thanks, saramari! I had been stressing about this all day, but I feel much better now!
Post # 5
No matter what you do, I would stick with just two or three beer choices for either. It will speed up the line at the bar and you can get a better deal if you buy two or three types by the cases instead of 6/12 packs of a bunch of different kinds.
I would go with bottles, but that’s just me.
Post # 6
Maybe since you’re in Texas, serve Bud Light or Miller Light, and then a mexican beer (Dos XX or Tecate), or even Shiner. That’s exactly what we’re planning on doing. Each full-size keg should be about 160 beers. You can even find half-size kegs from some places if you’re looking for more variety. I know I’m planning on doing 2 or 3 kegs (probably Miller Light, Dos XX, and Shiner). Good luck, and definitely check out the smaller kegs if you want more choices. Kegs also help reduce environmental waste.
Post # 7
I echo the previous comments about doing one dark and one light beer (and maybe one "other" if you need a third).
Similarly to you, we’re doing a few kegs at our wedding as well–we’re going to select from our favorite local breweries. If you are worried about having to few options to choose from, maybe you could get a couple of "pony" kegs (is that even what they’re called?), too. However, I would not worry too much about offering only 2-3 beers–as long as they’re distinct from one another, you’re likely to please nearly everyone. Plus, no one is going to be looking around wondering where the rest is–it’s free!
Post # 8
- Wedding: March 2009 - Byodo-In Temple, Luau Reception
I don’t see an issue going the keg route, especially since it’s still going to be "served" rather than having everyone pumping their own drinks from the keg.
In terms of what beers to serve, I would go with a light beer and a darker beer. Or if you have a popular local beer. ie. Serve a Bud light (ir Coors light) and ee being from PA, I would serve Yuingling Lager, which is a PA local beer that’s quite popular here. I don’t know anything about Texas beers, so hopefully some else can make some recs for you. 🙂
Post # 9
BEER LOVER HERE!!!
Kegs are completely common for caterers to use at weddings. They are usually wrapped in linens to make ’em purty, and kept behind the bar. Usually the bartender fills pitchers/glasses for guests. So, as far as elegance goes, there’s no problem with a keg — and it’s way better for the environment 😉
Another plus — beer out of a keg is usually fresher and tastier. I’ve been to weddings with bottled beer and many times it’s old and stale — yuck!
As far as what to get, one light beer is fine — but don’t go with a Budweiser/Bud Light combo, ick. It’s like serving Boone’s Farm for wine. For the sake of your guests get at least ONE tasty beer, preferably two. Something from a local brewery is always a plus. Shiner Bock is also a respectable Texan beer. But your guests will know their tastes best — I’d start taking requests from family and friends!
Post # 10
- Wedding: March 2009 - Beach Social Hall
We are having two kegs at our wedding (one light and one regular), served by a bartender.
Post # 11
OK so I’m a beer drinker and I will not drink keg beer because it makes me horribly sick. Although, I would not be angry if they served it at a wedding I would just drink wine or a mixed drink instead. So I think you should do what ever you have to in order to afford your wedding.
Post # 12
Thank you so much for all the responses! Like Miss Springroll, we’ve decided to go with one light beer and one regular beer. Since our wedding has a Texas-vibe, we really considered offering a Texas-brewed beer (Shiner Bock) but were nervous that ordering a whole keg of it might be over-kill. (Most of our family/friends do not drink it regularly.)
Anyway, if our budget has a little wiggle room, we will work with our caterer to offer bottles of Shiner Bock. That way we can still offer it w/o being tied to buying 100+ servings.
One thing I learned is to ask your caterer about bar options! We have to use our venue’s caterer, and they didn’t mention that buying kegs was an option until I specifically asked. Thanks again for all the helpful suggestions!
Post # 13
@JenineD — keg beer shouldn’t make you sick if the lines are clean. Some bars don’t clean them as they should and then you get a bunch of nasty stuff along with your beer It’s not the beer. It’s the place that’s serving it. Yuck!
Post # 14
I’d do kegs! And, most people are happy to choose between 2-3 types of beer. Think of how unfortunate if people started with 8 choices, then would have to "settle" for their second, then third favorites as beer ran out. When they have only 2 choices, they can have more of whichever beer they prefer… It’s easier for you and them!
Post # 15
- Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country
Kegs ALL THE WAY! I’d offer a lighter beer and a darker one. Where are you from? It would be great to do local beers! We offered 3 beers at our wedding, all from Northern California (where the wedding was located): Pyramid Heffeweizen, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and Anchor Steam beer.
Post # 16
I just found this and it was really helpful. My FH wants kegs but I was worried it would look like a college keg party. I think I will agree with him and do 1 dark and 1 light with some bottles as back up. We were already planning on having a "bartender" so it works for me.