Monday, May 18, 2015

Local Cheers

 Thoughts on Cheers!
Choosing your wedding beverages—especially beer—can be challenging with so many craft brewery choices. With craft breweries seemingly popping up every day, the options can seem endless. Just a few of the factors you will need to consider are: price point, choosing local to the area, keg vs. bottles / cans and the types of beer and selections you want to offer. If you are having a wedding of more than 100 people, our opinion is at least two beer selections that are a perfect compliment to any fare. A light beer (Pilsner, Belgian White / Blonde Ales or any Honey Ale) paired with a darker or hoppy-er beer (Cold Smoke or the Hopzone IPA) is a wonderful way to mix it up for your guests. Ultimately, you know your wedding guests better than anyone else, so choose what you think is most fitting for your crowds palette.

Some Favorite Montana Wedding Beer Choices
Belgian White- Harvest Moon Brewing Co. (Belt, MT)
Cold Smoke- Kettle House Brewing Co. (Missoula, MT)
Czech Mate Pilsner- Red Lodge Ales (Red Lodge, MT)
Hopzone IPA- Bozeman Brewing Co (Bozeman, MT)
Salmon Fly Honey Rye- Madison River Brewing Co. (Belgrade, MT
Summer Honey Ale- Big Sky Brewing Co. (Missoula, MT)
Saw Tooth Ale- Bitter Root Brewing Co. (Hamilton, MT) 

When Ordering
Half Barrel Keg- 165 pours, (12 oz servings)
Pony Keg- 82 pours, (12 oz servings)

Estimate 2-4 pours per guest, but once again, you know your guests best. If you are having doubts, cans / bottles are a good option, since you can you can stock your fridge with the leftovers.

In many instances, you can order kegs directly from the breweries. Also check with local distributors, they may even deliver to you. If you are picking up the kegs yourself, get plenty of ice, as well as an appropriate container to hold them. A galvanized tub or watering trough works and looks great. You can also dress up an otherwise blah trashcan with a couple of extra tablecloths.

If you are serving cans or bottles, its often most affordable to go straight to the brewery. If not then check your local grocery store, package store or even the super market. We also recommend having these on display in a stainless steel beer cooler or large galvanized bucket for easy self serve.

Drinking Vessel
If you are not interested in ordering glassware from the rental company or venue, we recommend biodegradable cups. These cups feel similar to typical plastic Solo cups, but they are completely compostable. You can find several different options online and have them shipped to your door. Being environmentally friendly is always a great choice and your guest will appreciate it! If your friends are craft beer fans, consider logo glasses and pints from the brewery as a guest gift. Your guests can use them throughout the reception and then take them home.

Bar Tenders
We are big fans of hiring a bar service, even if you are doing just beer and wine. Bartenders can help you with ordering based on your preferences, budget and guest count. A professional bartender will make sure the bar stays stocked; tap kegs as needed and make sure everything runs smoothly. As a professional bartender, they are also able to control the flow of alcohol when a guest has had too much. Most services will break down your bar at the end of the evening and pack up the bar rentals properly. Its important to note that some venues require a professional bartender on location for liability and insurance reasons.

Let’s raise a glass to your big day!


Article by Brett Conner
Photography by Mkate Photography

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