Prepping for the The Georgia Bar
You law school grads just winced at that title. But I promise this is a happy post. About booze!
Planning your beverage options for a wedding is never easy. You have to decide what to drink, and more importantly, who’s going to pay (You? Mom and Dad? The guests at a cash bar?). But since Rooster and I are getting married at Monday Night Brewing, our decision making process was a little easier than most.
Photo by Caroline Fontenot, via her blog Back Down South
Open vs. Cash Bar
We knew from the start we’d host an open bar for the wedding. Even if we had to limit the variety of spirits to a few signature cocktails, there was no way our lush and lovely friends and family would let us live down a cash bar. I understand that the expectations of booze change from family to family and region to region. But we were wined and dined at all of our married friends’ weddings, so this is our turn to return the favor.
Where’s it Coming From?
Since our wedding venue is actually a brewery, you might imagine that we’ll be drinking freshly tapped beer straight from the tank. But you’d be wrong. Since Georgia laws prohibit breweries from selling anything larger than beer tasting samples, we’re actually providing all of the booze for our wedding ourselves from outside sources. That will include plenty of Monday Night beers (from our own kegs, so we can serve up more than 5 ounces at a time), plus red and white wine, and liquor for mixed drinks and shots. The ice and mixers (soda and juice) will be provided by our bartenders, Raising the Bar.
What’ll Ya Have?
The Beer: Monday Night Brewing has some awesome beers, and I’m excited to have our out-of-town friends and family come try their brews. Rooster’s favorite is the Eye Patch Ale, a really drinkable citrusy Indian Pale Ale (seriously, it’s the IPA that got me to love IPAs). Mine is a tie between the Drafty Kilt (a dark-looking but light-tasting slightly sweet scotch ale) and the Fu Manbrew (a Belgian-style wheat beer brewed with ginger). Three kegs will definitely be enough for a guest list of 90 people, but MNB just announced a new year-round brew, Nerd Alert Pseudo-Pilsner (which is technically an ale). We’re considering adding Nerd Alert to the mix because we think it might be a drinkable option for our guests who might not like the more adventurous beers (we’ve yet to try it), but 4 kegs is definitely way too much.
The Wine: To keep with the local Southern theme, I have it in my mind to serve only Southern wines and spirits, but finding the right drinks is proving to be a little difficult. We’re set on serving one white and one red wine, hopefully for around $10-$12 per bottle. After a little Googling, it seems like the best choice for a versatile white is Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, and good crowd-pleasing reds are Cabernet Saugvignon or Pinot Noir. The problem is, I can’t exactly find local wines of those types. The best fit seems to be the North Carolina Biltmore Estate’s Cabernet and Chardonnay Sur Lie. I guess our next step should be buying a few bottles of wine and and tasting them until we find what we like (wedding planning is hard). Anybody have any $10 bottles of wine they love? Should we stick to the Southern thing or expand our horizons? Will anybody care but us?
The Spirits: Our full bar will be stocked with five spirits: Vodka, Gin, Tequila, Rum and Whiskey. Rooster and I both love vodka, so I already know we’ll serve our favorite, Tito’s Vodka from Austin, Texas, at the wedding. For gin, I’m thinking of going with the highly-rated Southern Gin, from Georgia. And for Whiskey, it’s gotta be Jack Daniels, right? Tequila and Rum are a little more difficult to find in the South (ok, impossible), so we will have to expand our horizons here. What’s your favorite affordable tequila or light rum?
How much of each?
This is a tough question. Conventional estimates say your guest list will drink close to 20% liquor, 15% beer, 65% wine. But because I know our friends and family (and because the wedding is at a brewery), I think we’ll have a lot more beer drinkers. At some point soon, we’ll have to sit down and do the math on this and start buying up our liquor and wine. I want to have enough for everyone, but not so much that we’ve killed our budget on beverages.