One of the big things I kept putting off was going to look into alcohol prices! One of the great things about being able to bring our own booze to the wedding, is it saves a TON of money! But the downside to bringing your own alcohol is that you have to, well, bring your own alcohol. And if you’re working on a budget, like we are, it’s not as simple as going and picking up a few cases of wine and beer and calling it a day! (Well, I guess you could make it that simple, but I’m more into doing my research than that.) First things first, we selected our wine!
Luckily for us, one of our friends has a wholesale license, which helps out a whole lot on the food, but he doesn’t have the right license for alcohol (darn!). So that left me to start at my trusted Costco. I started by checking out the prices they had on various wines and champagnes. I found a few that seemed like they would work, but none of the prices were GREAT, and I just wasn’t really in love with anything. So I noted my prices and moved on to Bevmo!
Now, I don’t go to Bevmo very often, and when I do it’s usually because I have my heart set on some random drink the grocery store doesn’t have. Seeing as I don’t drink that much, that’s a pretty rare occurrence. But I happened to go during their AH-MAZING five-cent wine sale. Now the awesome thing about the sale is that they have a bunch of good wine at buy one bottle and get one for five cents! Now that could drastically change my budget up! You see, we (similarly to a LOT of couples) can’t afford to splurge on wine, and honestly I was budgeting about $5 per bottle. This number is able to fluctuate, but that was where I really wanted to stay. But with the five-cent wine sale, I could get bottles priced around $10 for $5 each! So I picked up a few different bottles and took them to dinner at my mom’s house so that we could taste them and decide. Since Mr. B doesn’t drink wine, I needed my mom and step-dad’s trusted opinions, and they definitely came through! Sure enough, one of the bottles I bought was one of my mom’s favorites!
It was an easy decision for us from that point, and now I just needed to go pick-up the many, MANY cases of wine we needed to buy before the sale ended!
When it came to the beer, I was very fortunate to have a “hook-up.” Thankfully, FSIL S’s family owns one of the most popular breweries in town and is going to help us with getting the kegs of beer! Now all that was left to decide is which beer we would choose.
FSIL S sent me a list of what beer would be available in kegs for our wedding date, and I decided to stop by the liquor store to pick up some bombers of the various beers. Of course, what didn’t occur to me (a non beer drinker) is that the liquor store wouldn’t carry all of the brews. They only had the one brew that Mr. B had already stated he thought would be a good choice, Red Trolley Ale. Beer-tasting attempt failure #1. Luckily, I stopped by my mom’s neighborhood Albertson’s that Sunday before our weekly dinner, and lo and behold, Albertson’s has a build-your-own craft beer six-pack station. I was very happy to see they even had five of the six choices I was looking for. I quickly filled my carrier and sent Mr. B a pic so he could be excited to taste all the beer!
My custom six-pack: Karl Amber Lager, Woodie Gold, Endless Summer Light, Tower 10 IPA, and Red Trolley Ale
As excited as I was about my six-pack, Mr. B was just not into drinking beer that night, so we decided we’d save them for later that week. My idea for tasting the beer: have small servings one night later in the week to get a good idea of which one we liked better when they were fresh in our memory. Mr. B’s idea for beer tasting: cracking one open every night with dinner—beer-tasting attempt failure #2. When we only had a few of the beers left we went over to GM R and BM K’s house for dinner, beer in tow. The guys tried a few, but since they were the stronger of the beers, they couldn’t really get the right taste (we are NOT beer-tasting experts)—beer-tasting attempt failure #3. (We are not forming a good pattern here.)
FINALLY, FBIL K and FSIL S invited us to go beer tasting at the brewery with them, an invitation we gladly accepted; best leave the beer-tasting instructions to the professionals, and, seriously, we should have done this weeks ago! Our waitress ordered us a couple of flights of beer and set them on our table in the order we should drink them. Apparently, if you don’t drink them lightest to darkest, the flavors will get lost and the whole tasting will be moot.
Our two flights of beer, plus our sample of the Brewer’s Choice (which was probably my favorite, and of course not available in kegs for our wedding)
Mr. B and I tried all the beers (except the last two, which we knew we wouldn’t get for the wedding). We tried to keep in mind, it wasn’t ONLY about which beers were our favorites, but also which ones would have mass appeal. In the end, we decided that our original first choice, Red Trolley Ale, was still a good choice, and coincidentally it is the beer the brewery pairs with barbecue. And since we’re serving barbecue, it’s probably a good way to go. For our second choice, we decided on the Endless Summer Light; not only did we both really like it, but light beers in general have the most mass appeal and would be a good contrast to the Red Trolley. All in all, our beer-tasting adventure was fun, and the food at the brewery was DE-LICIOUS.
FBIL K & FSIL S enjoying beer tasting with us (S likes the Amber Lager.)
Mr. B & me before tasting all the yummy beer
All photos personal
Do you get to provide your own alcohol for your reception? Did you take advantage of any promotions and stock up? (Is Bevmo your new favorite store, too?) How did you decide what beer to serve at your wedding? Did you go with your all-time favorite or choose from a big selection?