Wedding Beers: How Much Beer To Buy For Your Guests?

You can hire the Small Beer mini bar for your wedding or party

Whether your guests are toasting speeches, doing the Macarena on the dance floor, or making small talk with someone’s Great Aunt, wedding beers are a quintessential part of most people’s nuptials. So, what are the best wedding beers, how much do you need to order, and where can you get wedding beers from?

HOW MUCH BEER SHOULD YOU BUY FOR A WEDDING?

As a rule of thumb, about a third of wedding guests will likely drink beers, a third will prefer wine, and the rest will consume spirits and non-alcoholic drinks. You’ll want to order drinks in these proportions, while also anticipating how long your wedding will last to better calculate quantities.

We have provided some more detail below, but the following wedding beer calculator can help you figure out roughly how much beer you should order for your reception.

Wedding beers = (No. of adult guests X No. hours) / 3

Figuring out exactly how much beer to buy for your wedding depends on a number of factors. You know your wedding guest list best, so if many of your attendees are big beer drinkers, you’ll obviously want more of the stuff available.

According to one wedding planning site, the average wedding reception is four to five hours long. As another rule of thumb, guests will consume about one drink per hour on average. This might seem less than you'd expect, but people usually drink faster in the first hour of a reception, then slow down after the first couple of drinks (during the meal, speeches and dancing). There will also be several guests who won’t drink at all.

So, using the formula above, if you invite 100 guests to your wedding, and you expect the reception to last four hours, you multiply 100 by four to get 400. You then divide this number by three to estimate than you'll need in the region of 133 beer for your wedding day.

Using the same calculation, let's look at estimates for different wedding sizes based on a four-hour-long reception:

  • How much beer for 30 guests: 40 beers
  • How much beer 50 guests: 67 beers
  • How much beer for 100 guests: 133 beers
  • How much beer for 150 guests: 200 beers
  • How much beer for 200 guests: 267 beers

WHAT TYPE OF BEER SHOULD YOU BUY FOR YOUR WEDDING?

Your guests will obviously have different tastes and preferences, but when buying wedding beers, there are a few factors to consider:

  • Think about the season: Different types of beer are better suited to different seasons. Generally speaking, crisper, more floral-flavoured beers such as lagers and session pales go down more easily in summer, whereas darker, maltier beers tend to be more popular in autumn and winter.
  • Provide a variety: If you're catering for dozens of guests or even hundreds, you can expect them to have different beer tastes. Try to provide at least two different styles of beer to choose from. If you're really not sure, you can't go wrong with one lager and one pale ale.
  • Consider alcohol strength: Wedding receptions usually last several hours, so the best wedding beers tend to be those that contain a lower percentage of alcohol, which will help your guests from becoming overly inebriated or dehydrated.
  • Get creative with cocktails: Beer cocktails are growing in popularity today. To make a genuinely unique and memorable serve that your guests will love, pour a chilled bottle of Small Beer Lager into a glass and top it with 25 ml of Campari.  

WHERE TO BUY WEDDING BEERS

There are several places that you can order your wedding beers from, including:

  • Your wedding venue: Depending on where you're hosting your reception, your wedding venue may be able to take care of sourcing all the beers you want.
  • Local supermarkets: If you're looking to buy in bulk and you want a nice variety, supermarkets can be a good option for buying wedding beers and you can also get them delivered to your home or wedding venue.
  • Beer shops: Why not support your local beer shop? Speak to the owners about cans or bottles in bulk as they might be able to do you a deal.
  • Breweries: If there's a particular brewery that you really like, you may be able to order batches of wedding beer from them. If you want to buy Small Beer for your wedding, contact us today as we are create special rates for customers spending more than £500.

HOW TO SERVE BEER AT A WEDDING

There are a few different options when it comes to serving up beers to your wedding guests. Bottles are easy to store in a fridge or for a more stylish touch, you can use vintage ice buckets to keep the bottles cool. Cans are even easier to store and transport, but they might not match the mood you’re trying to set in quite the same way.

The big benefit of bottles and cans is that if you have any unopened beers at the end of your wedding, you can pack them up and take them home, rather than wasting anything.

If you would prefer to serve draught beer at your wedding, you could rent a keg from a local brewery or get in touch with a specialist company that arranges keg hire. A keg like this will typically contain up to 50 litres or around 88 pints of beer (you can also buy half kegs if that sounds like too much).

For something a little more manageable, we stock mini beer kegs in the Small Beer online store, which could work perfectly for smaller wedding parties. Mini kegs are filled with around nine pints of fresh beer that your guests can easily pour themselves without the need for any special equipment.

If you want a beer keg at your wedding you will, of course, need to stock up on reusable cups, but these are likely a lot more suitable for the dance floor than glass bottles!

Hire our London brewery for your wedding reception

Our industrial chic brewery in Bermondsey doubles up as a large event space for hosting specacular weddings and parties.

A DAY TO REMEMBER: WHY CHOOSE LOW ALCOHOL WEDDING BEERS?

At Small Beer, all our beers are brewed below 2.8% ABV. There’s enough alcohol content in our beers that you’ll still enjoy a gentle buzz when you’re drinking them, but you’ll feel a lot less inebriated compared to stronger alternatives.

By providing a lower alcohol option for your guests - even if it’s only during the evening - you create an environment that feels welcoming to everyone, while allowing your guests to pace themselves without feeling like they're missing out on any of the revelry.

Choosing to drink lower alcohol beers on your wedding day will mean you can create special memories to treasure for years. Plus: you can avoid feeling hungover on the first day of your honeymoon.