Save On Alcohol

Whether you are eloping, hosting a more intimate reception or are just trying to party on a budget, there are a few ways you can help cut costs for your event. Since Hub Tap is strictly a bartending service that doesn't make any money off of the sale of alcohol, over time, this has helped us become quite savvy in helping our clients save money on alcohol for their post- ceremony celebrations. A lot of bartending companies, venues and caterers have substantial premiums associated with their alcohol services, so we have compiled a brief list of ideas below to help you be as cost-effective as possible.

1. Being accurate in how much your guests will drink.

This might be quite obvious and if you read our other post, “How Much Alcohol Should I Order?”, being as accurate as possible on consumption of your guests will help save on over purchasing beer, wine, and liquor for your event.

2. Consider using kegged beer vs. bottles and cans.

When we created our vintage trailer for Hub Tap one of the main things we wanted to accomplish was to have an operation draft system for our events. Yes, kegs are a bit heavier, and there is a bit of a deposit cost when purchasing but barring you losing the keg shell and tap you’re going to save big on the beer cost.

A typical case of domestic beer (24 count) runs anywhere from $20-$24 depending on the brand. This equates to about $0.85-$1.00 per beer, which in smaller quantities is not bad. But if you’re hosting 50, 75, or 150 people at your event, you’re going to need a lot more beer. A keg of domestic beer from your local beer/wine distributor will run you about $115-$125 giving you about 250 beers per 1/2 barrel (full keg). This means that the per beer cost is about $0.44- $0.50 per beer. You just saved 50% on your total beer cost.

3. Costco & Sam's Club for liquor.

Now we know your first thought, "That doesn’t help me since I’m not a member of these wholesale clubs." Well, guess what?! You don’t have to be! Wholesale clubs can't charge a membership fee for the sale of alcohol. So rather than heading to your local liquor store to stock up on spirits for your shindig, check to see if your local Sam's Club or Costco has a liquor store and go there.

Your local liquor store cannot match the purchasing power of these types of retailers. So when purchasing in bulk, it’s advisable to head here first to save anywhere from 15-20% on the same bottles.

Another hidden secret from these wholesalers is that a lot of them have house brands of liquor. Without going into a whole lesson on branding, the short story is that a lot of these house brands are your favorite spirits just rebranded as Costco or Sam's Club. This is another way to save tremendously per bottle.

4. Stock the bar parties.

The final way you can cut costs on the alcohol for your party is to have everyone else supply it! For our clients who are trying to host their celebration on a budget, we always suggest that they consider hosting a stock the bar party. Now not only do you get to have a party twice with all of your close friends but the cost of buying a few appetizers for everyone and receiving liquor in exchange is a huge saving.

One suggestion we do have for stock the bar parties is to make a list of alcohol you would like. If you don’t have a clear-cut list of the types of alcohol you would want down to the brand, you’ll end up with a hodgepodge of different types that will make your life and your bartender's life much more complicated.

Planning a wedding reception or private party is a lot and we understand that. By following a few of these steps it should help save on some costs and make your event planning a bit less stressful and lighter on the wallet.