Estimating the amount of adult beverages that you’ll need for an event can seem like an overwhelming task, but it is much simpler than you might think. We have created a guide to help you figure out what to serve and how much to buy.
To get started you have to decide on what type of bar you will be offering: Will it be a full bar, or a wine and beer bar? A full bar typically consists of 50% wine, 20% beer, and 30% spirits. You will need 60% wine and 40% beer to stock a wine and beer bar. You can adjust these percentages according to the tastes of your guests. For example, let’s say that you will have a wine and beer bar and you know that there are more beer drinkers than wine, you could lessen the amount of wine to 35% and increase beer to 65%.
Understanding the average consumption of drinks per hour will give you an idea of the amount of beverages that will be served. Most adults will have two drinks during the first hour of the event, and one drink every hour after. The following formula will be helpful when you begin planning your purchase.
(Drinks per Person, including 2 drinks in first hours) x (Number of Guests) = (Total Drinks)
An example for a 3 hour event will look like this:
(4 Drinks per Person) x (75 Guests) = (300 Total Drinks for Event)
Now for the breakdown of how many bottles to buy. A standard 750ml bottle of wine will serve about 5 glasses, and a 1.75 liter bottle of spirit will have a little over 39 shots. Beer can be a bit trickier, as you have the choice of buying cans/bottles or serving from a keg. We will first look at how many bottles of wine and spirits will be needed, then we can explore our beer options.
Using our example for a 3 hour event with 75 guests we would have to plan for at least 300 drinks. When we break this amount down to our 50-20-30 bar ratio, we see that we’ll need 150 glasses of wine, 60 servings of beer, and 90 shots of spirits. We know that there are 5 glasses per one 750ml bottle of wine, so we divide Servings Needed by Serving per Bottle.
Wine would look like this:
(150 Servings Needed) / (5 Servings per 750ml Bottle) = 30 Bottles
And spirits would be:
(90 Servings Needed) / (39 Servings per 1.75L Bottle) = 2.3 Bottles
As we mentioned, beer is bit trickier. Sometimes buying cans or bottles can be a better choice than buying a keg. This choice could be dependent on price and/or number of servings needed. One thing to consider when buying a keg is that you will have to put a deposit down on the keg and tap, and many times stores will charge you per day on the use of the tap. The other thing to think about is how much a keg will hold. There are three sizes of American kegs, the two most common are 15.5 gallon and 7.75 gallon kegs. The 15.5 gallon will yield about 200 servings, and the 7.75 gallon keg have about 100 servings if you are pouring 10oz glasses. Buying a keg might not be the best option since we only need 60 servings of beer, you would have 40 extra servings at the end of the event.
We hope that you find this guide helpful, and that your event is grand success. Keep visiting us to learn more useful tips!