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How to Choose Your Wedding Liquor List

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Wedding planning is never easy. From the flowers to the menu and of course the dress, everything must be perfect. Few couples, though, consider the importance of the liquor provision at a wedding. While the food is vital, the alcohol also has a role to play in how guests — and the special couple too — experience the day. as much as 25 percent of the total catering bill goes towards alcohol in an open bar reception. That’s a significant investment in something that is often given very little thought. Here are a few ideas of what to consider for your wedding liquor:

Sophisticated Brew

While wine might be the obvious option, beer is often overlooked or thought of as an add-on at an open bar. Times are changing though as beer starts to grow up. The number of beer brands of shelves has greatly expanded due to an increase in interest in craft and artisanal brands of beer. While the well known staples still hold the market share, experimentation with different beer brands is on the rise and consumer are looking for independent craft brewers more than ever. In fact as much as 12 percent of the total beer market is made up of small and independent craft brewers.

In terms of the actual number of breweries active in the United States, over 99% of them are craft and small breweries (4,269 as of 2015). These include brewpubs and microbreweries. Almost 25 million barrels of beer were produced by craft brewers in 2015, with an estimated retail value of $22.3 billion or 21 percent market share. Choosing the right supplier for your wedding can make all the difference. Craft beer brands bring a new level of sophistication to any wedding experience.

Staying Traditional

When it comes to weddings nothing is more traditional than wine. Millennials are a fast growing wine drinking segment, consuming almost 160 million cases of wine in 2015, that is 42 percent of all wine bought in the US. They drink more than their older counterparts too, just over 3 glasses in comparison to less than 2.5 by Generation Xers and less than 2 for boomers.

With more than 77,000 wineries across the country there are many options to choose from. When considering what wine to choose it is useful to know the most popular varietals and types of wine favored by most, namely chardonnay — ranked number 1 — Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Merlot and Pinot Noir. Red wines are the most popular with Americans (51 percent), while white sits at 46 percent popularity and rose at just 6 percent, according to Nielsen. A selection of red and white from thees varietals will go down well with most guests.

Other Options

Hard tack might not always be a go-to choice for weddings, but it can add a new dimension to the festivities. More than 97.97 million Americans buy spirits every year and over 13.43 million bought pre-mixed cocktails in the last month, according to research conducted. One way to raise the bar — literally and figuratively — is to design your own signature cocktail that tells your love story in liquor form. You can match it to the wedding colors an combine your tastes as a couple to create a unique representation of your love.

A word of warning, though: too much hard liquor can turn a lively gathering into chaos, so you may want to limit how much of the hard stuff you offer your guests. Whatever you choose, put some thought into your wedding liquor list to add that little something extra to the greatest party of your lives.

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