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Pitcher-Perfect Receptions: Unique Ways To Incorporate Your Favorite California Breweries Into The Big Day

Carrie Bell

With California being home to more than 980 craft breweries and millions of lager lovers, it only makes sense that venues and caterers are hopping aboard the beer train. “We believe your menu and wedding should always reflect you. With rising appreciation in food and craft beer/cocktail culture, we’re finding ways to incorporate clients’ favorite breweries not only into the bar, but [into] the cuisine,” says Carizza Rose Villa, director of marketing and PR for Costa Mesa–based catering company 24 Carrots Catering and Events. The company has served dishes cooked with beer, such as Guinness-braised short rib, and created interactive stations, including a beer-float bar.

Shelby Caitlin Photography

April Baserga, catering sales manager for the event arm of SLO Brew, a 30-year-old brand based in San Luis Obispo, says the popularity of small-scale breweries and a desire to hire local vendors are ”big driving factors” that bring couples through the door of SLO Brew’s brewpub, The Rock, which hosts weddings. It offers beer and food pairings, and uses themed décor, such as cases of beer as food risers at buffets or growlers as vases. It also can personalize beer cozies or pint glasses as favors and put together beer-themed welcome bags. Couples can even arrange gatherings with the brewmaster, brewery tours or photo sessions with the beer tanks as a backdrop.

Sarah Kuhlberg of Colette’s Catering & Events in Fullerton recommends deciding your menu first and then picking the perfect brew to match. And with a plethora of local breweries here in Southern California, there’s plenty of barley from which to choose. “Also, you can place a beer selection into your specialty cocktail menu,” notes Kulberg. “Or have a welcome beer station right when your guests arrive.”

Combine two trends in one and hire Tap Truck. Started in San Diego in 2016, the company has retrofitted vintage American cars with kegerator systems and exterior taps. Drivers deliver the drafts (or ciders, wine or sodas) of your choosing to your venue, park the truck and start pouring. Tap Truck now operates in Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, LA, Northern California, Orange County, the Central Valley and the Central Coast.

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