The coolest new trend for weddings: Mobile bars
A weeklong series about weddings post-pandemic.
Wedding guests may have more face time with the person pouring drinks than the happy couple. That's why the art and ambience of a bar service is an opportunity to bake in added delight to an already lovely occasion.
Mobile bars are one of the hottest new trends, offering adorable vessels and top-shelf beverage selections. Imagine a quaint truck outfitted with prosecco taps, or a sleek black horse trailer that rolls into events complete with a refined mixologist, or even a dolled-up 1950s-era camper with a hand-drawn menu. Each amps up the excitement at the reception and extends the couple's hospitality to guests.
But there are some things to consider. Part of the reason bar options are limited is because Minnesota's liquor laws can be tricky to navigate. To hire any of these mobile bartenders, couples will need to buy the alcohol upfront. The good news for guests? That means it's an open bar. The great news for all is that couples can have a handle on drink selection. If they want to offer a favorite Cuban rum Old Fashioned or a special variety of pink bubbles, it's easy to make that happen. Here are three mobile services to try:
Equal Parts Cocktail Co.
Choose your own adventure — or at least between two bar setups.
The first is a small, handmade wood bar that can easily fit inside a home or serve a small backyard wedding. The other is a converted horse trailer, ideal for larger events, that can house a couple of bartenders and is especially impressive at outdoor weddings. The converted trailer is lined with hand-hewn wood, a fully stocked bar and custom displays with a drink menu.
The company was founded by professional bartender Simeon Priest. Priest was a well-known bartender for more 15 years in the Minneapolis craft cocktail scene, last seen working at In Bloom in Keg and Case. Priest staffs his bars with fellow professional craft bartenders.
This is an ideal choice for the couple who appreciate a great cocktail. During a one-on-one consultation, Priest and his team can determine a personalized cocktail — including ones that can be made without alcohol for a more inclusive bar experience. The website has a tool to plug in all the event details to determine an approximate cost. Minimums hover around $800 for a weekday event and $1,400 for weekends.
Equal Parts partners with Solo Vino, a locally owned boutique liquor store in St. Paul. Plus, all single-use glassware is compostable.
More info: equalpartsco.com, 612-345-8116, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tiny Tap
The Tiny Tap is, indeed, tiny. At just 5 feet wide, the truck specializes in serving pour-your-own prosecco. Business partners Colin Mihm and Trevor Pearson were traveling through Europe in 2016 and happened upon a tiny truck serving cocktails at the base of a ski mountain. "We thought, this was the coolest idea ever," said Mihm.
In 2018, they launched Tiny Tap, pouring sparkling wine at weddings and other events. Mihm said guests are always enchanted by the truck, and it creates an Instagrammable moment.
Tiny Tap also partners with local catering companies, including mainstays like D'Amico, making the entire process easier to wrangle. Tiny Tap provides setup, teardown and all the glassware needed. Event minimums start around $1,500.
More info: thetinytap.com
Sip and Savor
This year will be Mabel's maiden voyage. Mabel is the 1957 tow-behind Shasta camper that's been completely transformed. Sip and Savor (and Mabel) is the work of Melissa Bush.
A longtime worker in the Anoka-Hennepin School District, this season Bush is flipping the schedule on having summers off to work events and perhaps claim a little more work-life balance in the process.
The eye-catching — and very charming — black camper with the maple-colored, wood-trimmed window comes with a custom-made menu, which makes it easy for guests to order. In addition to the cocktails, Mabel comes stocked with personalized touches like complimentary lemon water or lavender lemonade.
Like the other vendors, Sip and Savor doesn't come with a giant staff. Packages start at $900, and includes ice, cups, straws, napkins and garnishes.
More info: sipandsavorbar.com