How To Start Hosting Events At Your Brewery Or Taproom

Breweries and taprooms serve as gathering places for the community in which they are located. They offer a casual and welcoming atmosphere where people can come together, socialize, and enjoy the local craft beer culture. This is why these spaces are perfect for hosting in-house and private events.

Breweries and taprooms have plenty to offer to event planners and attendees. An open-concept floor plan that can be easily transformed into different layouts, unique viewing of the brewing equipment, an immersive and personal experience with the brewing process, and the brewers themselves, and most importantly, a wide range of quality craft beers.

There are two main types of events you can host at your brewery or taproom.

  • In-House Events: Where you invite the community to come to enjoy your space and beer while participating in a fun activity such as trivia nights, new beer releases, tours & tastings, live music performances, and pet adoptions.
  • Private Events: Where you will rent out rooms, selected areas, or a complete buyout for a party hosted by an individual for celebrations such as birthday parties, weddings, showers, corporate meetings, and team outings.

Common Brewery Event Practices:

We have gathered some common brewery and taproom best practices when offering in-house and private events to the general public. This list is not exhaustive but is a great starting point to get you up and running.

  • Beer Minimums: Setting a beer minimum of one pint per person per every hour to an hour and a half is a common practice. It provides a straightforward estimate for both the brewery and guests, ensuring a reasonable level of revenue while allowing guests to enjoy the brewery’s offerings at their own pace.
  • Table Reservations: Offer table reservations for smaller parties, typically ranging from four to ten guests, depending on your table sizes. This allows groups to secure seating and creates a more personalized experience.
  • Sections for Larger Parties: For larger parties of 10 or more guests, consider creating specific sections of the brewery. This can involve reserving tables or roping off open spaces to accommodate the group comfortably and maintain a balanced atmosphere in the taproom.
  • Private Bar for Large Parties: Private parties with more than 50 guests should have a dedicated bar to handle drink orders efficiently. This helps prevent overwhelming the taproom’s regular service and ensures a smooth experience for both the brewery and the private event attendees.
  • BYOF — Bring Your Own Food: If your brewery is not equipped to offer catering services, a common practice is to allow guests to bring their own food (BYOF). This simplifies event planning and ensures guests can enjoy food while at the brewery.
  • Limited Full Buy-Outs: Offering full buy-outs of the brewery for private events is not a standard practice for many breweries. This approach helps avoid disrupting regular patrons while still accommodating larger parties through reserved sections or tables.
  • Booking and Cleanup Fees: For larger parties, it’s common to include a booking fee and a separate cleanup fee for party reservations. The booking fee covers event management and coordination, while the cleanup fee ensures the brewery can restore the space after the event. Pricing can vary based on factors such as the day of the week and time of day, with higher prices typically applied during busier periods.

When starting an events program at your brewery, start small, learn, grow, and evolve over time as you figure out what works for your unique business.

Breweries and taprooms have become more than just places to enjoy a cold beer. These unique venues have evolved into community hubs to gather, enjoy quality crafted brews, and celebrate life’s moments. Open your brewery doors to in-house events and private events to expand your community and grow revenue.

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