At almost every event we have at 6 Pastures, we’re asked how much alcohol should we purchase.  To learn the math caterers use, we reached out to some of our preferred professionals for some advice.  The responses below are how the pros figure it out along with their tips on how to host a great event when alcohol is provided.

Chris Harrar from Smokin’ Willy in Purcellville provides these suggestions:

  • First couples need to remember the goal of the day is to not get everyone drunk.  Don’t buy beer with high alcohol content.  It takes a lot of Bud Light for someone to get drunk!
  • At your cocktail hour serve only beer and wine, no liquor.
  • Make sure bartenders are pouring mixed drinks light, people get excited when they see free alcohol.
  • Close the bar 30 Min. prior to the end of the event.
  • Always have water available at the bar.
  • Full bottles of wine and liquor, should never be handed out.
  • No shots are poured.  Drinks should be poured “neat”.  On the rocks is the closest anyone should get to a shot.
how much alcohol should we purchase beer and wine only

Kim James, owner/chef, from Six Star Catering in Winchester offers – when thinking about your Bar Stock try to keep it simple. Too many different selections of beer means not enough of the crowd favorites OR having to over purchase to get enough of each kind.  

I tend to steer my clients in the direction of Pinot Grigio or Pinot Noir for the simple fact they are nice middle ground wines.  People who don’t care for rich bold wines will find something they love in one of these and people who love bold flavors will be happy with a nice PG or PN.  

Every bottle of wine will serve 5/6 glasses. Don’t forget to buy extra if you are having wine served with dinner.  Sometimes people will elect to have a special wine or two served with the meal so make sure to mark those for your bartenders.

At a catered event most often blender drinks are not served. Try to stay away from half gallon bottles.  They are not easy to pour and bar spouts don’t fit on them which means you’ll always have a heavy pour.  

Bar fruit often times gets forgotten so make sure you have your limes, oranges, cherries, olives and a few lemons for those Full Bar Events!

how much alcohol should we purchase for a full bar

This information is being provided by Karen, Bar Manager, for Leiter’s Fine Catering in Williamsport, MD.

  • For Wine, a standard pour is 5 oz. , so you can get (10) Servings per a 1.5 liter Bottle, and/or (5) Servings per a 750 Bottle. 
  • For Liquor, you get (16) 1.5 shot/pours, which is the standard in a drink, per a 750 liter Bottle. 
  • For Beer, you should calculate about 1-Beer per person, per hour.  For Champagne, the standard pour is 4 oz., so you can get 6-Servings from a standard 750 Bottle.
  • Through our TAM Certification, we learn the typical consumption is 1-drink per hour, per Guest, to minimize over indulgence. 

And of course, from us at 6 Pastures, ALWAYS use a certified bartender – always provided by any of our recommended caterers.  No one wants to see a friend or relative over drink, drive and have an accident.  Serve responsibly.

Using these tips should help you determine how much of each beverage to purchase and not be left over with cases of beer, wine and alcohol – a real cash savings!!!!