5 Reasons To Have a Mobile Bar at Your Wedding...

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Mobile bars have been literally popping up all over the place, no festival or event worth its salt was without a horsebox conversion, Citroen H-Van or rustic counter top last summer. So why are they so popular and why do you need one at your wedding?

1. YOUR GUESTS WILL THANK YOU FOR IT.

After all of the agonising over canapes and the 9pm bacon rolls, it's so easy to overlook what your bar will be serving and to leave it to your caterer (it's not their fault, they're the caterer, not the bar). Cue Ice buckets full of Peroni and Fosters. Nothing wrong with that, but how much nicer would it be to offer your friends something that they'll remember, served in proper glasses by people that have a passion for it?

2. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO COST THE EARTH.

Most bar providers offer a few different options, none of which have to be expensive. In fact despite what you may think, a lot of couples are now going for a cash bar or putting a few hundred pounds behind it to get the party going. Guests are much happier to pay for their drinks if they're getting something good (see point 1.)

3. GET THE BAR TO FIT WITH YOUR THEME.

Having a festival wedding or a streetfood theme? Whilst there's definitely still a place for the formal wedding breakfast, more and more couples are going Bo-Ho and choosing tipis instead of marquees. This extends to the catering and drinks too. So if you're going all straw bales and fire pits then what could be more fitting than a horsebox conversion or a western style saloon pop-up? Your photographer will love it too.

4. ONE LESS THING TO WORRY ABOUT.

It's very tempting to leave it to Uncle Jim who's promised to get a couple of kegs of Old Peculiar in, especially when there's so much other stuff to organise. Much better though to let people that have a real passion for drinks to work with you and come up with an awesome drinks menu that the whole congregation will enjoy and remember. They'll also take care of the important stuff like licensing.

5. GET WHAT YOU WANT, DONE YOUR WAY.

Every wedding that we've catered for this last summer has started off with "can you get this beer" or " my friends really like gin, will you have gin?" Happily, the answer to these questions is "yes, and would you like us to do this too?". Don't forget that it's your big day and you should make sure that you get what you really want, because there are some really good small mobile bar businesses out there that will help you get it and life's too short not to have nice beer.

That's a wrap (or, the end of summer).

What a blast we've had over this summer, with the Crafty Horse Bar mobile bar out at all kinds of events over the last few months. Food festivals, music festivals, classic car events and yes, four weddings and a funeral.

We've worked with and met some brilliant people (including the odd rock star) and learned a lot about what does and doesn't work, which we'll be putting into practice for next season. Thank you to everyone that's supported us.

That doesn't mean we're hanging up our pumps just yet though - we've got a great winter calendar lined up and are starting a couple of projects that will enable us to be in at least two places at once next year. Watch this space. In the meantime, here's a few highlights from our first summer...

#craftalesandcuriouscocktails

Our Crafty Journey continues....

When we first had the idea for the Crafty Horse Bar we wanted to use it to bring amazing craft beers from local (and not so local) brewers to festivals, markets and events across the South East. We've been blown away by the enthusiasm and interest we've had for this wherever we've been, both in what we're serving and also in the bar itself, which we've been careful to make sure looks the part. We've also really enjoyed the process of selecting and trying different beers so that we can do our best to help our customers make their selection - never tried a good porter, or a stout, or a double IPA? Now's the time.

We've also had some great support from partners like Food Rocks who we work with at Horsham and Lewes markets as well as a number of other events (keep an eye on our Facebook page), one of which will be the Joy Festival at Groombridge Park this June where we will be getting crafty with Vodka for 3 days.

So now we're extending our vision and offering to craft vodkas and gins as well as craft beer. This is going to be fun.

#SSCXEU17

Or to give it it's full name: The SingleSpeed CycloCross European Championships 2017, which were held at Stanmer Park, in Brighton last weekend and the Crafty Horse Bar was on hand to ensure riders were adequately fuelled with beers from Dark Star Brewing, amongst others.

 Crafty pre-race beers...

Crafty pre-race beers...

SingleSpeeds are bikes with just one gear and a CycloCross bike is like a road bike, but with knobblier tyres for riding off road (like a mountain bike, but not a mountain bike). Yeah, we know.

It was an amazing event, full of friendly, passionate cyclists, many of whom had travelled from the continent to take part - like these guys from Belgium.

 Commitment...

Commitment...

 They love it when a plan comes together...

They love it when a plan comes together...

Cyclocross races last for just over an hour - an hour and a lap to be precise, and are ridden flat out. Riders don't just have to negotiate the course (this one was particularly fast and technical), they also have to negotiate barriers, either by dismounting and running over them or, if they've got the skill, hopping over them.

 Not your usual cyclocross barrier...

Not your usual cyclocross barrier...

We certainly had a blast and who knows, maybe you'll see the Crafty Horse Bar at a race near you next season.

THE CRAFTY BEER BOX

Over the Christmas trading period we found that our 6 pack beer boxes were very popular - not surprising really, they're the perfect gift or stocking filler for anyone with even a passing interest in beer. Two months later and they're continuing to sell well and so we thought we might make them a bit more of a thing. We're not quite at the point where you'll be subscribing to the monthly Crafty Beer Box, but we do think that it would be nice to update it on a regular basis with the beers that we've really enjoyed in recent weeks and that you might enjoy too.

Here's what's in February's box: Magic Rock's 5% West Coast Pale Ale, High WireNorth Brewing's 5% Pale Ale, Sputnik and 6.9% West Coast IPA, Transmission; Signature Brew's 4.0% Studio Pilsner and 7.2% Double IPA, Stagediver and finally, Redwell's 5.9% collaboration coffee stout, Kofra.

To get your £16 Crafty Beer Box, just come and see us at the fantastic Food Rocks Horsham Market at the Carfax every other Saturday or catch us at various festivals and events, details of which will be posted here and on our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages. Meeting us in person also gives you an opportunity to try a fantastic draught beer - Brighton Bier's Pale Ale and 360 Degree's Session IPA have been real favourite's so far this year and coming up next we have an IPA from Wiper and True and a couple of Pales Ales from Dark Star Brewing.

 

 

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Just before Christmas we were fortunate enough to be working with the brilliant crew at Food Rocks who have recently taken on the Horsham Market which runs at the Carfax every Thursday and Saturday. It's a really good mix of excellent street food traders who made us feel very welcome (maybe something to do with having really good beer to hand?) and we had a great week in the run up to Christmas, trading almost every day, serving draught Brighton Bier and 360 Degree Session IPA, Cranberry Mojitos and Bellinis to thirsty shoppers. We even had Crafty Beer Boxes to satisfy the last minute present shoppers - something that I think we'll keep going year round - who doesn't like to receive a gift pack of 6 brilliant craft beers?!

We really enjoyed our week at the Carfax and will be back again on Saturday January 14th and then every other week from Saturday February 4th. Horsham has some great shopping and now you can get a really good pint of local craft beer to go with your favourite street food.

 

 

MAIDEN VOYAGE

Last weekend was our first event, earlier than planned thanks to a chance meeting with our friends at The Pizza Oven. 

Grittenham Barn Christmas Fair is about 30 minutes up the road, so a perfect test run in every respect. This turned out to be quite stressful 30 minutes, with full paranoia kicking in and 3 stops to make sure that everything that we had ratcheted down in the trailer was still where it should be (it was).

Midday came and we started to see a steady flow of people, with our Cranberry Bellinis & draught Brighton Bier going down particularly well, especially with Ben who had undertaken a monster train and taxi journey to come and see us. Great also to see friends Rick and Nicky who had decided to surprise us too.

Interest in The Crafty Horse Bar was high and it was good to speak to a few events planners and wedding organisers who had dropped in (Grittenham Barn is a popular wedding venue) and given us really positive feedback on the bar and how good it looked. All in all, we had a great day and learned a few things that we need to do better next time, like having more obvious beer menus and a bigger bin for all of the empties!

Next up is Horsham Christmas Market, where we will be in situ from Sunday December 18th right up to Christmas Eve. So do come and see us - we'll have a couple or more great beers on draught as well as draught Prosecco, mulled cider and a fantastic craft ale gift box for that last minute stocking filler or present for Dad.