This vendor spotlight blog will cover the ultimate party component – the bar, which can be one of the most popular elements for guests! Planning a special event involves many details, from venue to catering, décor, music, and more. Hiring a professional bartending service adds to any celebration.
Although every bartending company serves drinks, presentation can vary greatly from how bartenders are dressed to the décor on the bar. To ensure a memorable experience, it is important to compare offerings before making a decision. To assist with your search, we interviewed a few of our favorite local bartending companies.
First on the docket is Brittany Koester, owner and founder of 72 Co., a mobile coffee and cocktail bar service based in Columbia.
Brittany’s favorite drink is a Moscow mule because is a refreshing and versatile drink. She often serves variations of Moscow mules with a little flavored simple syrup and it really amplifies the drink. Her current favorite is a Blackberry Moscow Mule!
To share some background about Brittany’s journey as a small business owner, we asked when, how and why she decided to start her own bartending company. Brittany responded, “72 Co. has been in business three years. We opened initially as a mobile coffee shop, but transitioned to an event bar service 2 years ago. In 2017, I lost my amazing mom to cancer and it changed my life. Her death showed me how truly short life is, so I decided to pursue a business focused on things that I love. I have always loved coffee and when I immersed myself in the specialty coffee industry, it was a natural progression to craft cocktails. I saw a need for a more specialized event bar service in our area and ran with it!”
After learning more how 72 Co. came to life, we asked Brittany about her company’s culture and she shared that her business focuses on following four principles:
Regarding booking 72 Co. for a special event, Brittany shared that her fees include “service from one of our bars. Our vintage camper bar is often the popular choice for our clients, but we do not only serve from the camper. We are available to provide bar service and/or coffee/espresso service from any bar, including our camper bar or our custom-built bar carts. The bar carts are white with walnut bar tops and look great at any event!”
Brittany shared what differentiates 72 Co., “We are a small business by design and believe that the couples that choose to work with us for their big day deserve our devoted attention. We like to refer to our company as a boutique bar service, meaning that we are a small, unique service that specializes in craft drinks. We can certainly pour a rum and coke at an event, but we pride ourselves on creating signature drinks for couples that represent their personalities and elevate their event experience.”
As far as experience, 72 Co. averages about 20 weddings per year in addition to countless corporate and social events. They also provide coffee service at schools, offices and other various private events throughout the year.
Check out 72 Co. on their website and social pages!
Next, we chatted with Brittany Curtis, Manager and Wedding Specialist with Twist Bartending. With a team of over 27 years of experience in the hospitality industry and the knowledge of what clients expect, Twist was started in 2016. Brittany loves a margarita. She shared that it is the perfect sit back and hang or dance all night drink. Twist bartenders agreed that is a popular choice among guests.
She even shared the perfect Twist Margarita recipe with us:
2 ounces of tequila
1 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce of simple syrup
Muddle 2-3 slices of cucumber in a glass
Top with a “floater” or splash of Grand Marnier
The more we chatted, Brittany shared the company motto, “Why be ordinary, when you can be extraordinary.” Twist offers varied personalization options from cocktail selections to bow ties staff wear to complement event décor as well as custom built bars. Brittany shared that what elevates the company is, “attention to detail, well trained staff, the best products, and beautiful displays provided by Twist Bartending is going to add an element of luxury to any wedding. It’s easy to sling drinks but Twist is going to give your guest a quality beer, a custom crafted cocktail, or a curated glass of wine with poise and smile.”
We asked Brittany how busy she and her team stay throughout the year and how many events his company averages. She shared, “We are steadily growing but last year we had over 250 events. We love our spring and fall wedding season but we are happy to service The Masters, Free Times Best of Columbia, Festival of Trees, and so many other events annually. We are so lucky to have a great mix of corporate, wedding, and private events that keep us busy year round!”
Brittany finished by saying “Twist bartending is more than just serving drinks. We want to make your wedding day as close to perfect as possible. We can create custom bar menus, elegant cocktails, out of the box displays - anything you can dream, we will work with you to bring to life.”
Check out Twist on their website and social pages!
In addition, we spoke with Andrew Johnson, co-founder and partner of Craft and Draft. Craft and Draft has two locations in the greater Columbia area. The original location on Devine Street, which opened in 2014 and their newest location in Irmo that made its grand opening in January 2020. Andrew let us know that although he doesn’t discriminate when it comes to alcohol and likes a good wine or bourbon, his drink of choice is always a beer. Being somewhat of a connoisseur in his craft, he shared that his taste buds revolve around the seasons and lately he finds himself sipping on some of their lighter beers, like IPA’s, Lagers and Goses.
After chatting about favorite drinks, we asked Andrew for a little bit of back story as to how Craft and Draft went from an idea to a business. Andrew replied, “I was in the concrete industry and was sort of ready for something new. My long-time friend and soon-to-be business partner and I had always discussed the need for a good beer taproom, and back in 2013 we decided to both take a leap from our ‘day jobs’. The rest is history!” Having a goal, ideal or motto that you and your team strive to reach each day makes all the difference between an ordinary business and an extraordinary business. Andrew shared their goal, “Be the best in service, selection, and value. Offer service that can’t be beat anywhere else, offer a product or products that satisfy every customer that walks in the door, and give that customer a reason to return. This will lead to regular business, which is our backbone.”
Next, we spoke about how to stand out in the wedding industry and ways that Andrew and his partner do just that. “We offer the ability to customize our client’s experience to their preferences. There are no general guidelines with us. We offer as specific a service as we can in order to leave the couple as satisfied as possible!”, he said.
Between having two brick and mortar locations, as well as working special events, Andrew and his team stay busy. Last year, Craft and Draft did about 50 private events, half of them being wedding receptions and celebrations.
Andrew closed our conversation with one last statement, “We are hoping things return to normal for our clients and event venues so we can go back to celebrating with our future customers and making their experiences the best they’ve had! We miss y’all!”
Check out Craft and Draft on their website and social pages!
As with each blog, our ultimate goal is to share useful and insightful information to our readers. We love to highlight the great work of our industry partners as often as possible. If you are in the beginning stages of event planning, please reach out to us or any of the great companies referenced above to discuss your vision!
For more information about celebrating at the Lace House, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a ring at 803-737-2235. We look forward to hearing from you!
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