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Wedding Beer Cart

 ·  ☕ 4 min read

    The Inspiration

    At some point in the wedding planning process, it had crossed my mind to brew some beer for the reception, though I was not going to make that a non-negotiable factor for choosing a venue that would allow 1) outside alcohol and 2) homebrewed beer. The number of venues in Nashville that permitted homebrew were small, and we had more pressing demands (like trying to fit 200 people in a venue).

    By some luck, we settled upon a venue that permitted both outside alcohol and homebrewed beer. So now I guess I had to brew some beer for my wedding as the stars had aligned. Additionally, it would look weird if I didn’t, considering I had brewed beer for 2 friends’ weddings at this point. After a few back of the napkin calculations, I started considering whether I could brew all the beer for the wedding, and once I realized it was feasible, I naturally used that as evidence that I should.

    So I was on my way to brewing, and realized I needed a good way to serve it. The only restrictions from the venue was we could not self-serve, so the options had to be simple enough for their bartenders to operate.

    My Options:

    1. Bottle my beer
      • Bottling 150 beers for my friend’s wedding was hard enough, and I needed more like 750 for mine.
      • Difficult to naturally carbonate (with yeast) to yield crystal clear pours
      • Could carbonate in kegs then bottle, but this would be a ton of work
      • Would need to buy/collect a ton of bottles
    2. Find someone with a big enough prebuilt chest freezer/ice-chest
      • Highly unlikely
    3. Rent a jockey-box
      • Wouldn’t know if I were renting a plate or coil chilled jockey box until I had it
      • To be safe, I would really need to build an ice-chest regardless to minimize foaming (disaster at a wedding), which minimizes the cost-saving of renting
    4. Buy a jockey-box
      • This way I could ensure I had a more efficient coil chilled jockey box
      • Still a risk of foaming with room temperature kegs of beer
      • I still felt that cooling the kegs in an ice chest was essential to prevent foaming
    5. Build an ice chest
      • $$$
      • Time

    As you can see, I had already talked myself into building an ice chest by this point. Foaming beer was not an option at a wedding, especially if I was going to spend a lot of time and effort brewing a bunch of good beer.

    Foam Inner Box

    aka the easy part

    aka the easy part

    First time using a caulk gun

    First time using a caulk gun First time using a caulk gun

    Plywood Shell

    Plywood Shell Plywood Shell

    Wheels

    Wheels Wheels

    Exoskeleton, tied into the wheel base

    Exoskeleton, tied into the wheel base

    Inner shower pan liner going in

    Inner shower pan liner going in 20190928_193841.jpg

    Corny Keg for scale

    Corny Keg for scale

    Exterior Shell

    Exterior Shell So glad I bought a pocket hole jig Exterior Shell

    Floating Frame

    The sides are connected to the front with piano hinges to aid in storage and transportation
    Floating Frame

    Hooks in with Picture Tongue Hooks

    Hooks in with Picture Tongue Hooks

    Birch Plywood Exterior

    aka Really Wish I Had a Pickup Truck
    A few cars flashed their brights at me with my insecure setup...
    Birch Plywood Exterior
    Birch Plywood Exterior

    Starting on the Bar Top

    Here you can see how my pocket hole jig made this project possible
    Starting on the Bar Top
    Starting on the Bar Top

    Top framing done, nesting on top of the hinged side panels

    Top framing done, nesting on top of the hinged side panels

    This is upside down to get the bottom edge trim in the right place

    This is upside down to get the bottom edge trim in the right place

    Placing the vertical trim

    Placing the vertical trim

    All in place

    All in place

    Front view of the shell that fits on the ice chest

    Front view of the shell that fits on the ice chest Front view of the shell that fits on the ice chest

    Tap Arrangement

    Tap Arrangement Tap Arrangement

    Cutting the hole for the drip tray and hose lines

    Cutting the hole for the drip tray and hose lines Cutting the hole for the drip tray and hose lines

    Lacquer Finishing

    (2 Days Before the Wedding)

    20191010_175644.jpg 20191010_175650.jpg

    Transportation

    Did I ever turn the drain port to the closed position before the wedding? No..... Did I ever turn the drain port to the closed position before the wedding? No..... Transportation In Place In Place In Place

    In Action

    In Action

    I was too rushed to take pictures of the setup process (needed to be on time for my own wedding), but it fit 15 corny kegs. I brewed 4 recipes, daisy-chaining the kegs together that were the same recipe (liquid out port->gas-in port). I somehow guessed correctly on the CO2 serving pressure, helping cap off a perfect day.

    Thanks for reading, and comment if you have any questions!

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    Alex Nackenoff
    WRITTEN BY
    Alex Nackenoff
    Polymath Hobbyist

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